Gunman Tales (XSX) Review with stream

Published by Ratalaika Games and developed by a small indie team, Gunman Tales is a brilliant action strategy game that mixes genres to staggering results.

From an overhead perspective like classic Civilization, players control a cowboy hat cursor, each moving in alternating turns over short distances. If you move your cursor over a red action point, the gameplay shifts to a shooting gallery exactly like Nasume’s Wild Guns (originally released on SNES but has seen an enhanced port on modern systems) using a dual stick control scheme. If you watch my stream embedded in this article, I was a bit confused at first but when I understood the rules of this unique game, everything clicked to near perfection.

Surviving these shooting gallery action segments rewards players with relics or gold.  Relics, like the telescope that let’s you spy on your opponent’s inventory, are nice perks that remind me of the accessory system found in the earlier Heroes of Might & Magic strategy games. Gold can be used to purchase better weapons and items at the towns spread across the map. However, if your icon bumps into an opponent’s icon, then a duel is initiated that plays just like that one fastest draw Kirby mini game. If you win, you can take your opponent’s items. The ultimate goal is to collect 4 map pieces to learn the location of the treasure, so you’ll need to fight and be quick on the draw if you want to win. There are also multiple game-ending treasures to find, all of which are logged in the game’s main menu. You’ll need to play many times to collect them all.

If you want to jump right into all the shooty action, then players can participate in the Challenge or Duel modes right from the main menu.  Earning all 1,000 Gamerscore will also only take a few minutes, the soundtrack is excellent, and the adorable pixel art is charming and loaded with humor.  Even the gunfights are fun thanks to interactive background objects, smooth controls, numerous enemies, and special abilities that are on a cool down timer. Oh yeah, and there are chickens. That give you power-ups. Including a chicken power-up that turns all the enemies into chickens.

Gunman Tales is gushing with so much simplistic quality, I feel bad it only costs a few bucks to purchase. This is the perfect example of a sleeper hit game that hits all the right notes. The truth is, I could go on and on about how highly entertaining this game is, but I don’t want to do that. I want you play it for yourself (or at least listen to me sing its praises here in my embedded stream). So good!

SCORE: 9/10

Better Than: any expectation you might have had in your head

Also Play: Cosmos Bit

Don’t Forget About: the hunting mini game in classic Oregon Trail

By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief

Twitter: @ZackGaz

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