From developer Mystique and originally released in 1982 for the Atari 2600, comes the notorious and perverse ‘Custer’s Revenge‘. Here is our Atari Review as we dive into retro gaming and see how well these classics hold up.
Sometimes hailed as one of the worst games ever made as well as one of the most offensive and sexually perverse titles in gaming history – Custer’s Revenge still sold 80,000 copies before it was pulled from production in the early 80’s. It was re-released after developer Mystique went under and given names like – and get this: ‘Westward Ho’ and ‘The White Man Came’…. Nice… Very nice guys.
The premise is this: You play the famous Civil War commander General Custer as he tries to navigate through a field of arrows in order to rape a Native American woman who is tied to a pole. Yes – that’s what you do. You may be pixelated to all hell, but your character is a naked dude with boots and one of those cool old hats while you can clearly see your pixelated erection flopping all over the place as you run through the desert in order to do your terrifying business upon this poor woman. It’s a horrifying premise and one would think, “how was this allowed to happen? Why are we making games about rape? Why are almost 100,000 people buying it? Who was playing this game in 1982 to begin with?” So many questions….
The game’s producer Joel Miller had tried to say that Custer was “seducing” the woman and that she was a “willing participant” in the gameplay. So I guess Custer’s Revenge was just a pervy rape FANTASY situation, which makes it super cutting edge for it’s time…. Hah. Anyway the game is terrible. I’ve been playing it for the first time on my portable Atari system and as you try to make your way to your objective, arrows sporadically fly from the sky and they don’t even actually hit your character to stop him. The arrows only need to be close to Custer before the game decides you’ve been hit and you have to re-start your journey after all your lives are gone.
Once you actually make your way to the woman, you literally have to tap the action button in order to make Custer simulate sex with the female. Button mashing has never been so appropriate I guess? The graphics are pretty bad, but this is a 1982 Atari game – all the graphics were bad. So I guess in reality for it’s time, they weren’t SO awful and the “sex” you’ll get to see is well designed in spite of it being terrible and incredibly offensive, when you consider the content itself.
Custer’s Revenge is a bad, offensive, gaming trainwreck but it’s also part of our gaming history and hey – someone’s parent probably owns a copy somewhere (and isn’t a gaming collector) so for that, I say, you are gross.