Adult Swim's Westerado (In a Nutshell)
Help! Help! I’m trapped in a giant nutshell with Adult Swim’s Westerado! How did I even get into this thing? Well, I guess I might as well review the game. Be sure to check out the game trailer (above) to get a feel for things.
Nuts… and Bolts
Developed by Ostrich Banditos and published online by Adult Swim, Westerado is a 2D pixelated western detective adventure. A band of outlaws killed your family while you were out rounding up a rogue buffalo. Your ranch on fire and a brother’s dying words give you the first clue to find out whodunit. Simple game, simple story.
You roam around town and the surrounding areas looking for clues and interrogating every one you come across. Certain people will give you additional hints that will help you narrow down your search to one suspect. Maybe your suspect wears a flat hat and light colored pants. Maybe he wears a dark shirt and a bandanna. The foe is randomized each play through and everyone is a suspect!
Gameplay and Controls
The game is pretty simple, relatively easy, and surprisingly fun. Westerado is, after all, a causal in-browser game. Plus, Adult Swim is known for putting out great flash games (I still play Robot Unicorn Attack every few weeks). Control movement with WASD and E to interact with people. Use J & K to take out your six-shooter and threaten the townspeople or shoot up some baddies, buffalo, and that suspicious looking bottle on the barrel over there. What are you looking at, bottle?
Every NPC has something to say, and the game feels like the 2D love child of Red Dead Redemption and L. A. Noir in the best way possible. When you talk to anyone, and everyone, you have various dialogue options and the constantly available option to pull your gun out. Taking out your gun mid-conversation changes what the townsperson says, and cocking the gun will change conversation even further as they feel threatened. Some will freak out and flee, others will plead and give you extra information, and some will attack you in self-defense. As you progress you will unlock more of the map to explore as you hunt down the shady character responsible for killing your family.
A Tissue for the Issues
This game is great, but it has some pretty basic flaws in functionality. Aiming is a little clumsy because of the 2D, and the occasional faulty hit boxes will leave you frustrated. The real annoying thing is that the game will lag, stutter, and drop frame rate quite a bit. This really won’t ruin the game experience, but it will leave you staring at the screen waiting for things to load properly or for the frame rate to fix itself.
Otherwise, this game is great and surprisingly fun. It is well made, has tight 2D controls, and a fantastic soundtrack. Seriously, I left Westerado open in my browser just to listen to the sweet old-school western tunes. Oh, and the fight music? Phenomenal. You’ll just have to play to find out!