Even Cowgirls Bleed

by Christine Love

Romance
2013

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Number of Reviews: 4
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Maybe allegorical, but definitely a surreal, short Western, May 29, 2016
by verityvirtue (London)

[This game involves self-mutilation and violence.]

Time to completion: 5-10 minutes

You are a city girl, seeking thrills and spills out West. You gather your petticoats, get yourself a gun, and get on the next coach.

Turns out, though, that being out West isn't quite what you imagined...

This game makes extensive use of mouseover effects (this is replaced by the normal touch on mobile), which makes moving through the story very fast. Your only interaction with NPCs and objects is to shoot them, and (on PC at least) having mouseover replace clicks means that when you, the player, interact with anything by touching it, you destroy or maim it. There's a moment where this is especially brilliantly handled, where you can only ever destroy, regardless of your best intentions.

The writing is witty and self-aware. The PC swaggers into a bar, only to be snubbed by the bartender for ordering a bourbon on the rocks; the PC's bravado has her shooting everything in sight, but this gets her told off by the woman she's fixed her eyes on.

The story's surreal overtones are buoyed by the PC's initial idealism - there's something in shooting everything in sight which doesn't strike true for me - so your mileage may vary. I'm sure there's something deeper to it, but, for now, I really just see it as a strange riff on tropes in Westerns.