Wild west themed games are relatively rare compared to other themes such as fantasy, urban or horror.
Yes, we have classics like Sunset Riders, hidden gems like Ganpuru: Gunman’s Proof, hits like Red Dead Redemption and one of the first games I played on PS2, Darkwatch that mixes Wild West and Vampires.
Maybe because of the difficulty dealing with the subject (I don’t know why) or maybe the fear of being compared to Red Dead Redemption 2, but we don’t have as many games in the Wild West as we’d like. Still, some studios are trying to use the theme in their games.
A few years ago we had Gunman Clive (the publisher did not release the PS4 version in the Brazilian PS Store), whom Tony analyzed here. And now, recently, Brazilian studio Nibb Games has released Virtuous Westerns for PCs.
READ – Gunman Clive HD Collection | Mega man in the wild west
Thanks to Ratalaika Games, the game is now available on all platforms. Check out with us the review of the game I would have called Virtuous Wrestling almost 28 times in a video (and YouTube screwed up its tone so I didn’t publish it).
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You are there alone, drinking in the saloon and thinking about your life expectancy of 43 years, as was common in the Old West when suddenly BANDITS invade the place! That they attack you as a distraction for their boss to steal your horse.
Once you get rid of your flip flops you go after the guy who stole your horse and you will overtake anyone who gets in your way … as long as you have enough bullets for them and can use them to make chains breaking that get in your way, dropboxes that are conveniently positioned or hitting explosive barrels enough to create a chain reaction big enough to do so.
Yeah, I stalled a bit because the game is about it and I wouldn’t feel good doing a one-paragraph summary.
Limitation encourages creativity
Contrary to what you might expect, Virtuous Western IS NOT a platformer. It even has the controls of one, but the game is basically a one-screen puzzle game.
Your goal is to kill all enemies by using the limited resources available to you in the level. You have to know when to shoot, when to jump, where to shoot, where to throw the grenade. Basically, look at the scene and work with what you are given.
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At first it is easy to shoot an enemy backwards, shoot two enemies at each other, but as you progress through the 30 phases of the game new elements appear and the game becomes more challenging.
It all culminates in a boss fight … which could be better and thought-provoking, but it all comes down to memorizing the boss pattern, collecting the bullets, avoiding the gusts and shooting them when the gusts stop. Repeat until kill.
Virtuous Western is not a long game, depending on the skill of the player it can be finished in less than half an hour. As a replay factor, the player may feel encouraged to try out the Speedrun mode in order to finish the game as soon as possible.
If there was one word to summarize the graphics and sound of the game it would be “repetition”.
Given that there are 30 single screen puzzles and it is set in the Wild West, things are expected to repeat itself (a few things are added here and there during the stages, all within the theme) but at least the game is not discolored like Gunman Clive. The landscape is colorful and the sprites are very friendly.
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The short cutscenes before the first and after the last have a very good-natured cartoon tone. And now, the game has one song for the main menu and one for all stages. And although they are songs that conjure up the western atmosphere well, they do get a little sick in the end.
A little puzzle to pass the time
Here we have already analyzed some strangely Brazil-made one-screen puzzles, 112th Seed, 0 Degrees and Welcome Back, each of them with a unique mechanic that makes them interesting.
Virtuous Western is worthy of this group of Brazilian indies, with charming graphics, easy to understand and simple gameplay and replay factor. So, if you are a fan of simple puzzles, then you should give Virtuous Western a try.
In addition to the original PC version, the game is available for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series.
This review was made using a digital copy of PlayStation 4 kindly provided by Ratalaika Games.