The update of “Der Schränker 1” for Atari 8-bit computers brings significant improvements in gameplay dynamics and difficulty.
The game, whose name translates from German as “The Wardrobe”, places you in the role of a solitary thief tasked with breaking into a series of safes to loot all the treasure before advancing to the next level.
Janko “Kveldulfur” Grewe, the game’s creator in collaboration with M.L. Webel (music), explained: “It’s the first game I wrote for the ATARI XL/XE, and my first experience programming in assembly. It holds special meaning for me, but it received criticism for two main reasons: the random movement of ghosts that sometimes obstructed progress and the randomness in loot distribution that made some levels too easy or difficult.”
In this version “Der Schränker 1.1”, Grewe has optimized the mechanic for luring ghosts, allowing players to direct them more efficiently. Additionally, loot is now distributed in a more controlled and predictable manner, tailored to the four available difficulty levels.
Among other improvements, support for both German and English has been incorporated, with automatic selection based on the system (PAL or NTSC) and the option to manually switch in the menu using the HELP key. Furthermore, the code has been optimized and compressed, enabling the game to be used as a 16k cartridge.
It’s worth noting that “Der Schränker 1” secured the thirteenth place in the retro contest of the Atari Bit Byter User Club (ABBUC) in 2022; and it has a sequel titled “Der Schränker 2,” which attained the eighth place in the same competition.