Inspired by Ultima 6: The Real Texas
This game appeared on the Internet in roughly May of 2012, touting itself as being inspired by Ultima 6 (at least in part). At first glance, it’s difficult to see the connection: the game is not a fantasy title, is not set in a far-away world, and features a range of Old West firearms as weapons instead of swords, halberds, and crossbows. To say nothing of the fact that it seems like a game that tries to amp up the weird and the comedic as much as possible.
It’s a pretty even balance between exploration/problem solving, and shooting/dungeons. There are no standard fetch quests or the like but the NPCs in the game all play a part in the unfolding of the story. You can open drawers or other furniture in peoples’ houses, search things, store your items wherever you like or drop them on the ground– a full inventory system.
You can interact with most objects, whether they do something or not, and NPCs have conversation trees as well as a day-and-night cycle. The game itself takes place in a fairly “local” area, so exploration is more focused on gradually unlocking new places or connecting them together rather than travelling to whole other towns. There’s only one town in the game but it’s really detailed.
There is also a keyword system, which is used for trying out secret actions you might have thought of, or mentioning certain key phrases to NPCs. It’s definitely not a text adventure game where you have to type very often, but it’s super fun to figure out a secret topic to mention to somebody, and hear what they have to say. Typing in keywords is a comparatively minor part of the game, though.
The game is billed as “a Kafka-esque parody stuck halfway between modern-day America and olden-days, RPG England”, features an interactive world and a plot setup that will be familiar to fans of the Ultima series, a tough (but engaging) combat system, and has even won some praise for its quirky, humourous plot.
The game is not without bugs, some of which are (or can be) game-breaking, and it’s understood that the developer is working on getting these patched. It isn’t freeware; the game is currently on sale for $7.95 USD and will at some point revert to a list price of $14.95. Still, if it sounds interesting to you, consider picking it up and giving it a try. I have set up a project entry for it, but that’s mostly just for completeness and posterity; no downloads are hosted thereat.