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Custer's Revenge (Atari 2600) artwork

Custer's Revenge (Atari 2600) review

"It's not just that this game is boring to play, but it's a complete waste of time. Custer's Revenge is worth taking a peek if only to have your curiosity satisfied. That's about it."

Custer's Revenge (Atari 2600) image

Glad your knife was sharp when you stabbed my back
So it can be used against you when I strike back
You'll never see me coming - My revenge

-Cheap Sex

Words cannot sufficiently describe the look on my face as I loaded Custer's Revenge and beheld General Custer running across the screen to meet his fair Native American maiden, his red bandanna streaming horizontally behind him as he charged with all the might his raging libido and lust for vengeance and deep moisture could allow. Several peach-colored pixels forming a diagonal line made up a ridiculously large johnson wagging in front of him. And on the far right stood the maiden fair, her back arched with her amazingly large breasts pointing outward. The woman appeared to be part ostrich and sporting a black Caesar cut. She didn't seem like the kind of girl you'd think Ol' Custer would shag, but maybe he digs chicks who are rough around the edges. Arrows fly, trying to kill our nude hero, but he persists and reaches his goal. He leaps out of his boots and inserts. Fun was had by few.

It wasn't fear I felt, or disgust, or even hysteria, but complete apathy. No amount of pixelated sex, not even the kind featured in Custer's Revenge, could have any sort of effect on me. However, realizing that I was immune to the so-called horrors of early '80s porn games taught me that I could view anything, even Sex Games and its bisexual five-way, without a hint of nervousness or reluctance.

We're lead to believe Custer's Revenge is funny and sexy; that there's something tantalizing about this forbidden lust between a man and his enemy or hilarious about its rabid political incorrectness. In actuality, it looks more akin to Robert Englund knocking boots with Moe Howard, 2600-style. That scratches sexy off the list. There was supposed to be some level of subversive hilarity here, and there most certainly was. That kind of element doesn't carry a game, though, and wears thin within seconds. Some might look on in shock at what could be taken as a racists or misogynistic statement, and others might laugh at this attempt at "wrong" humor, but most will be bored before they go past their second or third run.

That's assuming they they play for that long...

Custer's Revenge screenshotCuster's Revenge screenshot
Note: The game on the right is a gender-reversed version called General Retreat, released only in Europe by Playaround.

Robert Loves Moe isn't difficult. Unlike many pornographic games on Atari 2600, it actually tries to have something along the lines of adifficulty rating. It also attempts to feature an aspect of simple, addictive gameplay, yet does not reach such a goal; not by a long shot. You guide Custer across the screen toward the homely Native American woman as arrows fall from the sky, represented by diagonal lines. Should one happen to connect with Custer's bod, then its curtains for him. When he reaches the far right, that's your cue to mash the fire button like crazy. Each button press brings him closer to..... a high score. Gain enough points and it's on to the next level, which is exactly the same as the previous one, except with increased speed.

Rather than progressively bumping up the challenge factor with each subsequent stage, Mystique mere sped the game up. This, in effect, skyrockets the game's difficulty rating from passable to ridiculous. Arrows pour from the sky at insane speeds, and there's no way you could be reasonably expected to dodge them, especially while getting it on. You have little time to respond then, and can expect to die a lot mid-coitus after the first level.

It also doesn't help that Custer's Revenge sports some very wonky collision detection. For instance, it's difficult to tell at what position you need to be in relation to an arrow in order to dodge it. Sometimes they will land right on your head and yet you will survive, and other times just the opposite will transpire. There seems to be more luck involved than actual strategy or skill. It's also very inconsistent as to how many arrows will fly. Sometimes very few arrows will fall, and other times it will be raining arrows. I guess you could say that Custer really does get lucky when he scores...

*numerous groans*

Custer's Revenge was not made to be rated like any other. It was supposed to offend and make a few people chuckle. It succeeds there, but such an aspect leaves the rest feeling like empty content. Ultimately, it's a boring title plagued by ridiculous expectations and inconsistent collision detection. Custer's Revenge is worth taking a peek if only to have your curiosity satisfied, and nothing more beyond that.


JoeTheDestroyer's avatar
Community review by JoeTheDestroyer (December 01, 2010)

Rumor has it that Joe is not actually a man, but a machine that likes video games, horror movies, and long walks on the beach. His/Its first contribution to HonestGamers was a review of Breath of Fire III.

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CoarseDragon posted December 02, 2010:

Can't imagine the look on my face as I read this. You did a good job with this review, which I thought I would never see.
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JoeTheDestroyer posted December 02, 2010:

Thank you! I had fun writing this review.

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