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Gun Mute

by C.E.J. Pacian profile


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Number of Reviews: 16
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
great game, February 13, 2021
by jlvp1234 ( United States )
I really enjoyed this game. if only, there were more games with guns other than gun mute, torn, attack of the yetti robot zombies, and, midst the saige brush and kaktis.

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Violence is the answer, July 29, 2018
by Victor Gijsbers (The Netherlands)
You are Gun Mute, and your friend Elias is about to be hanged by the evil sheriff. So what's a man to do? You grab your trusty six-shooter, enter the post-apocalyptic Western town, and shoot anyone who tries to stop you.

Gun Mute is an almost pure combat game, where you move through a completely linear series of encounters most of which end with either you dying to your enemy's bullet or your enemy dying to yours. The fights are not based on a numerical combat system à la Treasures of Slaver's Kingdom or Kerkerkruip; instead, each encounter is a puzzle in which you have to identify your enemy's weaknesses and use them to prevail. Failure means death, but you can always undo. Some of the puzzles are better clued than others, but for the most part, they are enjoyable. Along the way, there is some room for non-combat discoveries; and the ending is particularly satisfying.

Essential playing for anyone who wants to design a puzzle-based combat game; recommended playing for all others.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A linear, thrilling parser game about a futuristic cowboy , May 10, 2017
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour
In this game, you face a series of combat challenges, one after another.

Each challenge is in one location, and you use a variety of methods to attack your opponents.

Before Superluminal Vagrant Twin, this was probably Pacian's best known game. It has some violent and suggestive elements. It features a romance and several friendships, often with the people you are battling. The setting is rich and evocative.

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Short and sweet, with more than meets the eye, November 25, 2016
by TLeather (London, UK)
Gun Mute bills itself as an “Interactive Fiction shoot-em-up”. It’s a novel premise that sounds like a contradiction in terms, but works surprisingly well. The game makes use of its turn-based parser to give the player a limited number of moves, simulating the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it speed of a Wild West quick draw.

The game’s puzzles consist mainly of a series of shootouts, each requiring a slightly different approach. They aren’t the most innovative or difficult puzzles, but they’re fair and just tricky enough to be satisfying. In fact, I often recommend Gun Mute as a good parser-based game for beginners to IF for precisely this reason.

The setting is also consistent and just original enough to be intriguing – think Wasteland with more robots – and the game is well written throughout.

So far, so good, but what really makes Gun Mute an important game is this: (Spoiler - click to show)it has a gay protagonist, it depicts a gay relationship, and it asks the player to make it their duty to protect this relationship. Most importantly, it does all of this without the least bit of fuss, with no explicit explanation that the protagonist is gay or that he’s trying to save his boyfriend; until the ‘reveal’ at the end of the game, most players are likely to assume that they’re rescuing a friend, family member, or comrade in arms. The games industry typically gives little airtime to queer characters, and while the IF community is far better in this regard, it’s still rare to see a game that unapologetically includes a queer character without drawing attention to it or making it a central plot point. Gun Mute would work just as well with a straight protagonist (in fact, most of the game wouldn’t need to be changed at all), and that’s why it’s so subtly powerful as a queer-positive game: it says “I’m a gay game, and I don’t feel the need to defend myself.”

At the same time, we have to assume that Gun Mute knows what it’s doing: by saving the reveal that the protagonist is gay until the very end, it gives players time to identify and empathise with him before they learn this piece of information that is both trivial and crucial. Players who might otherwise have felt alienated from the protagonist and his plight because of his sexuality are instead fully invested in them, and only after becoming so must they face the tension between their identification with his quest and their discomfort with his sexuality.

Even if we take out the gay reveal, Gun Mute is still a tersely designed game with accessible but fun puzzles and good writing. In short, it’s a success even when considered without the context of the games industry and its typical (non)treatment of queer themes, but viewing it through that lens elevates it considerably. It's a short and sweet game with a nonchalance that belies its real significance.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A Textual Rail Shooter, March 15, 2015
by Matt W (San Diego, CA)
A rail shooter implemented in text; makes you wonder where there isn't more effort to take graphical game tropes and remake them as text (c.f., e.g. Kerkerkruip.) Pacian seems to have decided on a limited list of verbs and actions, then created a puzzle using every possible permutation. This could potentially have been a tedious string of rooms, except that the concept is wholly novel and the writing is very strong. The game doesn't outstay its welcome, and has a visceral and satisfying feel.

