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CONSOLE: Nintendo Switch DEVELOPER: bitComposer Interactive PUBLISHER: Nintendo
RELEASE DATE (NA): September 29, 2017 GENRE: Mini-Game Compilation
// review by EscapeRouteBritish

A game you have to schläg through.

I misread the title and hoped I could hook up with a celebrity.

For those unaware, which is likely everyone reading this, Schläg den Star is a German television gameshow where a Regular Joe contestant goes up against a celebrity on trivia questions and "gameshowy" activities. Nobody was asking for it, but someone had the great idea to make a video game based on this television programme. I've played some fairly decent versions of TV gameshows converted into video game form, but they're usually almost predominantly abysmal, this one being no exception to the rule. "Beat the Celebrity" would already be bad enough if I could understand it, but with this buggy mess being in complete German, I had a considerably worse time.

Firstly, if you wanted options, you're S-O-L (Sheisse Out of Luck). Most games provide you with a basic volume slider for music and sound effects, sometimes just a global slider. Schläg den Star has nothing. You can start the game, or make your own character from a handful of ugly-looking customisation options and names. Once you've made your Eldrich abomination, take them into the gameshow world and win those virtual Deutsch Marks. Yes, I know they use the Euro now.

The host, who looks like me if I shaved all my facial hair off, speaks his mother tongue at you throughout the game in voice-over that sounds like it was recorded in one corner of the office on a 1st generation iPhone, barely audible above the stock music. Sure, I don't understand the language so I can't tell if the voice over is good, but it sounds canned, distanced, and disinterested. This is the voice of someone who came to get their paycheck and did the bare minimum.

The rounds alternate because quiz rounds and activity rounds. The activities are the most interesting aspect of the game, but not a single one is enjoyable, except maybe "Shut The Box". In Shut The Box, you roll two dice and shut numbered flaps depending on the numbers. The worst mini game is "Cable Salad", which has you untangling a series of cables to press buttons in the right order. All of the mini-games feel like luck challenges, and the walls of German text doesn't help.

You're competing against the computer, and it has the sole rights to choose how badly it trounces you. Even the lowest level computer opponents have Herculean strength and encyclopedic knowledge.


Who wants to be a millionaire? Clearly not THESE devs.

When the game isn't chugging, models aren't clipping through the floor or themselves, and animations aren't playing incorrectly... the game might function reasonably well. In these instances, the game will softlock, hang, or hard crash, as though aware that it is functioning and therefore has to stop being a competent game.

In the free play mode, upon completing mini games, everyone but the audience and most of the geometry disappears, as the camera finds itself stuck in the non-existent floor. During the main game mode, practicing mini-games will occasionally cause the camera to clip through solid objects entirely (including walls). It's almost a complete wondrous spectacle to see which aspect of the game will cease functioning next. This is one of those gaming experiences that would be much better as a quiz book with a board-game or table-top physical companion. Even if the game functioned, was in English and didn't look like complete garbage, the horrendous activities that can't even loosely described as fun would still render the game an absolute never-buy. It baffles me that this game was released at all, but even more astounding is that it has a Steam port, too! The reviews at the time of writing are Mostly Negative, so I can only assume that the quality of the PC version is either the same... or perhaps even worse?

Unplayable, abysmal, choppy and crash prone. And because it's a Switch game, you can't even use it as a drinks coaster. The absolute bratwurst.


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