Of late I haven't played many adventure games, so when West arrived for review it was received with great enthusiasm. I wasn't disappointed either as it makes a refreshing change for the dungeons and dragons scenarios of so many other adventures I have played in the past.
No witches and dwarfs here, only gunfighters and crazy indians. West is a text adventure set in a town in the badlands of the wild west where your task is to seek out a gang of bank robbers. You must outwit and outshoot them and then find their stolen loot before making your escape from the town.
When you start out you are armed with your six gun with which to protect yourself and it's not long before you are called upon to use it. Events in West happen in real time and you have to type "shoot" pretty fast to stay alive for long.
Wandering around the town is full of nasty surprises. Rattlesnakes slither past, robbers shoot at you and, believe it or not, you get challenged to a game of pontoon if caught with a pack of cards. This is a game within a game and certainly adds to the enjoyment.
Like all good adventures this one requires a sense of humour to play it. For example, this idiot when told "East you can see a cherry tree" pressed E for east and was then informed "You have just bumped your head on a low branch of a cherry tree and fallen off your horse!" Berk! I had forgotten I was riding a horse!
Incidentally, I discovered during one particularly frustrating session with this adventure that it responds to foul language. I won't reveal what happens as it will spoit it for those who buy the game, but be assured you are punished severely for your sins!
There are some 130 locations in West for you to explore and the game has a vocabulary of 300 words and about as many phrases. There is no "dictionary" provided at all with this adventure and it is left up to the player to come up with the right commands.
Descriptions given of locations are very comprehensive and on some occasions are as long as half a screen-full of information.
There is a save game facility which can be invoked at any time but which I found rather slow. Also I should mention that this game takes an age to load as it is a massive 6F hex blocks long. This unfortunately prevents it from running on disc which is a bit of a pain for those well-heeled enough to own disc drives.
I found this game really enjoyable right from the word go. It is challenging, fun and witty which are all good ingredients for an adventure. There are plenty of good descriptions and plenty of surprises too. Definitely worth buying.