You have been North, South, and East but have not been satisfied with life. Now it’s time to go West of Loathing.
West of Loathing is an adventure game with horses, goblins, undead skeletons, snakes, spiders, spittoons, and a train. If this isn’t enough for you, how about we throw in some alien artifacts, OK?
The first thing you will notice with this game is the graphics all look like a giant game of hangman: stick figures in pencil. There are some characters and creatures which are not stick figures, but your hero and your cohort are very linear.
As you make your way west, you will encounter things to investigate, things to punch, things to run from and things for lunch. Keep an eye on the items you collect; you can sell them for meat (the in-game currency) at the local store…once you find one.
Since this little adventure is set, loosely, in the late 19th century American west, there are cowboy hats, cowboy boots and, of course, cows. Only the cows are not friendly, they don’t like being eaten, and it appears they have started a demonic bovine revolution. Whether it’s cows or goblins or whatever baddie you are fighting, the combat is where the game takes a turn-based RPG direction. You can choose a weapon or action and you can use the mouse to select your target. If you win, great—more meat for you, some XP, and you continue on your merry way. If you lose, you recover at your base of operations hungry and ready to start a new day.
The game will set goals that help move the story along. Choose wisely from the available options, as it’s easy to get in over your head early on. The good news with doing these side jobs is they help you gain experience, earn you meat to spend on upgrades, and facilitate the finding of nifty stuff.
Game play is pretty easy; you can use the WASD keys or the mouse to move around. You will need the mouse (or track pad) to select things. In combat, the space bar is used to attack. The game is not action-intensive or fast-paced, so you can take your time and play leisurely. There is no audio dialogue in this game, just text that hangs around until you press a key or click the mouse. The audio you do get is a kind of western-ish music, which isn’t so bad. The sound effects are pretty basic, but they get the job done.
As you look around for items and take on odd jobs, your companion can serve as a reminder station. The reminders are not incredibly specific so you may have to do some poking around to get what you really need. You should be warned before playing this game that there are lots and lots and lots of reeeeeealy bad puns here. I mean major groaners. While the demon cows are not corn fed, the writers most certainly were and have regurgitated it all over the place it.
You’ve been warned, people. If you want to know just how bad it gets just explore the spittoons. Go ahead, I dare you…
So Here It Is:
West of Loathing is visually minimalist, but it has a descent—if slightly twisted—story. The characters and game elements are a mixture of the mundane and eclectic. You get the usual find stuff, kill stuff, get new gear, and level up routine you get in many games. There are plenty of locations to visit and characters to meet and jobs to perform to keep you busy for several hours. Since the game lets you choose one of three character types you get replay value as well. Oh yeah, if your click finger needs warming up, the intro screen has plenty of things you can shoot (just for kicks and giggles…). While the game doesn’t look like much when you first open it, at least you get your Grandma’s brass knuckles (she always was a firecracker, wasn’t she?).
Genre: Turn-based RPG
Minimum Requirements: OS X v10.9, 2.5 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 2 GB RAM, 512 MB graphics card, 4 GB available disk space
Availability: Now on Steam