Spaghetti Western

Publisher: Zeppelin Games
Machine: Commodore 64/128

Published in Zzap #66

Spaghetti Western

"This town ain't big enough fer the both of us! 'Cause the council have refused plannin' permission for ma bungalow!" So now, as Clint Westband, a notorious bounty hunter, you're stalking through five of the toughest Wild West towns, jangling your spurs and looking for action. In horizontally scrolling levels, figures step out from doorways or pop their heads up through windows. If they're nasty gunmen, blow them away - before they do the same to you.

Objects are scattered over the town's ground and include ammo, money, food (for energy), keys (for doors, naturally) and a protective jacket. However, moving objects such as barrels and horseshoes reduce your energy if they're not avoided.

Spaghetti Western is much in the style of previous C64 Wild West and shoot-out games. As a Sheriff in Accolade's Law Of The West, you had to negotiate with excitable characters to avoid first-person perspective gunfights, then in Gremlin's West Bank you had to quickly decide whether people bursting through doorways were friend or foe. To kill or be killed is the main prerogative here, although the shooting style is similar to Cabal and there are objects to gather and slight exploration.

Graphics are old-fashioned, backgrounds blocky with very few colours and pop-up people in monochrome. The player sprite is almost as weak but is animated in an amusing, Postman Pat manner. Loading music is jolly and appropriate to the scenario but effects are plain. Gameplay is tricky, shooting people impossible if you're not in the right place when they appear, energy draining quickly and only one life.

Altogether an unsatisfying trip back in time to the days of simple-looking and playing games.