Snake Oilers, who can brew special tonics in between gunslingin’ like the Patent Liver Tonic that darkens and enlarges your liver that is obviously too lily for the kind of liquor you can’t buy on credit. For all the jokes, West of Loathing is perhaps the most Western-like Western out there right now (kinda like the True Grit remake). Though it approaches the genre with humour and good-natured roasting, it actually captures the spirit of the filmic/cinematic old west right down to the spitoon if you’re particularly partial to chewing tobacco. If this were a list about Clint Eastwood and not the Western genre I’d be punning about feeling lucky right about now. But it isn’t so I won’t. However, luck is the fuel that feeds your fire in Luckslinger, a game where you ‘shoot’ ‘knife’ and ‘duck’ – the latter being literal. And I suppose a Dirty Harry-ism wouldn’t be too amiss here in that the game is pretty weird… gritty… but weird.
Luckslinger has the flashy action of, say, Once upon a Time in the West (look at that swishy reloading animation) crossed with a comedic ‘Support Your Local Sheriff’ spin on the genre. You’ll literally be dodge-rolling bullets and blasting people into tiny pieces, whilst also playing music, completing physics-defying feat and using your trusty duck to collect your throwing knife. Because what else is there for a duck to do in a Western? Like I said: weird. Where the game gets real interesting is the concept of luck which is collected as a currency from hidden stashes and dead bodies and used in a myriad of ways. It can help you make a daring jump, for example, or cause an incoming bullet to swerve away from you. On the flipside, a platform might fall away for an unlucky player. With enough luck the world may even save you from a fall elsewhere! But only with Lady Luck smiling on you. Odd it may be, but the game also manages to be authentic to the borderline absurd filmic genre of the Western (more so the Spaghetti kind).
Whilst playing it, and even though the soundtrack is superb enough to listen to on its own, all I could hear in my head was Dean Martin crooning Five Card Stud… which tells me this game has charm and charisma out the wazoo. We may not have the big daddy of western blockbusters on PC, but we have enough six shooters and spittoons to keep us playing until Red Dead 2 does ride into town. I’m sure we’ve missed a couple of absolute gems, so I want to hear even more suggestions in the discussions below. And do share your favourite western films, too – we’re in that kinda rootin’ tootin’ mood. I hope you enjoyed this video and if you did, please feel free to subscribe for more like it – we cover all things PC gaming-related, from the robot apocalypse of Generation Zero to our ongoing Divinity let’s plays where we recently asked an elf to lick ambiguous meats. If yuo can resist that sales pitch, you are stronger willed than I.