American Outlaws: The James Gang

Player Rating6.78/8

"#35 overall, #2 for 2016"
based on 235 ratings since 07/20/2016
played 2,476 times (finished 276)

Story Difficulty5/8

"run through the jungle"

Play Length7/8

"It keeps going and going"

Maturity Level4/8

"need to be accompanied by an adult"
Contains content that may not be suitable for persons under age 13. If this were a movie, it would probably be PG.

Jesse James was a lad that killed many a man / he robbed the Glendale train / he stole from the rich and he gave to the poor / he had a hand and a heart and a brain.

It was on a Saturday night and the moon was shining bright / they robbed the Glendale train / and people did say over many miles away / it was those outlaws Frank and Jesse James!

Now the people held their breath when they heard of Jesse's death / and wondered how he'd ever come to fall / Robert Ford, it was a fact, he shot Jesse in the back / While Jesse hung a picture on the wall...

In this story your name is Bill Grey and you are an outlaw, one of a desperate gang who have chosen to live outside the law. By robbing Yankee banks you can make more money in one day than you could make in ten years of work but at the cost that thousands of lawmen and law-abiding citizens everywhere will hunt you relentlessly, not stopping until you are brought to justice Dead or Alive! By surviving deadly gunfights and eluding pursuit with the help of your fellow outlaws your objective is to escape with your ill-gotten gains and live a life of luxury!

Author's Note: This is a little gift to the site to make up for the fact that The CYS Challenge isn't even a quarter finished yet and Magellan 5 is still in the planning stage. As always with my Edutainment stories it's about 90% true but events have been edited or simplified to make the story flow more easily and be more enjoyable. Incidentally my personal feelings about Jesse James and his companions is that history has been incredibly kind to men who shot defenseless people, stole the money of their countrymen and kept it all for themselves but the things he and others like Billy the Kid, John Dillinger et al did are so remarkable it's hard to keep from admiring their pure nerve :)

Player Comments

GUNFIGHTS is 7.
INJURED is 1.
KILLED is 1.
ROBBERIES is 9.
SCORE is 13500.

My score before I got the 100k bonus for surviving! This was a lot of fun, even if my view of most of the infamous outlaws from that period is that they were assholes murdering unarmed people who just lucked out when history decided to heavily romanticize them.

I'm sure I could've racked up a higher score, but I was roleplaying a bit and actively trying to avoid robberies and shootouts after the train crash. Seems like the original big score was the first bank robbery and they might as well have quit while they were ahead. (Hell, that original 8,500 share would've almost been enough to retire on in a time you could buy an acre of land for $5 and laborers made a dollar a day....)

Interesting how most of the others (other than Cole the action hero badass) seemed like pretty regular people while Jesse was a bit of a lunatic addicted to the thrill of it all, realistically I don't think think the others did themselves any favors hooking up with him. They didn't even get to go down in history, comparatively speaking--Jesse James is the only name most people know.

The incident with John shooting the pipe out of the man's mouth...that was real? Holy shit, I really do need to read up on these guys. Can you recommend some good resources for readers who want more details on the gang?

Anyway, I'm amazed you had time to write this in the middle of everything else with how busy you've been at work. You're putting us all to shame, man. :D

-- mizal on 7/21/2016 9:49:57 AM with a score of 113500
The idea of Edutainment is to both teach people and to entertain them, in a way that makes learning enjoyable. This game strikes a great balance between both. Not only does it teach the reader about a lot of interesting outlaws, it does it in a way that's both fun and exciting.

It has good usage of variables. I played around with it to see what would happen and I liked the approach. Spelling and grammar seemed clean. If there were any issues, it wasn't enough to distract me from the story.

The minor problem I had, which you yourself pointed out in the "Author's Perspective" section, is that getting a higher score requires you to kill more people. That's subjective though, especially since this is a game about being an outlaw. If you made a sequel, maybe offer two routes: a high positive score for killing, or a low negative score for taking a "peaceful" outlaw approach. That'd give two different goals to reach for.

Overall I was most impressed by your knowledge, research and devotion to representing all of the outlaws in a fair and engaging way. This could easily be fiction and be just as fun, which goes to show how well the source material was used. With all that said, this is now my favorite Edutainment game on the site.
-- IronPanther on 7/20/2016 11:35:44 PM with a score of 116800
Always A Thrilling Story To The End
-- T.J. McCloud on 1/17/2018 2:02:38 AM with a score of 130200
Great game made out like a bandit and became the hidden survivor
-- Collin on 1/15/2018 9:07:23 PM with a score of 129100
I Got Hidden Survivor Badge
-- JJ McQuade on 1/10/2018 10:55:50 PM with a score of 130200
Really enjoyed this story.
-- scarlettv on 12/20/2017 9:49:11 AM with a score of 128100
This is one of the best stories I've ever read, I'll definitely be ready and playing through any more you write. Keep up the absolutely amazing work. I, and I'm sure many others appreciate you taking so much time to write this with all of the possible choices, top notch grammar, and lengthy pages. Wow. Just wow. 11/10
-- Tyler on 11/30/2017 12:25:21 AM with a score of 127800
I like these type of stories, outlaws interest me
-- ficool2 on 11/17/2017 4:29:09 AM with a score of 129700
I really enjoyed this experience and I think this is what choose your own adventure stories should be all about. The setting was great and it was very clear that the author had a concise and well thought-out timeline based on the real life gang that you get to take part in. The characters were well described, and given the fact that a lot of members end up getting killed, arrested, or retire, sometimes character development is sort of overshadowed by the events in the story. I enjoyed the rob, hide, rob, hide structure of the story, but I think sometimes during the "hide" sections, their could be other subplots involved to make the story more interesting (and more creative ways of getting yourself killed). That being said, this was one of the better choose your adventure stories, I gave it a 7/8, and it was refreshing to not read another zombie story. I hope the author chooses to write a sequel as I enjoyed his style and would be interested in playing as a gang member in one of the other gangs that existed in the West.
-- AxeMurderer on 11/16/2017 3:51:31 PM with a score of 125000
A fun story that draws the reader in.
-- Russell C on 10/11/2017 12:03:45 PM with a score of 27800
Show All Comments