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The best Western game I've seen yet. You start out in the middle of a showdown on Main Street, but, due to a night of heavy drinking, you can't remember what it's about. This gives you two goals: (1) Find out what's going on, and (2) avoid getting arrested for murder once you win the gunfight. (A third goal comes along before the story is very far advanced.) The writing is superb. Despite the good-guys-vs-bad-guys plot, the style owes more to Brett Harte than to John Wayne, with colorful imagery and a good variety of characters, even including a couple of children. Difficult in places, but never really unfair, as long as you're observant. Has some crucial timed events - you'll probably have to replay the beginning multiple times before you get it fully right. I have some quibbles with the library used: many of the verbs I tried were unrecognized, and I found several (purely cosmetic) bugs. Still, it does do quite a lot to support reasonable commands for the context (e.g., "draw").
-- Carl Muckenhoupt
The action begins immediately, with the player thrust into the middle of a gunfight, and doesn't let up. The outset is fast-paced, pushing the player along, but it doesn't force the sort of do-or-die time limit where you're dead if you don't do everything exactly right (such as the opening to "Demon's Tomb" or the endgame of "Christminster"). Some events are timed, but sufficient warning is provided. [...]
Although "Spur" is not a long game, it's a detailed one. You're more or less free to do what you choose, with few messages to the effect that "violence isn't the answer." Killing off other characters, though fatal, is a perfectly valid move (shooting Sarah's horse was particularly fun -- gawd I'm sick!).
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You'll have to interact with many different characters in Tumbleweed Flats to find out exactly what's going on and what you are supposed to be doing. All characters are well-portrayed, and some might help you while others are a downright nuisance. The helpful ones sometimes require some incentive from you, and the nuisance-value ones are best ignored or avoided altogether. Although this is quite a short game geographically (only 30 locations long), you'll find yourself retracing your steps several times as there are plenty of problems to solve in most locations.
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This is version 4 of this page, edited by Lance Campbell on 26 July 2021 at 3:36am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item