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About the StoryOut in the dusty wastelands of the West, everyone must be his own master. Self-reliance is required, and strangers are distrusted - or shot. You are one of these hardened men, trying to eke out an existence amid the rock and soil. Be wary - for everything is not as it seems...
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Number of Reviews: 3
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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?
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.
- 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.
-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.
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.
Out West on IFDB
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For Your Consideration - XYZZY-eligible multimedia uses of 2015 by Brendan Patrick Hennessy
This is for suggesting games released in 2015 which you think might be worth considering for Best Use of Multimedia in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination. The category will still be text-entry, and games not...
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