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It seems counter-productive to write a review for a game, in which each round lasts 40 seconds. I am not kidding each game in Western Press can last a max of 40 seconds. Now that we have that established let’s move on.

Going through the pixelated stand-offs set in the Wild West, the game reminded me of an ultra fast Simon-says. While the single player campaign feels strapped on, the local and online multiplayer provides scope for hilarity. Western Press is fun, while it lasts.

(+) Super Quick Rounds
(-) Pixelated Graphics
(+) Extremely Simple
(-) Slapped on Single Player
(+) Fun Multiplayer

Detailed WESTERN PRESS review

(+) Up A W Down S D

Western Press is essentially about completing your combo before your opponent. Each game is a two-way shootout set in the Wild West. Each character is given a sequence of 12 characters which needs to be pressed. If you complete the combination before your opponent, you shoot and consequently win. If you don’t you get shot at instead and loose the round in the process too (Also you die, which is a bummer). Like I said each round lasts a maximum of 40 seconds, and a winner can be decided by best of 3 or best of 5 rounds, or in some cases, a single death-match. I played the game on a PC, though I felt this QTE type gameplay was better suited to consoles. It isn’t heart-stopping, but it does reward hand-eye co-ordination, and you do seem to get better with practice.

You know its the Wild West, when a priest is in a shoot out
You know its the Wild West, when a priest is in a shoot out

(-) QTE without the cool graphics

I played the game on a 21″ HD LCD, and after a few rounds, I decided to minimize the game and play it in a smaller window. Re-sizing didn’t help though, and the graphics remained as pixelated as ever.

Published by Suprise Attack (an Australian game publisher), the dev had decided to go for a completely indie look. Everything from the background to the character models are aesthetically pixelated. Which is okay, I mean games before them had decided to go that way (Terraria, Fez, Minecraft, Hotline Miami). But all these games had complicated meta-system and mechanics in it, so it justified the effort that the devs had put into the gameplay rather than the visuals. In the case of Western Press though, it just seems straight up lazy. There isn’t a lot going on in the game, gameplay wise, would it have really broken the bank if they had gone for hand-drawn animations instead.

(+) Fast, Simple and Deadly

On the other hand though, you could argue that you are looking at Western Press the wrong way. Western Press is simple, infact its flappy bird simple. The game does not even need a tutorial; and by the end of the 1st round (did I mention it lasts just 40 seconds), you know everything that you need to know about it. You need to press a series of button faster than your opponent, and that’s it. No other meta-game, no levelling up or gridning exists. Its simple, irrespective of the mode you are playing, it stays the same. Forever.

A lady walked into a bar...I promise the round ends before the joke
A lady walked into a bar…I promise the round ends before the joke

The game provides you with various characters to choose from as well, which includes but are not limited to a Cowboy (Duh!), a colonial british soldier, a native american, and even a lady of the west. But its adds little to the experience. None of the characters have any buffs of any kind, and at the end of the day, they are cosmetic changes. Each one them do have some funny quips though, mostly used at the start and the end of the match. But it ends up asking you, why they had not gone into more detail with each character, and maybe created specific single player campaign for them.


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