The Wild West, An Unchangeable World

Player Rating3.70/8

"Too few ratings to be ranked"
based on 40 ratings since 07/09/2018
played 397 times (finished 69)

Story Difficulty5/8

"run through the jungle"

Play Length3/8

"A nice jog down the driveway"

Maturity Level6/8

"I'll need to see some identification"
Some material may be inappropriate for persons under age 16. If this were a movie, it would probably between PG-13 and R.

This is a game set in 1872 and it is a western. Set in what is now Nevada in the US. The US is just recovering from the American civil war and there are still hundreds of gunmen ready to kill, one of which has happened to kill your family. The aim of the game is to track down that evil killer who burned your ranch and killed your family. You will be supported by the James-Young gang to embark on this crazy adventure!

PS. This is my first game.

Player Comments

First and foremost, I'd like say that this was good for a new author, as someone else has already said. I can see talent, creativity, and ability here that just needs some polishing. Everyone starts somewhere and this isn't a bad start at all.

I love the western theme of this game. I'm a huge fan of the western genre in general so I was excited to see a story game pop up that was a western.

The first thing I noticed was the picture for the gun item. It's a modern revolver, the sight is a dead giveaway as is just about everything else about it. For one thing it is a Ruger revolver, and the company wasn't founded until 1949. I'm assuming that since Jesse James is in this story that the time period is between 1866-1882 so I would suggest using an image for either the 1851 Colt Navy Revolver or the 1873 Colt Single Action Army Revolver. Both of these were fairly common/popular revolvers in that time period.

There are a couple other historical inconsistencies in this game that I won't get into on this review, because I understand that not everyone cares about that and it honestly does not effect the quality of the game that much. If the author would like to talk about those feel free to message me and I'd be happy to walk through what doesn't fit in the time period of the game.

I would have liked to see more descriptive writing and character building in this story. I never had a chance to get attached to any characters, not even the one I was playing as. You chose Jesse James as a character we could interact with. That alone opens up so many possibilities for story and interaction, but I never saw that. Not even a description of appearance or facial expression. And the player character never has a moment of introspection. There is no moment of conscious thought, no regret, no sorrow, not even adrenaline from robbing a bank. The events in this story have so much potential for raw emotion and interaction. There is nothing wrong with having an action oriented focus, but it's nice to have a few moments in a story to take a breath and consider the events that have happened so far before continuing on.

I'd like to end this review on a possitive note so I would like to say that the action in the game is well done. There is an attention to detail there that I can appreciate. The story does feel linear at times, but there are enough points in the game where choice does matter that it makes up for those instances in my opinion. I would like to see more descriptive detail instead of bare bones action sequences. The foundation for a great story game is here and I sincerely hope that Rattler decides to continue working on it and improving this game. It has so much potential and I'd like to see it reached.

Overall I give it a 4/8
-- simplesabley on 8/23/2018 2:45:36 PM with a score of 0
This definitely wasn't bad for a new author. It's an entertaining little gauntlet-style game (lots of death endings) which fits quite well with the Wild West theme. That being said, there is definitely a lot of room for growth here. Although it did reach 5k in length, each page is only a couple of sentences to a paragraph. It often lacks in in-depth description and a few of the "death" choices seem so out of place that you're basically just guessing at what will get you through alive. It's pretty decent for a first storygame though! Let's get into the meat of things:

Concept: This is a tale of bloodshed and rival gangs set in the Old West- a fairly stereotypical concept but it's a classic for a reason. This sort of story provides a great backdrop for our hero, and conflict abounds here. Unfortunately, I don't think the setting was really used to its full potential. It did have that sense of "you never know who to trust", but most of the choices seemed to run along the lines of "do I shoot this guy or not?" When your character does join up with some allies, there isn't any choice in the matter and little motivation is offered for him to do so. Even a line about safety in numbers would have helped. Still a Wild West shootout is always great fun, so points for an entertaining concept!

Plot: There didn't seem to be a whole lot of real development in this game. It was a fight for survival which is all well and good, but there was no overarching story to pull the reader in. I suppose the rivalry between the two gangs provided some conflict and therefore some story- but we never see enough of either gang to form a sense of attachment to anyone. It's rather hard to tell who to root for or even if we should care when some of the characters die. Plot-wise there just isn't enough here to make for a good story. There are plenty of action scenes, but none of them really contribute to the character's growth as a person- the core of any good tale.

