Outlaws, Commodore 64

Outlaws was released by Ultimate Play the Game in 1985 for the Commodore 64. It is a side-scrolling action game with a Wild West theme, with a main character riding a horse, trying to shoot outlaws and protect a local town over a variety of different stages.

To begin with our hero must first gallop along, ducking under enemy bullets and trying to plug back those who’re shooting at him, while also jumping over fallen trees, large rocks, and fences. He must then clear a log cabin of all its outlaws, before making his way through hostile Indian territory to the border, where the scene cuts to a local town.

Once inside the town he must then shoot all the outlaws walking the streets while avoiding killing innocent civilians. And the cycle repeats forever (or until you lose your five lives), with slightly different places and situations as you progress. Later levels have eagles and tumbleweed to avoid, but not much else in terms of extra hazards.

Outlaws is not a bad game – certainly not as bad as Imhotep – although it does suffer a little from repetition after a while. It might have been good to have had a walking section, with the hero off his horse, but that doesn’t happen. Graphically, the animation of the horse is pretty good, but everything else is pretty chunky and basic. Music is mostly cowboy banjo pieces used sparingly; there’s a short title theme piece and a brief ditty when you lose a life, but nothing that really makes great use of the SID chip.

The two guys who wrote Outlaws (Bob and Dave Thomas) have said in interviews that Outlaws was written very quickly so that Ultimate had something to release for the C64 during Christmas 1985. Considering that they had a very limited time to create the game, it’s not too bad, although it does suffer from a lack of variety. Bob and Dave also wrote The Staff of Karnath, Dragon Skulle, and Blackwyche for Ultimate.

More: Outlaws on Wikipedia

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