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Shoot em' Up!, January 3, 2015
by Chai Hai (Kansas City KS)
A delightfully futuristic western tale which is fun all around! I love how each person has a specific way to interact. Being measured was the best part. :D

The western theme is extremely fitting and keeps the player engaged. It is clear to me why people kept mentioning this game in reviews when I played other games by the author. It is quite memorable and a classic.

Mute's inability to talk grew on ya and the story was quite charming at the end. I enjoyed it, it was one heck of a ride! Well done!

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it, July 9, 2013
by Jim Kaplan (Jim Kaplan has a room called the location. The location of Jim Kaplan is variable.)
Related reviews: C. E. J. Pacian
Play it if: you want a game short and easy enough to breeze through but quirky and different enough to be memorable.

Don't play it if: linearity is a major turn-off.

The premise is simple. You're a reticent gunfighter, The Man With No Voice if you will, and your single purpose is to save your loved one. Get from point A to point B. Kill obstacles. Rinse and repeat with feeling.

Gun Mute is probably the most fun I've had with a game this linear. It's something like a cross between Time Crisis and those town-wide shootouts that seem to populate the climaxes of old Westerns. And as with the best action sequences, no two killings are alike thanks to a series of varied if easy puzzles.

Although the game doesn't operate in real time, it maintains a sense of urgency. The need to make use of timing, not only in response to your opponents' actions but to keep your own gun loaded, gives rise to a near-illusion of real-time action. It's an interesting effect, almost reminiscent of watching the still images in a flipbook come to life with motion. Perhaps I'm overplaying it, but I found it notable.

The setting isn't a straightforward Old Western locale so much as a post-civilization anarchy that has reverted to a sort of New Old West. Cyborgs bartend at the local saloon, the railroad transports futuristic battle turrets, and you install GPS software by drinking it. Pacian makes the wise choice not to dwell on the setting, as it isn't the focus of the piece, but lets it color the environment a little and thus keeps it memorable and distinctive while still sticking to the basic forms of the genre.

Overall, this is a fun and different sort of distraction. Hardly morally challenging or thematically deep, but a great deal of fun. I spent less than half an hour getting from beginning to end, and it'll stick with me a whole lot longer.

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Linear & gimmicky, yet just how I like it!, February 6, 2012
by DCBSupafly (USA)
I'm a big fan of gameplay based on explicit gimmicks. Sure helps with GTV. Gun Mute's title says it all. You will shoot your way through each area, and you will never talk.

I'm not a big fan of linear gameplay, but Gun Mute is an arcade game in words. Time Crisis with puzzles and a handful of verbs!

Be sure to read Pacian's .txt file, perhaps after the game if you don't need any help; it contains not only helpful hints, but also a list of hey-try-this's.

1 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
Gunstar Heroes... the text adventure, September 25, 2011
by frsh
It feels a lot like playing Gunstar Heroes for Sega Genesis but turn based, text only and in "boss only" mode. For some reason I kept picturing everything in my mind as if it was rendered with the graphical style of Gunstar Heroes while I was playing the game. Yes, even the romance... And I'm not even a big Sega Genesis fan, I just remembered playing Gunstar Heroes a very long time ago and Gun.Mute brought that memory back.

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
The most fun you can have with a couple of verbs, May 24, 2010
by Nusco (Bologna, Italy)
Related reviews: post-holocaust, steampunk, western, shoot-em-up, experimental
Giant laser-firing robots, steampunk-ish western bad guys, radioactive mutants, badass gay cowboys with an attitude and a lot of shooting at people - this game has everything you need. You can call it an experiment on the form, because it purposefully limits itself to just a few verbs (of which "shoot" is the most important by far) and declares itself "an IF shoot-em-up". Experiment or not, this is one of the funniest short pieces of IF I've played in a while. Its unassuming attitude, approachability, shortness and blatantly linear gameplay only make this spaghetti-western-meets-mad-max-meets-doom pastiche more of a pleasure.

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