The setting: Portland, Oregon...1981. A mysterious Arcade game appears in local Arcades called Polybius. The game plays like a psychedelic Tempest and quickly becomes a hit...and kids can't stop playing it. Soon after it's release, players of Polybius reported horrible side effects...including everything from amnesia and insomnia to disturbing nightmares and even suicide. Reports of men dressed in black suits regularly checking on the Polybius cabinets only added depth to this myth, with rumors that the game was a government funded mind-control experiment.

Although there have been plenty of rumors regarding Polybius, there has never been actual proof that the game ever existed. But now those that are interested in this type of game can live out their curiosities thanks to a website called Sinnesloschen, who have attempted to re-create Polybius as it might have existed way back in 1981.

Sinnesloschen's version of Polybius is actually a well-made endeavor. The game features several different options such as Post-Hypnotic Triggers and Sleep Algorithms, where you can enable conditions such as Hypersomnia, Narcolepsy, and Night Terrors. There is also a Subliminal message option, which turned on will periodically flash words such as, "OBEY"...reminiscent of the movie They Live. Lastly, there is a Supernatural option that when enabled will trigger random whispers and spectral faces...creepy!

You control a ship called Gyruss much like the games Tempest and Galaga, only here you control the ship on the right side and shoot at a spinning cluster of objects centered in the middle of the screen. The goal is to dodge and shoot the objects while enduring a heavy amount of hypnotic imagery that flash upon the screen.

Fans of Polybius can even take it one step further and build an actual cabinet including this version of the game. All of the artwork and information can be found at, including a game download. It's the closest we'll probably ever get from an Arcade urban legend!

Here's a youtube clip of the game in play. Please do not watch if you suffer from any type of fast imagery disorder:

And here's a funny hoax video of a couple of guys supposedly finding an old Polybius cabinet....totally fake, but pretty funny:


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