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"Games of the Week!"


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Law of the West is initially very impressive due to the stunning graphics (although there are only four different backdrops) and an excellent atmosphere. Unfortunately it soon proves a chore to play as the responses become predictable and then there is little action to compensate. I think that Law of the West has over-priced itself really and that at a much lower tag it would have been well worth spending the money on for its novel feel and amusing ideas.
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'Absolutely brilliant' was my first reaction to this game, but after playing it a few times my initial enthusiasm was dampened somewhat. The trouble is that there are only eleven scenes, and once you've been through them a couple of times they all become dull and highly predictable. The shooting bits are quite fun, but again, once sussed the player can win every time. The sound and graphics are all quite jolly, but it's not really a game I could recommend, especially the s-l-o-w cassette version.
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Welcome to Game of the Week! Each week there will be a new featured game on this page. The game may be good, average or diabolically bad, it really doesn't matter! Just look at the pics, read the text and enjoy the nostalgia! :-) Game of the Week! is open to contributions so if you would like to contribute a game article for this page you're more than welcome to! Every article we receive will be considered!
Law of the West
1985 Accolade
Programmed by Alan Miller
 
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the twelfth issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (street date: March 13th, 1986).
 

LAW OF THE WEST
US Gold/Accolade, 9.95 cass, 14.95 disk, joystick only


Life in the good ol' Wild West sure was tough, what with all them bank robberies and shoot-outs and evil Hombres running about the place causing havoc. Accolade's Law of the West gives you the opportunity of finding out just now wild the West really was. As Sheriff of Gold Gulch, a small but by no means peaceful town, it is your duty to protect the innocent, quell the very naughty, and generally keep law and order until sundown.

Confronted by a drunken doctor, our hero (pictured far left) attempts to justify the recent spate of killings.

There are eleven different situations to put your integrity and efficiency as a lawman to the test and each takes the form of a brief encounter with a particular character. Your problems start outside the saloon with the appearance of a burly gunslinger who strolls casualty out onto the street and asks: 'You the Sheriff of this stinkin' town?' to which you can offer one of four replies, shown at the bottom of the screen, ranging from pleasant and sycophantic to authoritative and aggressive. The choice of reply affects the mood of the character in question and it is best not to cross the nastier types, for you may find yourself eating a main course of lead with dirt for desert.

However, you are provided with a suitable weapon -- a powerful six-shooter is at your disposal, should you wish to use it, along with a seemingly infinite supply of ammunition. Useful for preventing the occasional bank raid or stage coach robbery. If you do resort to gunplay though, it is wise to have the Doctor on your side as he can turn an inconvenient flesh wound into a terminal case of death with a quick sip of the bottle and slip of the scalpel. Other townsfolk include the iniquitous Miss Rose, the 'hostess' with the mostest who works behind the bar in the local saloon, and the Mexicali Kid, who's very keen to shoot up the local Sheriff if given the chance. Oh, there's also little Willy, a boy with a secret that he won't tell unless suitably persuaded.

When your stint as Sheriff finally comes to an end, through either loss of life or daylight hours, a full evaluation of your prowess is given, detailing how well you maintained your authority and fared romantically amongst other things. You are also told your overall score.

     

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Beneath the very pretty and instantly appealing graphic exterior of
Law of the West there lies little in the way of lasting challenge. Though some pleasure was derived from the first few plays, I soon became bored due to the limited and repetitive nature of the game. It's a nice idea that has been well executed, but unfortunately it doesn't hold anything other than short term interest, with effectively so little to do. There is an excellent atmosphere generated when playing the disk version, but this is lost using cassette as it takes time to load individual scenes. Law of the West is essentially a good game, but only for a short while.
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Presentation 76%
Some pleasant touches but generally nothing outstanding.

Graphics 85%
Four superlative backdrops and some well defined sprites, but little else.

Sound 79%
A variety of jolly tunes and a few sufficient FX.

Hookability 90%
Initially very absorbing to play, although loading from cassette does ruin the excellent atmosphere generated.

Lastability 71%
Despite a large range of responses and the challenge of improving upon your score, the game soon proves boring to play as the situations get sussed.

Value For Money 72%
It has instant visual appeal, but the lack of depth makes it a bit over the top in price.

Overall 78%
A highly atmospheric and initially enjoyable game with exceptional graphics, but lacking in sufficient variety and true depth to enthral for any great length of time.

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Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (27 Jan 2005)

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