Sinclair User15th August 1990
Published in Sinclair User #105
Yee haaay! Annie get your gun and see if you can blow the belts off them thar chaps. Or alternatively you could try to blow them thar chaps off their belts. Then agin' you all could star in a daft musical and collect more bounty than you'll find in this game.
Outlaw casts you in the role of the roughest, toughest, most billious bounty-hunter in Arkansas. Your task is to gun down gun totin' gangs of bandits and finally take on the head honcho. There are four rounds to complete; each round offers a higher bounty than the next, but you can tackle them in any order, choosing villains such as Butch Moonwalk or the Man with No Name from the opening selection menu.
Sounds good fun. Trouble is, it looks awful, the animation is poor and the gameplay is monotonous and unsatisfying (other than that it's fine).
The backgrounds, varying from Western towns to gulches and back again, scroll jerkily past in a downwards direction, as your little man, viewed from above, scuttles up, left and right avoiding bullets fire from the sidewalks and from the attacking bandidos. Your ammunition level is shown at the bottom of the screen, and you can collect extra bullets and other bonus objects by shooting barrels as you fight onwards.
The problem is that while your gun seems to have a very limited range. you have to get right up close to the baddies before you can off them - their bullets fly at you from all directions and ranges, so it isn't long before you get cut down. Things improve if you find a rifle or extra pistol, but it takes some time to get to this stage.
Even more annoying are what seem to be wagons and boulders which roll towards you - your man moves so slowly that in some cases it just isn't possible to get out of the way in time, and you get squashed (turning into a collapsing skeleton more suited to a vampire game).
As a big fan of B-Westerns I didn't enjoy this game one teeny bit; despite some decent music it's a big disappointment for a mean-eyed, ornery, bean-guzzling, snake-wrestling crittur like myself. I think I'll stick to watching re-runs of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
Clint Eastwood wouldn't like it and neither would you. Heap big disappointment.