There are a number of aspects to games that can pique my interest. Wild West themes and typing games happen to be a part of that list, and Western Press covers both of those topics, so obviously, I was keen to try it out. Having recently played both Westerado and Typing of the Dead again, I had a real hankering for some typing action combined with sarsaparilla.
A game that requires keyboard warrior levels of typing speed
There are a couple of modes to Western Press- a memory mode which sees you having to remember an ever-increasing string of numbers, and a quick-draw mode which has you bash out a ten character word or sequence in the fastest time. The former is surprisingly tricky – or maybe my memory is just getting worse as I age – as it’s a little slower than you’d anticipate, so it actually takes some thinking to recall everything that comes up. The latter mode, quick-draw, is the main draw of the game though. If, like me, you use a keyboard, the game will present you with a ten letter word for you to hammer away at to try to beat your opponent. If you fancied a controller to play, you’d instead get a list of ten buttons to press, which I felt was slightly easier as I kept trying to read the word prior to answering the question. Playing with the AI gives you a solid difficulty curve to the end, with each one ramping it up and challenging you more and more. With online, it’s a bit more hit and miss. There’s obviously going to be some top typists out there, but you’ll also have a good handful of less good ones to balance it out, and you never really know which one you’re going to play against. It is, however, always a challenge to come out on top as there are time penalties for cocking up a word, so you have to be razor sharp to beat your partner, be they AI or human.
For an indie game, the presentation is remarkably polished. The visuals are absolutely stunning, with some of the best pixel art I’ve seen in a long time. Wonderful vistas of the wild west, gorgeous settings for each duel and fun character designs are all part of it. Each pixel is perfectly placed and creates some incredible artwork. The voice over is top, too. A cowboy-sounding man pops up and sets the scene in the intro and gives you a count down before each match up. It all slots together so perfectly to create a very simple, but magnificently created game.
Lasts as long as Elmer Fudd would in the Wild West
Obviously, when typing is your main draw, you’ll need to flesh the game out pretty significantly in order to make it worthwhile. Although there are a couple of modes to play and a lot to unlock which gives it a couple of hours of replayability, but not a lot beyond that. I managed to get through the story mode and only the final character took more than one attempt, which was a nice feeling, but still disappointing that the game was over so soon. It’s because of this that I don’t know if it’s worth the price they’re asking. £4 for maybe a couple of hours of play and a limited amount of gameplay options seems a bit overpriced.
The Final Word
Western Press is a good bit of fun, but I’m not sure there’s ever a price I’d be willing to pay for a game that is as limited as it is. I did enjoy playing it, but as I’m already a pretty quick typist, it was over pretty quick. If you aren’t a touch typist, then this game will definitely help you get there. It also benefits from looking phenomenal and having a wonderful voice over that sets the scene well. Just be warned that when you go into the game, it is something that will only take a couple of hours of your time until you get tired of it.