Some games are able to convince you just by their screenshots. Wild West Crops by lightUP (a.k.a. Juliano Lima) is one of those games that had me right away. This is a retro-style mini Metroidvania game set during Old West that features vibrant 8-bit graphics. Looking at lightUP’s other games, it looks a bit similar when it comes to its style, so I’m guessing this developer has some experience with these types of games. Yes, I had high hopes for this one. But did Juliano’s game manage to live up to these expectations? Find out below!
We played Wild West Crops for 5 hours on PC.
What we liked!
- Gameplay: It’s a very simple game, actually. Except for the bosses, they are definitely the most difficult part, damn! You start with a small HP bar, and you set out on your journey! There are two methods of fighting: shooting or throwing grenades. You also collect coins (mostly by killing enemies), which you can then use to upgrade your health bar, or just to regain health. Luckily, the shooting part can also be upgraded by finding those upgrades on your travels. You’ll need to uncover keys and switch handles to open ways to new places. So, the gameplay is very simple and fast-paced, and it just works. No bugs or anything, just an enjoyable experience!
- Graphics: The artwork is very cute, and I loved taking it in so much. As you might have guessed, it involves a lot of vegetables. They are all quite adorable, even if they are your enemies. So, no scary-ass opponents or bosses, but a big strawberry that tries to kill you! Or a piece of corn shooting at you. Then there is also the environment that is fun and varies from time to time. The whole game is set in a Western-style, which really works and offers an original take. All in all, what I liked most about the graphical aspect, is that it is very colorful and bright.
- Respawning: I tend to die quite a lot in Metroidvania and platformer games. This was sometimes the case in this game, even though I did pretty well, I think. However, if you’re also quick to bite the dust, and get frustrated by that a lot, then Wild West Crops is just the game for you. The screens aren’t that big, so if you die in a certain part, you don’t have to replay a big ass part, you know. There is no manual saving option, and usually, that bothers me, but this game doesn’t need such an option, which is even better!
- Controls: I played with an Xbox controller, but you can also play with your keyboard. However, if you have a controller, I recommend using it for the best experience. Anyway, the controls did feel a bit buggy at times. Every now and then, when I was standing too close to a wall or something, I could not move anymore. In order to ‘free’ myself, I had to jump and then move. I don’t think the controls are supposed to be acting this way, and it was a small issue that kept recurring and is worth looking into.
- Soundtrack: Overall, the soundtrack was pretty good. However, sometimes the track was too short, I think, and the same music kept playing over and over. For example, there was this one piece of the soundtrack where there’s like whistling and some kind of bouncy sound, and it lasted like 30 seconds but kept playing over and over. I ended up turning down the volume here because it really annoyed me and I could not concentrate. I wouldn’t mind this bit in an overall soundtrack, but repeating it a thousand times just got on my nerves.
- Achievements: I don’t often pay attention to achievements, but there are some achievement hunters out there, so I wanted to add this. If there are achievements, I feel like they should be some sort of extra challenge to the game, like discovering secret rooms or something. In Wild West Crops, the achievements are as basic as they come: collect x coins, defeat boss 1/2/3/4, defeat x enemies, etc. I don’t know if adding achievements just for the sake of having them is really the way to go.
What we disliked
- I got nothing 🙂
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