Law of the West (Commodore 64)

by PaulEMoz in , , ,

Way back when, Accolade went through a spell where they released a series of games, all of which I look back on fondly. I would say they're regarded as classics, although they might not all have had the highest critical acclaim at the time. The first of those games, and the one which everyone I know played and loved, is Law of the West.

Admit it, this almost brought a tear to your eye.

I'm not sure why Law of the West caught our imaginations as it did. I mean, cowboy films were not exactly all the rage in 1985. And yet, here we were being presented with the opportunity to be a sheriff of a two-bit town, and we snapped it up eagerly.

That Rose is a right floozy. Begone with you, woman!

I suspect it was because Law of the West was different to anything else at the time. It was much lighter than a text adventure, although you progressed by choosing one of four responses to a character's statements. And it was much lighter than an action game, with very little opportunity to draw your gun... and that was the only actual action in the game!

Come on, you always wanted to. And most of you probably did.

I decided I was going to play through it again, for the umpteenth time. And although I may be wrong, I think that a large part of the appeal is that your choices do directly affect the way the game progresses. Choose the right responses, and you can pacify a gunslinger, woo a lady, or keep onside with the doctor. Make sure that you do that last one. It's quite handy...

This one always looks like ending with trouble...

So, is Law of the West a precursor to Heavy Rain? Did those guys play this as kids and set out to make a more elaborate game along the same lines? That's doubtful, although I like to think it might be true. But it is a charming and endearing game which brings a touch of decency and morality to the Wild West... if you want it to. It ain't Red Dead Redemption, and it ain't Deadwood, but for all its brevity and relative lack of challenge these days, Law of the West is likely to see the sunset with many an old gamer.