Way Out West
As western writer William James said, “A cowboy is a man with guts and a horse.” In the case of Wild West Heroes from GOAT Games, cowboys include both men and women. This story-rich RPG doesn’t just have racially diverse heroes with unique voice lines, it’s also full of different activities. A narrator accompanying a video introduces the story, which involves a man called the Stranger chasing outlaws. If that doesn’t hook you into the game, recruiting heroes, building a town and exploring the expansive desert certainly will.
With outlaws comes heroes, and Wild West Heroes has plenty of those. From common to rare, with over 90 heroes to recruit, those bandits don’t stand a chance. Every hero is aligned with different factions that have symbols reminiscent of poker cards. Green Thumbs are marked by a green club and are strong against Peacemakers, represented by a red heart. They are strong against Duelists, who are strong against Smooth Talkers, and it comes full circle back to Green Thumbs. This leaves the Regulators and Ramblers, both bearing similar joker hats, though Regulators are white while Ramblers are purple. Both factions are equally strong and weak against each other. There’s no indication as to how powerful or powerless they are against the other factions. Heroes are then further divided into three separate roles: Tank, DPS, and Support, which the game calls Front, Mid, and Back.
Fights are separated into stages and are both animated and non-stressful since your heroes battle NPCs automatically. While shooting each other, the heroes’ Grit Meter increases. Once full, a hero immediately uses a powerful special move. For example, the Stranger uses Justice Calling, a single massive shot that targets an enemy with low health. Unique special moves include Field Test from Schoolmarm, where she flings letters and numbers at enemies to decrease their Grit. There’s even a Native American hero who can summon a herd of buffalo. At the end of every stage is a boss battle that takes place on galloping horses. Heroes still shoot each other; but now they’re chasing enemies on horseback. A nice thing with stages is that a hero’s health bar resets at the beginning of each stage. No premature deaths here. Once a fight is won, heroes receive numerous rewards.
Rewards include cash, diamonds, rations, gear, and gun oil. Cash and rations upgrade the heroes while gun oil upgrades the gear. Diamonds can buy items in the store. These can all be won after battles, but also in other ways. In addition, building a town for your heroes earns rewards even when away from the game. Houses earn cash while other buildings, like a warehouse, earn rations, and the town hall earns diamonds. Then there’s the AFK chest, which earns everything; the longer you wait, the more you get. However, buildings won’t earn anything if they’re not placed near a road. There are some buildings with a set location, like the saloon and sheriff station, though this isn’t an issue. Besides all these, Wild West Heroes provides a handful of minigames to earn additional rewards. Some are found near your town, while others span across different locations around the desert.
In town, there’s interrogation, fishing, and horse taming. Interrogate bandits to earn rewards like cash, rations, and carrots. Choose between torture, threats, and enticement five times. Prisoners aren’t interrogated for information, just for rewards. Fishing is intense; as soon as a fish is on the hook, a bar appears. You have seconds to tap a button so the hook lands in the green part of the bar. If the hook is too early or too late, the fish gets away. Thankfully, bait remains on the hook if this happens. Fish can be exchanged for rewards such as gold dust. With the horses, hop on a bucking equine and rapidly tap the screen to tame it. Assign horses to heroes to increase their stats. Outside the town, adventures await with great rewards. An example is Calamity Canyon. Fight through levels of enemies that grow stronger the farther you go for rewards.
Time for A Hoedown
Wild West Heroes is packed with an abundance of things to do and rewards to earn. It’s hard to tear yourself away from the engaging story and varied gameplay. Characters are unique and differ not only visually but also in fighting style. You almost want to recruit them all just to see how they fair in battle. With so much to do and so much to see, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more entertaining game.
Is it Hardcore?
Many ways to play and colorful characters to recruit make this game worth checking out.