Rookery’s Retro Review: Outlaw (Atari 2600)


Overall Score: 4 (of 5), Shoot a friend old west style!

Story: You are a gunslinger in a desert. Sometimes the desert has a cactus, wall, or stagecoach. Objects can be impenetrable, destoyable, stationary or mobile (except the cactus; a moving cactus would just be weird now, wouldn’t it?). All of these appear to be laying on their side. Either that or you’re able to sink into the earth or float up into the air by shuffling your legs, depending on which perspective you wish to interpret the visuals as. Maybe there is some sort of Salvador Dali or MC Esher art styling going on here that I’m not able to visually comprehend. Side versus top-down perspective distortions aside, it’s a gunfight.

aPersistenceIn one player mode, you can practice shooting a target *yawn* or make things interesting by having a friend pick up the player 2 joystick. This is where the fun begins. Although gunfighters move sluggishly in the old west (perhaps from too much beer and steak at the saloon), they’re able to to unleash a nice torrent of aggression against their foe with straight, angled and even bouncing shots.  Landing one shot causes them to sit down which earns a point.  Apparently outlaws of the old west were not only considerate in their lawbreaking, but accurate enough to force the seating of their opponent by shooting them in the bum.  This inspires repeating old taunts as “take a seat!” and “nope, sit back down!”.  Game ends when one gunslinger receives ten shots (apparently in his backside), therefore no longer able to stand.

Highlights: Easy to play, fair, no ‘learning curve’ for two player. Several game modes to ensure variation using different obstacles and/or shooting features.

Lowlights: “Spawn kill” where you can repeat successful hits on the enemy until they can slowly manuever away from getting hit.  Repetition.  Sometimes weird color palette for a desert scene.

Similar Style Games: Armor Ambush, Combat, Space War

Final Thought: Great one-on-one rootin’ shootin’ pop-in and play for the whole family.