Outlaw aka Gunslinger
This was one of the first games I owned. I had the Sears branded version entitled Gunslinger. Is there anyone else who has flashbacks of the Yul Brenner-bot stalking some running guy from the 70s whenever they hear the word "gunslinger"?
1978 was three years after this dueling pistols style of game first appeared in the arcades in the form of Gun Fight. I think this was the second game (after PONG) with which I had had direct arcade contact prior to playing the home version. Yes, these were times when it was easy to get excited about arcade ports. "I'm saving quarters every time I play the home version of this and it only cost me $40!!!"Two-player game: You and your sworn enemy stand across from each other and shoot guns at each other. Like Space War, your bullets will run out and won't reload until your enemy also runs out, so, you have to make them count. Game variations put obstacles in the middle of your firing path. No game of "kill the Cowboy shaped avatar of your opponent" would be complete without a cactus, so there is a cactus. In another variation there's a stage coach to shoot apart. I'm sure, in the records of home videogame design this could mark the first rudimentary appearance of a destructible deathmatch environment. Another variation sports a wall, a moving wall, that you can't tell is moving until you shoot the first "block" out of it.
The tactic I enjoy most, is shooting off the top of the cactus, strolling right-up to my opponent and killing them repeatedly. I don't give them a chance to recover, I just blow them away, immediately after they recover from their last death. This is an early form of spawn-camping, so maybe I shouldn't be admitting that I enjoy it so much. Um, I don't do it all the time. Really.
This is one of the few games from the early era that lets you kill something that represents a Human Being. I wonder if anyone was making a stink over it back then? Technically, the cowboy doesn't die. He just sits down suddenly and makes a fart-noise. (What a way to go!) My son and I laugh gleefully when this happens, because we're very mature.
There's a one-player game that involves shooting a tumbleweed which goes up and down the screen. It's not great gameplay (Shooting Gallery on the Channel F was more interesting), but I appreciate any cart that has the sense to include a one-player game.
Next entry: Um, gee, I honestly don't know yet. I guess we'll try Flag Capture next.