About This GameAttentat 1942 is a unique video game that tells the story of Nazi occupation from the perspective of those who experienced it firsthand. The game is built on dialogues with survivors, interactive comics, and authentic historical footage. You will speak to eyewitnesses, live their memories, and discover the untold story of your family.
You discover that your grandfather was arrested by the Gestapo shortly after the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, ruler of the Nazi-occupied Czech Lands and leading architect of the Holocaust. You struggle to discover why your grandfather was arrested after the attack. What role did he play in the attack? Why didn’t he tell his family? Was he brave or reckless to endanger their lives by becoming a resistance fighter?
You will experience a range of styles and dialogue-based gameplay features. The game includes interactive comics, rare digitized film footage, challenging mini-games, and cinematic-style interviews that have been researched and written by a team of professional historians.
- Dialog-based adventure game
- Based on historical research and testimonies
- Cinematic interviews with 8 different survivors
- Interactive comics
- Atmospheric and challenging mini-games
- Authentic historical footage
Attentat 1942 was developed by Charles University and the Czech Academy of Sciences. It is the first game in the Czechoslovakia 38-89 project that covers different events from contemporary history. Attentat 1942 is a significantly enhanced version of the game “Československo 38-89: Atentát” that was released in Czech language in 2015. Revenues from the game are invested to continue research and science into the field.
- OS: Windows 7, 8, 10
- Processor: 2 GHz
- Memory: 2 GB RAM
- Graphics: HD Graphics 4000 or better
- Storage: 4 GB available space
I like the hand drawn comic style concept combined with genuine film shots. The sounds are great (speech, effects and original soundtrack).
Being interested in history as well as how video games can serve as a medium to convey history, especially history from places and about events that aren’t touched upon often, I decided to give this a shot.
Mind, I have not played all the way through all the endings of this game nor did I do it in one sitting because I had bought this game in the middle of the semester at university. I had just finished my first playthrough of the game immediately before starting to write this.
However, I at least have gathered enough to put down a review of my thoughts:
I like how the developers mixed animation and live action cut scenes to convey the story. The art was good and the people who acted out the live action cut scenes were also quite good. It reminded me of when I played Her Story a few years ago but the animations and the mini-games in the animations really helped give the player a more interactive role in the story. It was also great that I was not having to type literally all the words of the English language order to dig for video clips.
This is definitely a game where your choices matter both in the mini-games and the interviews. For mini-games, I had a difficult time trying to figure out which choices were best and they weren’t always obvious. The game is looking for you to really think about what you would do if you were running from Lety to Prague or where you would hide sensitive documents if the Gestapo were coming to get you. There is no obvious "aha!" answer to some of these games, sometimes even choices you thought would work may not have been the best choices for that game.
Fun Fact: there was a cypher mini-game where I nearly had a heart attack because I thought the game had switched back to Czech for no reason. The fact that coins could be earned for reaching a certain goal in a mini-game kind of helps. The coins then offer an opportunity to go back and fix any errors.
Then there are the interviews, where choices also matter. Depending on what questions are asked determines what you are able to get from the character you are speaking with. Even with no time contraints, these are tough choices to be made. It kind of felt like having an actual conversation with someone–every time I spoke with a character, I chose dialog options that were more diplomatic and congenial or chose not to press a certain button. This game makes it clear that this is not the best route to take if you are looking to get certain bits of information. In all honesty, though, I was afraid some dialog choices would potentially end a conversation or make a character more hostile towards my character. Luckily, after completing a run of the game, you then have the option to go back and talk to certain characters to attain any information you may have missed. It definitely saves the trouble of having to start all over again in order to fill in the blanks.
The historical element was interesting and did as much as it could to relate the history of World War II and what was occurring in Czechoslovakia at that point. Being an American, this is not a part of history that is widely discussed in standard American schooling. Central and Eastern European countries are rarely if ever talked about. As a uni student studying in the UK, I have now at least taken one class about Central and Eastern Europe in the 20th century where Czechoslovakia was one of my countries of focus. Some of the events and things I studied I could almost immediately recognize while others I honestly did not know but am now glad to have learned through the game.
