Gunfright, MSX

The MSX version of Ultimate Play the Game‘s Gunfright is identical to the Spectrum original, except for the lack of a loading screen. It was initially released in 1986.

Gunfright is one of the easier Ultimate games to play. On my first play of the MSX version I managed to defeat the first three outlaws within a few short minutes. Which made me wonder if there was something wrong with the game…

The idea is to explore a small Wild West town, looking for outlaws to challenge to a gunfight. The way to find them is to look for bouncing boys who point in the direction of the outlaw. You then go looking for the bandit, and shoot them when you find them. This will initiate a minigame where you have to beat them to the draw, and try to shoot them before they shoot you. If you draw your gun too early they will win by default, so the best thing to do is just leave the aiming cursor alone until the words “draw!” come on-screen; then quickly move your cursor over them and fire.

Each bullet you fire; every horse you ride, and every innocent civilian you accidentally shoot costs you money, and if you run out of money then you’re pretty much powerless to do anything – other than try to earn more money by beating an outlaw. If you have no bullets left – and no money – then you’re essentially stuck and must re-start the game.

While Gunfright isn’t one of the best Ultimate games to play, it is at least well-designed and has cute, humorous graphics. It was also the final game to be designed and programmed by the original Ultimate team – after Gunfright the company was sold to US Gold and they took over. And – as is generally accepted – Ultimate games took a nose-dive.

More: Gunfright on Wikipedia

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