Silver’s Review of Asymmetric’s Stick Figure RPG West of Loathing

Developer:  Asymmetric

Release Date:  August 10, 2017

Platforms available: PC, Mac, Linux, Steam, iOS (late 2017)

West of Loathing is one of the best games since the cows came home!

“West of Loathing is a single-player slapstick comedy adventure role-playing game set in the wild west of the Kingdom of Loathing universe. Its gameplay is a hybrid of point-and-click adventure and open-world RPG. The stick-figure characters advance through branching narratives and engage in tactical turn-based combat. Graphically, it transforms KoL’s hand-drawn art style into a 3D diorama (think Paper Mario) replete with animation, sound, and music.

Leave your family farm and head West to find your fortune! Traverse snake-infested gulches, punch skeletons wearing cowboy hats, grapple with demon cows, and investigate a wide variety of disgusting spittoons. Charm your way out of trouble as a silver-tongued Snake Oiler, plumb the refried mysteries of the cosmos as a wise and subtle Beanslinger, or let your fists do the talking as a fierce Cow Puncher. Explore a vast open world and encounter a “colorful” cast of characters, some of whom are good, many of whom are bad, and a few of whom are ugly.”

Go west young man, haven’t you been told California’s full of something, something, and something…

How often as a kid did you play cowboys in the backyard after spending Saturday morning watching The Lone Ranger or John Wayne? As an adult have you ridden a horse in the fresh desert air, checked your boots for critters, or went out to rope some cattle? Well, this is nothing like that. But it is fan-freakin-tastic in every way possible. At first glance, West of Loathing looks like a silly game with stick figure graphics, but take a few minutes to create your cowboy or cowgirl and you will soon find out that this game is fine as cream gravy.

Upon starting West of Loathing, you name your character and choose between male and female (and partake in a point and click arcade shoot in the process) and then you get to pick your class, since it is an RPG after all. Your choices are Cow Puncher, Snake Oiler, and Bean Slinger. Now, to you city folk that would be melee master, pistol packer, or magic… something. Anyways, once you pick your poison you get to begin wandering around your house. No matter where you are, check out everything because it may provide you with some XP, an item, or some serious laughs. Leaving the house, you say goodbye to your family (don’t forget to check the hay bale) then, go west young man into the first city, Dirtwater, where your adventure really begins. And make sure you stop and chuckle at the SHERF sign on the jail.

West of Loathing makes sure to include all of the types of people you would, and probably wouldn’t, see out in the wild west, so you will see plenty of stumbling drunks, guys focusing on growing their beard, ladies that only seem to glare at you from the bar, and plenty of people and critters that want to see you six feet under- even those who should be there themselves.

What kind of RPG adventure would West of Loathing be without combat? And what good would those classes be? I guess you could just use them for the different hats… I dunno… Anyhow, the combat system in West of Loathing is turn based, and you may use your mouse or keys. Some of the battles require some strategizing, utilization of your pardner’s abilities, and even some properly used XP to toughen’ up an attack or ability of your own in order to win. As adorable as the enemies are, it’s easier than you might think for them to clean your plow. That being said, don’t use all of your XP focusing on your Muscle and Moxie. You will find areas in the game as you go where you need skills in things like Lockpickin’, Hornswogglin’, and Dickerin’. You earn perks from various activities, too. Talking to certain folk, doing some book learnin’, or just running into a cactus over and over can get you all sorts of fun, useful, and just downright ridiculous perks. And if you search real well in the beginning of the game you can get my most favorite perk under character settings- Stupid Walking. Don’t ask, just do. Trust me on this one.

Quite possibly the best part of the game- aside from Stupid Walking, that is- is the dialogue. Whether you are talking to someone (or something) or your character is commenting on something (or someone), the dialogue is riddled with bad jokes, puns, and odd references. Unless you’re some cold blooded stick in the mud, you will spend the majority of your time in the west laughing your keister off. It’s worth having multiple characters just to try the different dialogue choices.

West of Loathing does have a storyline, plus many sidequests and areas to check out even after you complete the main quest. If you forget what you were doing, just ask your pardner and they will remind you. It is easy to tear through the main story, so kick back, take your time exploring, and don’t forget your #3 pencil. Ah… You’ll see. I currently have 3 characters I keep going back between and I love them each the same. Well, except maybe Colt. That guy is pretty ruthless. And stupid. Though I made him that way, but who cares.

I myself found West of Loathing at PAX West this year, and I loved it so much after 5 minutes that I downloaded it as soon as I got back to the hotel. It is easy to see how it made PAX 10 this year, and the Indie Megabooth in both 2016 and 2017. It’s charming, hilarious, and downright fun. It’s a true blue, boot scootin, hoedown of a time if you ask me. Okay, I’ll stop now, but seriously. I know some gamers can be easily turned off by the graphics of indie games but the drawn stick figure style of West of Loathing adds to the charm and hilarity of the game. You wear boots and pants, but no one would ever know if you didn’t! Who could ask for a better thing in life than that? West of Loathing is one of the best games since the cows came home.

Download West of Loathing today from Steam for only $10.99 USD. Coming to iOS soon!

Features

  • A sprawling open world
  • Quests, puzzles, and mysteries galore
  • Dozens of NPCs and hundreds of enemies
  • Nearly 100 unique locations to explore
  • Thousands of jokes, gags, and goofs
  • Liberal use of the Oxford comma
  • Lush hand-drawn black and white graphics
  • Crunchy turn-based combat (but only if you want it)
  • Over 60 hats
  • Disreputable saloons
  • Several gulches
  • A drunken horse

By the way, did I mention there’s a Petting Cemetery? You heard me.

  • 10/10
    - 10/10
10/10

Summary

Have a rootin’ tootin’ cowboy of a time in West of Loathing, one of the best games since the cows came home!

Owner of Silver Soul Gaming, writer, and podcast host, Silver is a disabled gamer that utilizes her passion for the industry and skills to write to find purpose.

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