The Encyclopedia feature is pretty great–I got really excited whenever I talked to a character and a notification popped up saying that I now had gotten new information in my encyclopedia to read. The fact that I can go back and read it is a wonderful thing as well. This game would probably make a fun interactive resource for a class to allow students more active engagement with the source material.
I don’t have many complaints about this game other than the fact that sometimes the dialog could sound or look stilted. While I am not a Czech speaker by any stretch of the imagination, certain bits of dialog didn’t sound organic, coming across as monotone or over exaggerated. Sometimes, I could even see that in the English subtitles. It could at times interrupt the flow of the game but it was not jarring enough to where the immersion was totally lost.
Also, there may be a bit of a glitch when you talk to a character where the "continue" button will stay there during the cut scene and dialog choices.
Overall, however, this game was a fun, interesting way to engage with an historical event and region that generally does not receive much focus. The developers and the people they worked with should be proud of what they made.
Please show them some love by purchasing and playing this game. Thank you!
I would definitely recommend this game !
It doesn’t have gameplay. It is more of a visual novel. If games that are based on historical events interest you, this one is for you.
The game only take some hours to complete depending of how much you want to read in the game. Full reading 3-4 hours.
Btw I find the mixture of real footage from the period – both past and present – compared with the nice dravings very touching.
It’s like a museum exhibit or a documentary. Think about it like that and give it a shot. 10/10
Release date: October 2017
Genre: educational, historical fiction, Nazis, holocaust, II World War
Developers: Charles University e Czech Academy of Sciences
Attentat 1942 had already been released on October 31, 2017, but it has recently come back under the spotlights after winning the title of Most Amazing Game 2018 at the AMaze festival in Berlin. Earlier he had landed in the final stages of the IGF and had won the silver medal at the World Development Championship 2017.
Captions on the official website read: Attentat 1942 is a unique video game that tells the story of Nazi occupation from the perspective of those who experienced it firsthand. The game is built on dialogues with survivors, interactive comics, and authentic historical footage. You will speak to eyewitnesses, live their memories, and discover the untold story of your family. This is the trailer, showing a fairly luxurious and not at all poor package:
Intrigued, I contacted the developers, who kindly provided me with a review code. Just to be clear, you are facing a project born from the collaboration of two prestigious Czech academies, Charles University e Czech Academy of Sciences. It is a game with clear educational intents; as consequence, the critical approach can not be the same reserved for the usual games classified as entertainment. To put it simply and clearly, it is more like a TV documentary fiction than a hollywoodian drama like Schlinder’s List.
Aim of the title is to convey an important and dramatic page of history to students or people interested in deepening the Nazi occupation of Europe in the first half of the last century. Perhaps the most apt comment is John Romero‘s, the creator of Doom: “Excellent work! That’s how the kids will study History in the near future!”
Il messaggio dell’opera chiaramente va ben oltre i ristretti confini nazionali, le vicende e i protagonisti locali sono solo un’occasione per parlare di contenuti universali relativi alla minaccia nazista, al patriottismo, alla resistenza contro l’invasore, all’olocausto, ai campi di concentramento, etc. Si tratta soprattutto di un dramma corale umano, dove a farla da padrone sono le paure e i sentimenti dei protagonisti, che riecheggiano le paure e i sentimenti di intere popolazioni, permettendoci così di intuire come sia stato possibile il manifestarsi di un orrore simile; ragion per cui l’opera si presta ad essere usufruita da un pubblico internazionale di tutte le età.
Proprio per i suoi intenti didattici, assume una forte connotazione documentaristica. Infatti man mano che procederemo nella vicenda, accumuleremo una enorme mole di documenti d’epoca, articoli di giornale, filmati d’epoca, approfondimenti enciclopedici su personaggi, luoghi e fatti storici, etc. La meticolosità con cui è organizzato e curato il materiale tradisce la natura accademica del progetto.
