In the game, the player (playing a down-on-his-luck party animal) is required to obtain certain items that will allow him to win the affections of a series of beautiful (and sometimes not-so-beautiful) women. Although tame even by 1980s standards, the game was nonetheless controversial for its racy content, and it was also widely bootlegged and distributed among high schoolers.
Years later, Softporn Adventure inspired the Leisure Suit Larry series of adult-oriented videogames, and the first entry in that series, 1987's Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards, was a nearly direct graphical adaptation of Softporn Adventure.
The game's cover features three nude beauties and a waiter in a hot tub. The hot tub is actually that of Sierra's owners, Ken and Roberta Williams. From left to right, the first woman was a shipping clerk at On-Line Systems. The second is the wife of Bob Davis, the creator of another Sierra title, Ulysses and the Golden Fleece. The waiter was an actual waiter from a local restaurant. The woman on the far right was the game designer, Roberta Williams. Despite only being visible from the shoulders up, all the women in the photo were completely nude.
Softporn Adventure was ported by designer Gary Thompson to MS-DOS for the PC in 1991. It has also been converted to Z-code and can thus be played on a Z-Machine emulator; such emulators are available for just about every modern platform.
Softporn Adventure was originally written for the Apple II in Applesoft Basic. Gary Thompson loved the game, so he printed it out, re-designed, and re-wrote Softporn Adventure for the PC back in the late 80's and released it on Compuserve at the time. After going to the store and purchasing a copy of Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards, he realized it was the same game. After contacting Al Lowe (designer of Leisure Suit Larry) and getting a first-hand account history of the game, he then obtained permission from Ken Williams (CEO of Sierra) and Al Lowe to release his re-designed PC version as shareware on the internet. Ken Williams said he would allow Gary to release his Softporn on the internet because, as he wrote, "Quite frankly, I seriously doubt it will affect the sales of Larry."
In 1994 Gary got an e-mail from Al Lowe, graciously requesting his permission (since the rights were already owned by Sierra anyway) to release Gary's PC version on a collector's edition of LSL called "Leisure Suit Larry's Greatest Hits & Misses". They requested his version because Gary's Softporn was the only version available for the PC that completely held true to the original game. Gary updated and re-wrote the game again. This bug-free version was then released on Sierra's collector's edition CD-ROM.
Gary's version of Softporn remains the only version legally permitted free distribution on the internet.