Custer's Revenge is a 1982 unlicenced adult-aimed action video game developed and published by Mystique for the Atari 2600. This is the first porn-themed game under the Swedish Erotica banner.
In Europe, a video game publisher, PlayAround JHM, re-released this game with some alterations. On this version, the sexual intercourse was consensual. Similar to other Mystique games, it got a gender-reversed version called General Retreat where you could play as the Native American woman.
It caused a lot of controversy when it was released due to its disturbing content.
You control General George Armstrong Custer and must dodge arrows to get to a Native American woman who's tied to a cactus and rape her. By raping her, you score points.
Why It Should Be His Last Stand
- The gameplay is painfully repetitive. Basically all you do with your joystick is you rape a Native American woman who is trapped on a cactus (the manual states that she enjoys it), and dodge the arrows. That's all there is to it, no variety whatsoever. There have been a few games on the same platform that weren't limited to the same all the time, contrary to this. Anyway, such a shabby gameplay is also experienced in other Mystique games.
- What makes the game frustrating is that the arrows are very difficult to dodge as they become invisible when they reach the lower half of the screen. However, here the collision in this game is the apogee of ineptitude. In majority, even when the arrow theoretically hooks you, nothing happens to you. Only when the arrow can fully cause any feeling of a shot at the main character, is it only when you rape the woman. In addition, the arrows disappear a few centimeters above the Custer's cap all the time.
- It was also very controversial for its content, offending Native Americans, women's rights activists, and parents if their kids managed to get hold of the game. It is worth noting that at that time there were no assessments yet to indicate who the games are aimed at.
- The graphics look quite poor, even for the second generation console standards. The characters look like they were drawn in Paint by a young child. The amount of colors used is pitifully small, even E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial uses more colors and looks better overall.
- The music is an unbearable cacophony, especially after launching the game (by inserting a cartridge into the console).
- The box art is pretty bad especially since that the woman on the cover isn’t a character you meet so she looks almost bald in-game.
- The game was absolutely overpriced. When the game came out, it costed $45.95. For a game that offers absolutely nothing than raping woman and dodging arrows, this is just insulting.
The Only Redeeming Quality
- Despite the poor graphics, the cool thing is that the developers at least put some effort into the details, including the day and night cycle and the smoke from the fire.
Reception and Controversy
| "What were they thinking?"|
Custer's Revenge quickly gained notoriety upon its release. Sold in a sealed package labeled "NOT FOR SALE TO MINORS" and selling for $49.95, it acknowledged that children might nonetheless see the game. The game's literature stated, "if the kids catch you and should ask, tell them Custer and the maiden are just dancing." The makers elected to preview the game for women's and Native American groups, an act which some thought was a publicity stunt. The game did prompt criticism from women's rights groups who stated that the game was a simulation of rape; the back of the packaging states "she's not about to take it lying down, by George! Help is on the way. By God! He's coming." Other groups such as Women Against Pornography, Native American spokespersons, and critics of the video game industry, in general, protested about the game. Andrea Dworkin claimed the game "generated many gang rapes of Native American women." Activists tried pressuring legislators to outlaw the game, which Oklahoma City, Oklahoma did. Multiple Industries pursued an $11 million lawsuit against Suffolk County, New York and legislator Philip Nolan "because of a resolution authorizing the county executive to take action to halt sales and distribution" of the game.
In 2008, the University of Calgary Tom Keenan professor cited "the hideous Custer's Revenge game", 26 years after its release, in an op-ed piece about current video game violence issues for the Calgary Herald. That same year, the game was credited by Australian PC Magazine as being one of the worst games ever made, while Games.net ranked General Custer's victim as fifth on the list of top ten disturbingly sexual game characters. In 2010, General Custer placed eighth on Machinima.com's list of the biggest perverts in gaming. UGO.com ranked it as tenth on the list of the most racist video games in history in 2010, also ranking the game's rendition of General Custer as the second most unsexy video game character of all time in 2012.