Budget Day 2016 - The Wild Bunch (ZX Spectrum)

by Paul Morrison

Here's a game I've always wanted to try and never got around to.  I even own the original but as my Spectrum isn't working then I was snookered.  OK, you might be asking why I haven't played it in an emulator before now.  Good question.  But what better time than today?

The Wild Bunch is a difficult game to categorise, if you're into categorising your games.  It looks like a text adventure but it's not, not really.  It's actually a murder mystery game which throws you, the unwitting player, in at the deep end and makes you become an impromptu detective as you seek to clear your name.

The game opens with you stumbling upon a murder and being mistaken for the killer.  Whoops!  You hotfoot it outta there and from that point on you have to make your way around the five towns in the area in a bid to uncover the killer and escape capture... or death.  Well, this is the Wild West, after all.

So running didn't work, can't see how a bribe would either... OK, put 'em up!

So running didn't work, can't see how a bribe would either... OK, put 'em up!

There are a number of things you can do in each town, depending on the buildings within.  You can visit a saloon and have a drink while checking out the clientele.  Or, if you'd rather, you can clean out the local gambler of his (probably) ill-gotten gains (I was thrilled to pick up a straight in my first hand of poker!).  You can look for leads in the local sheriff's office, or stock up on supplies at the store.  You'll need them on your travels, that's for sure!

I have to say, I found The Wild Bunch really interesting and absorbing.  I liked its sense of humour too (see the screenshot for a good example of that).  I had to force myself to stop playing to write this, otherwise you might have only been reading about two or three games today!  It's a really nice little game and I'd have been extremely happy to have spent my £2.50 on it.