West Bank (ZX Spectrum)
Ok, I'll start with a bit of a shooter anyway, but it is an unusual one. As far as I know, this is a direct copy of the arcade game Bank Panic. There are 12 doors to your bank, and three of them are visible at a time. The doors open quickly, with customers approaching. Or a bank robber! The villains are shot simply by pressing the key that corresponds with the door, which I find more fun than if I had to aim at them. Shooting the bad guys before they shoot you gets you forward, whereas shooting an innocent person will set you back.
|At the Weird West Bank.|
Wild Bunch (ZX Spectrum)
Nothing to do with the Peckinpah film! Here the player takes the role of a western hero who has to fight the "wild bunch" gang. This simple multiple-choice adventure has a western simulation feel, with maps, several towns and various buildings to visit. Lots of stuff can be bought from the general store, and you can enter a saloon to play poker and so on and on.
|A wild bunch of equipment, not that it makes that much difference.|
|Left: One of the Wild Bunch. Right: Go west, young man...|
Gunfright (ZX Spectrum)
Ultimate's latter-day outing. They had run a bit out of steam at this stage and this game (alongside with Cyberun) received mixed reviews at the time. Portrayed in a scrolling isometric 3-D, pretty flat here to be honest, the game at first sight appears to be a full-blown western town simulation, with money, bullets, fares, telegram and whatnot.
|-Where did you get that tin star, at the carnival fairground?|
-As a matter of fact, I did.
|It's a horror...|
Six-Gun Shoot Out (Commodore 64)
A seemingly complex tactical level turn-based game that allows re-enactment of various historical and fictional gunfights from the old west. I say "seemingly", as most of the complexity arises from the clumsy and slow interface. The idea is pretty good, there's field-of-visibility checks and a variety of weapons and body postures that (probably) affect the gunplay outcome.
|Left: There's a mouthwatering selection of scenarios in the game.|
Right: Though your mouth dries up as you see the game's interpretation of the Magnificent Seven.
Law of the West (Commodore 64)
Clearly inspired by the film High Noon, the player takes the role of a sheriff who encounters various western town types while patrolling a town. Depending on the outcome of the discussions, the day might play out a bit differently, leading to duels with villains or preventing a bank robbery. If the player survives the day, it will be scored according to kills and hearts won etc.
|The wonky-rubbery gun-draw needs to be seen to be believed...|
The game scheme is pretty compelling for the few first goes, but has little replay value after most of the avenues have been worked out.
Johnny Reb II (Commodore 64)
Whether a war game based on the Civil War is a western game, is one for the philosophers. Yet there's certainly overlap between western as a kind of action setting, a period piece, or a war scenario. I like to mention JR II because it plays pretty smoothly for such an old game. Also it works on a somewhat more detailed scale than most war games of the 1980s, so they player gets "inside" the action better. And that's perhaps what justifies the "western" monicker here.
|Don't get bushwhacked by Jesse James!|