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Cowboy Guns HD Review
Review Score:

Cowboy Guns HD, a western-themed dual-stick shooter developed by C2 Estudio and published by Chillingo, is now available from the app store. Despite its story-driven gameplay and similarities to Guerrilla Bob, Cowboy Guns failed to captivate us in any meaningful way.

Cowboy Guns HD Pros:

  • Charming graphics featuring blocky characters and varied environments
  • Western-themed soundtrack is kind of catchy
  • Easy to use dual-stick controls
  • RPG elements allows you to upgrade weapons via collected cash and stars
  • Bounty and Survival modes extend replay value
  • Crystal integration for global leaderboards and achievements

Cowboy Guns HD Cons:

  • Character movements are stiff, awkward
  • Aiming doesn’t feel smooth
  • Lots of misspelled words pulls us out of the experience
  • Not overly engaging, the storyline doesn’t do much to help

You play as The Kid, a renegade who has returned to town to find that his former gang brethren are making things mighty uncomfortable for the townspeople. The Kid vows to clean things up, running the bad guys out one way or another. You tackle a series of missions, from killing certain individuals to defending locations from swarms of outlaws. There is a good sense of progression and the inclusion of a story gives you an explanation for why you’re doing what you’re doing via plenty of cut scenes. While traversing the range, you’ll also be able to collect stars (in the form of sheriff badges) that are scattered throughout the terrain. Additionally, you’ll earn money for completing missions and shooting things. These items will allow you to purchase upgrades for The Kid, giving the game some light RPG elements. Upgrades include improvements to the small selection of firearms you’ll obtain, which include a handgun, shotgun, heavy gun, and explosives. You can also improve your ability to withstand damage and your character speed, both of which are fairly low to start.

Graphically, the environments show some decent variety and the characters have a whimsical, blocky look that contributes to their odd body movements. While it adds some charm, it also gives the game a stiff feel that doesn’t allow us to get too deeply invested. Your health meter is tucked in the upper left corner, partially refilling while you avoid taking fire or filling fully through the use of medkits found strewn about. A knapsack in the upper right corner gives you access to a map for quick travel to other locations, the upgrade section for purchasing new items, and info regarding your current mission. The dual-sticks use the standard move-with-the-left/aim-and-fire-with-the-right model. While these work well enough, the aiming felt somewhat clunky and awkward, lacking good visual feedback to indicate whether we hit an enemy or not. Off-screen enemies are indicated by small arrows and weapons are swapped using the buttons found between the control sticks. The handgun has unlimited ammo, while better guns are limited. You will need to deal with reloading your weapons while battling baddies, so prepare to find cover or dance your way out of trouble. The soundtrack has a quirky Western theme that felt appropriate for the game, though the sound effects were a bit on the weak side, lacking the power and punch that we expected.

Replay value is pretty good, as there is a Quick Play mode where you can engage in Bounty challenges or try to survive against endless waves of enemies. Crystal integration also allows for plenty of achievements to earn and global leaderboards for all of the Survival and Bounty levels. A universal app for $2.99, Cowboy Guns HD is a fairly mediocre 3.5-Dimple game.

Cowboy Guns HD Review, reviewed by Kevin on 2011-09-22T22:38:29+00:00 rating 3.5 out of 5

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