Friday, February 5, 2021

Matter of Import 014: Schussel, der Polizstenschreck (Atari 2600, 1983)


Schussel, der Polizstenschreck is a German import for the 2600 whose title translates to "Schussel, the Police Frightener." You play a terrifying German clown strolling along and, occasionally, jumping over policemen. That's it. That's the game.

See all that cool stuff in the background? Ships, dogs, scorpions, animals of unidentified variety? Irrelevant. Background detail. You don't need to deal with or contend with any of it, your world model is just the strip of sidewalk, your clown, and the police you need to jump over.

First there's one cop, then two, then three – this was the most difficult screen for me – then cops that walk towards you. Then you start over, with less time to complete each screen, but still, as far as I bothered playing, plenty of time.

I give it a D- rating. Endless repetition, a vague sense of directionless anti-authoritarianism, and a relentless clown. Technically playable, but ultimately meaningless. Truly the most German of games for the Atari 2600.

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