American Outlaws: The James Gang

Player Rating6.84/8

"#32 overall, #2 for 2016"
based on 315 ratings since 07/20/2016
played 4,559 times (finished 362)

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
OOOO BOYYY THIS GAME IS AWESOME!
-- Kuro on 3/8/2019 2:55:05 PM with a score of 127600
Great game, very enjoyable and not too long
-- Ethan on 2/26/2019 6:56:34 PM with a score of 127100
Good little story and excellent retelling of history. Made it to the end alive but had to spend 25 years in jail. Well crafted story and excellent retelling. I was apparently not a very good shot!
-- Robert Harrison on 2/26/2019 10:57:38 AM with a score of 117100
Very good, loved it all! Not very many western stories pop up here!
-- LCarnage on 2/21/2019 3:52:34 PM with a score of 115100
A fun trip through some of the old gunfighter stories I at least grew up with. Pretty accurate historically too. A light view on why people became robbers in post civil war America.
-- DerPrussen on 2/10/2019 9:44:02 PM with a score of 119300
Brilliant story. I was very interested to read how the author creates timelines for the different criminals and hopefully I'll be able to read more of his books in the future,
-- Marc on 1/12/2019 7:50:30 PM with a score of 113900
Yeeet haw
-- Mal on 1/11/2019 9:39:13 PM with a score of 129800
good story, with decisions you ponder on for some time after hastily making them
-- mamunkchins on 12/21/2018 8:45:11 AM with a score of 115700
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