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About the Story
Step into the shoes of Mute Lawton, a lone cowboy who must stop an execution set to occur at noon by shooting his way past dangerous cyborgs and mutants in a post-apocalyptic western setting. (From the IndieGames.com review.)
Nominee, Best Game; Nominee, Best Writing; Nominee, Best Story; Nominee, Best Setting; Winner, Best Puzzles; Nominee, Best NPCs; Nominee, Best Individual Puzzle; Nominee, Best Individual NPC; Nominee, Best Individual PC; Nominee, Best Use of Medium - 2008 XYZZY Awards
The Independent Gaming Source
That Pacian can craft some tricky puzzles around such a limited set of actions is a testament to his abilities as a game designer. But it's the narrative, set in a far-out futuristic Western, that keeps you hooked until the final, climactic showdown. Games like this really show off why interactive fiction is such a unique and exciting genre. Superb work!
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Play This Thing!
Shooting Gallery in Text
Gun Mute is my favorite of this small new genre: it's got a charming story and setting, the puzzles are fair and rational, and there are lots of colorful side characters. If we were using genre titles borrowed from other media, I'd have to put it on its own tiny shelf labeled "post-apocalyptic western gay romance" -- but since we're not, I can just call it a successful combat puzzle game, and leave it at that.
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Number of Reviews: 15
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In the world of linear game design, it would hard to get much more linear than this: your travel options are limited to f (forward) and b (back), as you follow a path to your appointment with destiny. At each stage, you confront those who would stand in your way, which usually means relying on your six shooter.
I would expect Gun Mute to appeal to people who enjoyed the recent combat-puzzle games Slap That Fish or Attack of the Yeti Robot Zombies, but I think it is a bit better-designed than either of those. The puzzles generally seemed fairer than the ones in Slap That Fish, and it's clearer from the outset what the player is supposed to be doing. Meanwhile, the environment is more richly imagined than AotYRZ, not only because the player is allowed to look around and examine objects, but also because some care has been put into developing a coherent setting. This is a strange vision of a post-nuclear society which has gone back to old-west manners and mores, except with a somewhat more modern view on acceptable romantic pairings. There's also more of an overarching plot: nothing very complicated, but satisfying for the size of game this is.
It's not a long game (and the gameplay premise would probably wear thin if it were), but I found Gun Mute novel and enjoyable.
Mute Lawton, the tongueless sharpshootin' hero of "Gun Mute" ploughs through his post-apocalyptic hometown with the ruthless persistence of the Man With No Name. Mute is driven by the love of one man, Elias, doomed to hang at noon, and no pistol-packing, shotgun-toting, laser-eyed, mutant posse members will stop him.
"Gun Mute" offers a fantastic little glimpse at a grimly strange future world. The characters that Mute must defeat are all stereotypes from western and sci-fi pulps, but the twisted character types make for interesting targets/allies. All the enemies have names prefaced by adjectives, my favorite being Glow-in-the-Dark Earl.
None of the puzzles are too difficult, although there are a number of learn-by-dying puzzles. Some puzzles require extremely tight timing. (Spoiler - click to show)I can't imagine anyone getting past Atomic Alice without being crushed at least once. I never found this frustrating, however. Even the best gunman gets outshot sometimes. Given the situation, this serves as an effective tension builder, not as a pointless irritant. The game mechanics in general create a feeling of urgency and a need to continue on. "Gun Mute" uses only "forward" and "backward" instead of the usual compass directions. I found this inspired a powerful urge to go onward, ever onward, even when I realized that I had forgotten to do something in a previous level. Although the game itself is not timed, I could still practically feel that clock ticking towards noon.
There are one or two minor changes that, in a perfect world, I would like to see in "Gun Mute". A counter of how much ammo I had left at the top of the screen would have been quite handy (Spoiler - click to show)and would have spared Mute a couple of needless deaths. My other quibble involves the plot. Although I have no doubt that Elias is innocent and Mute's mission just, I cannot help but wonder what Elias's alleged crime is. So far as I can tell, no explanation is given for his death sentence. However, these are minor points in an otherwise wonderful and original game.
A cute, graceful post-apocalyptic mute gay cowboy romance shooter. The game flows smoothly through a series of pleasantly campy shooting puzzles in which your only options are to shoot and take cover. This works better than one might think; the lack of obstruction provides very mild challenges, but does not distract from solid writing that sparkles with beautiful flourishes. Don't expect length or difficulty - this is worth a couple of plays to see and do everything, but it could be drained dry in half an hour. Compares favorably to the sillier and slightly more difficult Attack of the Yeti Robot Zombies.
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