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Super Russian Roulette (Nintendo Entertainment System)

The reviews on this site are the text versions of the videos on my YouTube channel. The text based reviews use (if at all) very little pictures. Please follow the link to the corresponding video in order to see in game graphics.

Super Russian Roulette was made by Andrew Reitano as Batlab Electronics in 2016 for the Nintendo Entertainment System. The original idea was to make a Zapper supporting NES game, which doesn't need a CRT monitor and works with any kind of monitor device. It started as a fun project however it was very well received amongst his friends and so he continued working on it. In 2015 Andrew won the Audience Choice Award of Fantastic Arcade. As for the high demand he started a Kickstarter campaign in order to be able to produce a certain number of cartridges for fans. Now a little over 1200 cartridges were produced. As of making this video just the leather holster limited edition remains available.

The cartridges were assembled and flashed manually. They are dual region and can be switched between PAL and NTSC. The game was written in 6502 assembly. The cartridge is a technological masterpiece. It features 256 KB of graphics memory for fluent animations and 1 MB of program memory which allows for the over 9 min of sampled real speech, stored as 8 KHz delta pulse code.

The premise of the game is rather simple: one to three players play a game of Russian Roulette with a cowboy called Rob. The game is supposed to be played with a controller for the selection of options and spinning the revolver cylinder and a Nintendo Zapper in controller port 2. However in my personal opinion the game is best to be played with the Japanese pendant of the Zapper simply called ''Gun'', as it is revolver shaped, just as in the game. Furthermore the main game mode can be fully played using solely a Bandai Hyper Shot or a Micro Genius TLG-405, which both allow for selection of direction, cylinder spinning, reinsertion of bullets, and shooting altogether.

Each player chooses to spin or not to spin the revolver cylinder, then puts the gun at the temple and pushes the trigger. Spinning the cylinder of course resets the probability of dying to the minimum. Rob participates as normal player and is quite nervous too. If a player is hesitating too long, Rob will start irritate and insult the player. Often Rob makes up nick names for the players as he rushes them in their turn. If players choose to not spin the cylinder, Rob feels sometimes challenged and does neither. Interestingly he is unable to count rounds and therefore sometimes he pulls the trigger at a 100 % death chance. Similarly the player may insert a fresh bullet without spinning the cylinder, which also ends in an inevitable death.

As means of distraction Rob leaves the table, reads magazines, does gun tricks, shows his clothing, shakes his naked buttocks, dances or tells a story. If a player interrupts Rob's story or shoots Rob's possessions he gets bitter about it for the rest of the game.

In the options screen Rob can be customized and many attributes of him can be randomized. In a sound test all music can be enjoyed. I think the music is truly outstanding and amongst the best I have ever heard on the NES.

Personally I really like the game. It is more of a multiplayer game, than a single player experience. The game is often suggested to be used as a drinking game. However, as for its technological quirks it is desirable either way.

The cover is very well drawn and I think it is gorgeous.