Boot Hill Bounties for the Nintendo Switch Preview

Boot Hill Bounties Preview

I set out to play this indie-developed RPG as a veteran gamer going through a mid-life, mid-game crisis. I’m still in the midst of the un-ending Switch phenomenons like Breath of the Wild and Smash Ultimate, and I’ve half played some old classics on the Switch’s NES/SNES virtual console…and something about that has left me feeling like I’m washed up upon the shore of an unwanted Animal Crossing island from it’s demo prototypes. So, I’m certainly thirsty for something new, but also not quite hungry.

When I play this game something feels right about the overall balance of it, because it relies upon an already tried and true system of classic RPGs like Dragon Quest I. It’s akin to using very safe ingredients that you know are already popular, like salt and pepper, or maple syrup, items you may actually stumble upon in the game sure to its Wild Western thematics. That was refreshing, and as it’s something I only easily recognize because I’m 31 and played (and seen) many games throughout the 90’s and 2000’s. Aesthetically it is Wild Western-like but it’s plain-ness speaks of EarthBound charm, a game I’ve actually played more than ten times.

When I turn on the game I am immediately hit with the start-up game developer vibe of it. A small team with a lot of passion pushing on forward, and I think that comes through in the characters and the kind of Oregon Trail synopsis that they are up against as they battle with wild animals and other locals like Indians and settlers. Their harvest of items and food also comes in the form of basic crops like apples, cornflour, and berries. The dialogue is quite fitting a la No Country For Old Men and it does help to give the game a specific shape rather than something typically game-like. In other words the game has a notion of down-to-earth reality to it. I think that satisfies my itch for gaming these days, another wise decision, as a start-up developer, of using ingredients everybody likes.

Remember, however, when people eat eggs and hash-browns the first they think about isn’t always the salt and pepper. And that’s where this game really epitomizes itself as an indie-game. I don’t feel it gets past that basic level. The seasoning is right but the meat (or veggies) needs more fleshing out. That is to be expected. This would make great for a re-polishing which I hope they do attempt.

You start off with a party of one person but it quickly adds up to two and then three and then four. The opening “walkthrough” for how to use the game’s battle system is quite cumbersome and I don’t feel it is a strong point, however, this battle system has a real-time notion to it that allows you to pull off multiple attacks with one party member while other party members are charging up from a previous attack or your opponents are charging up from a previous attack. There is always action going on that demands your attention. That’s a big plus. EarthBound had that with the scrolling HP meter, but this game has it with a ‘scrolling’ energy meter. That is the best part of the game for me, which is a very positive sign since it is directly related to the battle system, the core ‘game’ element of an RPG.

I didn’t play through more than 2 or three hours, but if any of what I said relates to you and you really just want to see what an indie developer in the year 2020 is aiming for, by all means give this a go. The dialogue is an extra fun bonus to add to its quirky charm between battling and story.

. “A conspiracy to provoke war between the western settlers and the Chepakwik threatens to destroy both sides”
. Official Description from Nintendo ;
. Developer ; Experimental Gamer Studios

To be reviewed by Senpavo.

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Preview by Roberto Pallas on the Nintendo Switch. Game provided by Experimental Gamer Studios.

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