Characters: This story's protagonists suffers from the same issues that many CYOA main characters are faced with- he has no real personality. This is easy to do especially in second person POV, as the person playing is supposed to put themselves into the action. This means that a lot of CYOA protagonists start off as a blank slate. Unfortunately in this story he stays that way. We open with a rather devastating scene where the character has just lost his family. His brother is lying on the ground begging to be killed... yet no matter what choice the person makes, he deals with no internal consequences. It is fine to let your player decide what sort of person they are going to be, but the protagonist still needs to have some internal response to their own actions. Otherwise you have a soulless protagonist.
As for the side characters, they didn't have much meat to them either. A few got descriptions or a few lines of dialogue that hinted at who they were supposed to be, but most came off as either cardboard-cut-out western characters or just plot devices with no real motivations of their own. This is especially concerning considering that the MC is supposed to be a part of a famous gang. We're never introduced to any of them long enough to know why we should be on their side. A group of people banding together for survival in an unforgiving setting provides great opportunity for character development, but it just wasn't utilized here.

Themes: This story wasn't very theme-heavy, but honestly I think that's okay. It's a fun little shoot-em-up type of game. There are a few overarching concepts such as the brutality of the world, figuring out who your true friends are, and the ever popular "it's kill or be killed", but they're a bit hard to relate to because of the lack of real character development. That being said, a story doesn't always need a theme-hammer, and this one works fairly well without one.

Structure: As mentioned before, this is a gauntlet-style game. These tend to be pretty linear, but that isn't as much of a negative as it would be with a different style. Even as a Gauntlet though, this game has quite a few issues. The first of these is the death scenes. In a good game of this type there are a lot of deaths, but they are all different or interesting in some way. You have an excellent medium for ideas and description here, but most end game screens are just "you got shot and died, the end." Another issue is the paths leading up to the deaths. There are a lot of sudden end games with no real warning or "bad" choice on the part of the character. As players we have no chance to redeem ourselves and no way of telling which path is a mistake in the first place. It's like the example in the article where the person chooses "go left" and suddenly dies. A huge part of a CYOA is that the protagonist chooses their own fate, but here it's more like guessing at it. Most pages had at least two choices though and we did get some use of items and variables, so props for that!

Grammar/Spelling: This was probably what hurt the game the most aside from the general lack of description. There is little sentence flow, an abundance of bad grammar, and enough misspellings that it really does detract from the story. Even in a first storygame, this is harder to excuse than most flaws. It really just needs to be looked over and corrected. Having another person read through and spellcheck can also be a huge asset, as it is easy to miss some things when reading over your own work. I find that this is particular helpful with sentence flow, since things that may sound fine in my own head can sound awkward or clunky when read by others.

Overall Rating: 3/8 - It's passable, certainly not horrible for a first attempt. Still, there are lots of things to work on. I look forward to seeing you grow as a writer and reading what you come up with in the future ^_^
-- Leora on 8/11/2018 7:47:27 PM with a score of 0
A fun game in a genre I love!
-- KyotoMatt on 11/30/2018 2:05:37 PM with a score of 0
I won!
-- TheInzaneMAN on 8/25/2018 10:15:38 AM with a score of 0
Well, it certainly is a good plot. I wish that the grammer was better in some places, but overall, it was a good storygame. I gave it a 5/8.
-- EatTheCake on 8/7/2018 4:11:30 AM with a score of 0
This game has potential. I do have to say that there were a fair share of run-on sentences and comma splices. Might want to invest in a St. Martin's Handbook to help with that. The flow is nice. I wish you'd given the main character a name, though. And more of a back-story. I would encourage more descriptions as well. I did like the options given, although I didn't quite get when the main character is at the bank, he can randomly decide to rob the place. Also didn't know why he suddenly, upon meeting his uncle, had the option of attacking him! I liked that you could become a debt collector for the bank (although there's zero explanation as to why the bank owner would already know your family had been killed). There's a lot of potential to this storygame, though.
-- ThomasLaHomme on 7/23/2018 3:54:42 PM with a score of 0
I enjoyed the gunfight action, but I will say the character development & worldbuilding left some to be desired. It was hard for me to stay engaged, because I wasn't sure why I was killing so many people and getting into so much trouble.
-- mammothe on 7/11/2018 3:42:03 PM with a score of 0
Thanks, Pultanzi! That constructive feedback is really helpful. Also, how did you actually find this game when it's rating is too low to even be shown in the everything else section?
-- Rattler on 7/9/2018 7:51:08 PM with a score of 0
It quite desperately needs an editor to comb through and spell check it, but it’s crazy and eccentric enough for me to get some enjoyment out of it. You can get more mileage out of the descriptions of the set pieces and action in the story. Instead of merely saying “so-and-so was shot”, try to come at it from a more creative angle, to spice things up, particularly if it’s an important death.
-- Pulzanti on 7/9/2018 7:56:06 AM with a score of 0
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