Tombstones (C64)

  • Graphics - %
  • Sound - %
  • Fun - %
  • Depth - %


Good production values but there is little to enjoyment from the game play and very little to draw you back as boredom quickly sets in.

User Review
1.33 (3 votes)

Wild west, notorious in history as always being an unforgiving existence. El Gringo, the fastest, most dangerous gunslinger ever known, no longer wants to be constantly looking over his shoulder, shooting down enemy wherever he walks, it’s time for him to hang up his gun belt and draw an end to the fatal gun slinging lifestyle he has been living all these years, he just wants to retire and settle down with his true love.

Easier said than done, remember this is the wild, wild, west, where everything is wild, gun slinging outlaws are everywhere, you can’t just pack up and retire, your enemies are hardened with grudges as long and as wide as the Grand Canyon, they just won’t forgive and forget. One by one they come to hunt El Gringo down, seeking to lay claim to being the fastest gunslinger the wild west has ever seen.

During the load up of Tombstones I am full of great anticipation, the load screen is fantastic, it gets me in the mood for a good old fashioned shoot out, reminding me of my love for western movies, I was brought up on Clint Eastwood’s spaghetti westerns such as The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, Pale Rider and For A Few Dollars More.

A decent amount of shooting is going to be had as I read the onscreen instructions, there’s three levels, The Desert, The City and The Graveyard, all with 6 outlaws to shoot down on each level.

I am all psyched up for a great shooting game, it’s just El Gringo and another scoundrel outlaw in a one on one draw your gun duel to see who is the fastest gunslinger ever, but then comes the big disappointment – the gameplay is far from exciting.

Pressing a key on the keyboard to take down your opponent is not fun. Not being able to press down on a joystick / gamepad fire button loses all of the gun slinging appeal to me. As I’m looking for which key to press I don’t even get to see or feel the thrill of the shootout. You only get a short chance to find the correct key to press, if you press the wrong key you’re dead, if you’re too slow, you’re flat on the gravel before you know what hit you.

I just can’t be a fan of the keyboard play. I understand the theory behind it, a test of your reaction abilities yet real gunslinger’s are holding their joystick / gamepad in their hands, wanting to press down on that fire button to actually see who they are blasting away giving them the full satisfaction of watching bad dude outlaws fall to their death. The one style gaming experience I found to be detrimental to your enjoyment. A bonus stage of shooting at targets, or another style of gameplay like the run ‘n gun shown in Outlaws on the Amstrad CPC, by Toni Ramirez, Alxinho and Jose A Martin (2016), would have given Tombstones much greater gunslinging firepower.

Initially, everything was looking awesome – graphics, sprites, music, storyline, fantastic I thought. Cowboys might appear a bit on the bright side, more Brokeback Mountain than The Good The Bad and The Ugly, but that’s ok, I am all for modern updates, I still had a real sense of excitement all the way up to the start of the first screen. However, playing Tombstones for me was a real let down, there is no lastability, no fun, no feeling of being the baddest gunslinger of the wild west, which El Gringo is meant to be.

Game Credits
Programming by Docster
Graphics and Music by Rotteroy
Based on idea by Drumtex
Coding assistance: Scroll and Majikeyric

Game Link
Megastyle Itch.Io

This review by Cameron Door was originally published in 8-Bit Annual 2018 and is being republished by RGN with permission. The overall score has been adjusted by RGN to ensure relative consistency with the site’s scoring methodology.

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