Out West

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Number of Ratings: 4
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1-4 of 4

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Elegant, if overly coy, Western horror, February 5, 2016
by verityvirtue (London)

You're a hardened bounty hunter, the toughest this side of town, and you're riding in the sunset when you see a figure. And that rarely means good news.

The writing in Out West is elegant and spare, which suited the setting. I thought there was a little too much reflection- thoughts which could be

This game was oddly coy with the action. Every time action is promised, there are numerous little pacing devices to distance the player from the shoot-enemy-and-move-on action that one might expect from a Western. No, instead of letting you blast enemies, it takes a more reflective pace, reminding you of Ma's sayings. The contemplative air felt at odds with the sense of urgency that the game was trying to create, though it worked in the later half.

Out West features lovely pixel art and adds to the tone of the story. The game is well-thought out and I enjoyed the writing. It certainly gives a nice dark slant to the classic Western setting, but there were things that irked me, which I can't discuss without spoilers. (Warning: long spoilers)

(Spoiler - click to show)Out West works in a cyclical fashion, where you 'die' after running from the stranger or standing him down, then are given instructions. Given the nature of what we might call the antagonist, this actually made a lot of sense. What was a bit more infuriating was the game's unwillingness to let the player know if we had made any progress towards the goal. This style was done in Bigger than You Think, or Endless, Nameless, and in those games, it was clear what you were meant to do differently in each iteration. Here, there seem to be only trivial differences in the outcome of each iteration, no matter what you do. There's also no indication whether you're come anywhere closer to the goal. The PC is told that they're supposed to harvest souls for the entity, but the actual harvesting is never shown - only the aftermath (at least, that's what I thought it was) - and the entity never seems to acknowledge what you're done.

Also, an even more spoilery thing, but one which niggled at me: jul vf gur CP nqqerffrq nf Orrymroho? Vs gur CP vf nqqerffrq nf fhpu, gura jub vf nqqerffvat gur CP?

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A Ludum Dare Twine game about a confrontation in the west, February 3, 2016

This is a speedcomp game (entered in Ludum Dare) about an old west cowboy who is being pursued by a mysterious figure. You can remember advice, choose something to help you, and choose where to hide.

Every page has 8-bit style graphics, which reminded me a lot of Oregon Trail.

The game invites you to replay it several times. I went through three rounds of playing through the game.

The twist is not really my cup of tea, but overall, this is a strong game.

- necromancer, January 27, 2016

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Fun quick game., December 29, 2015
by darlarosa
Related reviews: western,

The Good
- 8-bit art definitely set the sort of aesthetic, and helped add to the retro "do it yourself" vibe. Really nice. The ending art in particular was effective.
-The descriptions of the figure were nice.
-Ma's advice was well written. The western style sayings were enjoyable and interesting touches that added a real nice touch to the story. It made it both more personal and more real.
-I enjoy the death scene structure very much. It's clear, brutal, and deeply satisfying because it doesn't drag it out and it doesn't make it too abrupt.

The Not-so-Bad?
-Occasional awkward wording (" You steer your steed")
-The choice between objects feels a tad forced and out of nowhere.
-While the old west wisdom of Ma is delightful...it also gets a tad tedious and I did find myself wondering if Ma only spoke in wise sayings. Not necessarily a bad thing.
-The twist was ok? I have many questions about who "Ma" is if she exists. I just couldn't dig it. It felt sudden and as though I was supposed to just accept it as a "neat twist", which doesn't work well here. If this was a longer game, where you not only see Ma, but get strong hints of "Your" true nature and nothing seems quite right it would be a better reveal.

The Verdict
A quick way to spend some time in the old west, while enjoying some nice 8-bit graphics.You definitely feel like the choices matter, and like you have to act quickly. Worth a play, but perhaps not as gratifying as one would like.

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