Rare Review: Gunfright

I don’t know what the Milky Bar Kid to deserve such a large bounty.

Another isometric game, this one is a wild west game where you have to find outlaws and gun them down. It’s initially quite confusing as to what you’re supposed to do and how the game’s mechanics work, but once you have that down, it’s quite a fun experience.

Gunfright is essentially a game of hide-and-seek. There’s a bandit hiding in the town, and you need to find them. Some townsfolk will point you in the right direction, so you can narrow it down (of course, the bandits also move around, so keep that in mind). There are also lots of civilians walking around. These civilians are all deadly and will kill you instantly if they walk into you (because games of this era need loads of things that can kill you).

The game has a “marketplace” of sorts. In the bottom right, you’ll see prices for bullets, horses and fines. There’s no shop as such, you’ll just get charged that amount when appropriate. You have six bullets in your gun, and once you shoot all six you’ll be instantly charged for a reload. Horses you “buy” by finding them on a map. These look hilarious when you use them, as it looks like a wooden frame that you’re holding up and running around with. I love how ridiculous it looks.

If you kill civilians, either by shooting them or trampling them with a horse, you’ll be instantly charged the “fine”. Money is the main score of the game, and the best way to get money is to kill bandits. There are 20 in the game, each appearing one at a time. Once you find one in the game, you shoot them to initiate a duel.

Duels are done in a first person perspective. Your opponent will move around the screen while you control a cursor. Moving your cursor will count as a “draw” and your opponent will start shooting, so you have to aim quickly. You can also wait for your opponent to announce “draw” as he will stop moving. It’s a really good system, one that seems quite fair and smooth.

While that’s all there is to the game, it’s still a pretty fun game, with some really nice (at the time) graphics. As there is no depth, the isometric view doesn’t come with the same problems as Knight Lore, and it works well with the gameplay.

For “completion” I beat all 20 bandits, then the snaphots. One of them is an extended version of the minigame where you shoot bags of money, another where you have to mow down civilians on a horse. Great fun.

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