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Video Games & Art
I recommend purchasing ATTENTAT 1942, in part for the game itself, which is a short (~ 3 hrs long) but artistically beautiful, interesting and engaging narrative game that successfully surprised me with its ending, and in part to support narrative gaming, in which history can be portrayed in a manner which heightens our awareness of our own expectations, preferences and prejudice in understanding the past. It also examines the moral dilemna of assassinating Reichsprotektor Reinhard Heydrich — an SS, Gestapo, SD and Einsatzgruppen leader, planner of Kristallnacht, key architect of the Holocaust throughout Europe, and considered by some to have been third in command after Hitler and Himmler — knowing there would be innocent lives lost due to Nazi reprisals. Was it worth the cost?
Gameplay involves interviewing elderly survivors of the 1938 German invasion and seven year occupation of Czechoslovakia, starting with your grandmother, to find out what happened at that time to your grandfather, who has just been admitted to hospital. The interviews are interspersed with games that force you to think quickly in order to survive, placing you in the perspective of a civilian living under the Nazis. Success rewards you with gold coins that may be spent re-interviewing people to get more information. The result is that you must play investigator and survivor, piecing together a story of what happened to your grandparents, their neighbors, friends and colleagues, while also thinking through dilemmas faced by these very people in 1938-45 in order to survive. For me, the game successfully challenged my expectations about who would cooperate, who would be hostile or have something to hide, and the ending was a surprise. My only criticism is that the game is relatively short and limited in scope, taking about three hours to complete. You won’t be getting hundreds of hours of play for your purchase. But the artwork, both visually and sonically, is well done.
ATTENTAT 1942 does have some historical inaccuracies, though they don’t affect gameplay. For example, Heydrich actually died on June 4, 1942, days after the assassination attempt, not on May 27, the day of the attack, as the game portrays. The assassin leaders were expatriate Czechs and Slovaks trained by the British Special Operations Executive (SOE), who planned the action, codenamed Operation Anthropoid, which was authorized by Beneš’s government-in-exile in London; they were then parachuted back into Czechoslovakia to carry it out. The SOE team were ultimately betrayed by local accomplice Karel Čurda, in exchange for a Nazi reward of one million Reichmarks, but the team committed suicide on June 18-19 during a prolonged firefight with the Waffen-SS while trapped in the Saints Cyril and Methodius Cathedral, in New Town Prague, rather than being captured alive. Civilians implicated with hiding the SOE team either committed suicide, or were arrested, tortured and executed. In addition some 18,000 civilians not involved with the assassination were arrested and imprisoned, and a further 5,000 or so executed, in retaliation. This was the only successful assassination of a high-ranking Nazi official by the Allies during World War Two. (The betrayer Čurda was hanged for high treason in 1947.) These events were portrayed in the prize-winning 1964 Czech film, Atentát, by Jiří Sequens, and in the 2016 British film, Anthropoid, by Sean Ellis.
As an addendum to my review, I find it interesting that while ATTENTAT 1942 does a good job of showing the murderous persecution of Czechs, Slovaks, Roma and Jews under Nazi occupation of Bohemia and Moravia, of whom more than 300,000 were killed, and while it acknowledges that ethnic Germans were forcibly deported from Czechoslovakia after the war, it fails to mention (at least from my experience playing through several times) that about 30,000 ethnic German civilians were killed in post-war reprisals by the Red Army and Czech militias and police, some of whom (like mathematician Gerhard Genzen, professor at the German University in Prague and a founder of proof theory, a major branch in the foundations of mathematics) were starved to death in the very same concentration camps previously used by the Nazis. Some of this only came to light in the last 10-15 years, with the discovery of items like Jirí Chmelnicek’s 8mm film of the Borislavka massacre, but my impression is that this game’s narrative is incomplete for its lack of portrayal of the full tragedy of World War II in Czechoslovakia, which included not just Nazi murders, brutality, racism and war crimes during occupation, but also murderous reprisals and war crimes against ethnic German civilians in the aftermath of the occupation. History is told from a perspective, and that perspective is perhaps always incomplete.
If I were teaching World War 2 history in a high school, I would assign Attentat 1942 as homework.