1988 Sega Master System
Developer: Ocean Software:
Cost: $15 US for a loose cartridge
While we wait for the postponed Westworld TV series, we can go back an enjoy the video game based on the 1973 movie, written and directed by Micheal Crichton. That man hated theme parks.
Created by Ocean Software, that specialized in making games for television and movie properties, such as Robocop and Addams Family. These were then brought to a variety of console and computer lines, from the Amiga to the ZX Spectrum. Some games are only regional, such as this PAL only game. However, despite the 50 to 60hz differences, it seems to play fine on an American SMS.
You play as the Richard Benjamin character in the movie, attempting to defeat ‘The Gunslinger’, famously portrayed by Yul Brynner. Brynner was a strong silent 1960s tough guy, unlike the later 80s talkative pun slinging over the top action stars.
You are in Delos, a high tech theme park with robots in fantasy settings that allow adults (no kids) to act out more adult fantasies. Westworld is the fantasy American West part, but there is also Medieval World and Roman World. The movie goes through the now familiar periods of ‘this is awesome’ and ‘have we gone too far’ and then the screaming as something inevitably goes horribly wrong when man plays god (as you will see in again in Jurassic Park 20 years later). The 'gone horribly wrong' here is a communicable virus among the robots that causes them to go violently haywire.
Your tiny sprite (man is it tiny) begins in the Western town, where it quickly becomes combat against the various robots gone wild (and none in the good ‘gone wild’ way). The sprite on sprite violence can be unintentionally comedic. In Westworld, the boss is the Gunslinger, in Roman World it’s a gladiator (Flavius?), and in Medieval World it’s the Black Knight.
You will meet the Gunslinger multiple times. The first time, in Westworld, you can shoot him, but the second time you need to have items collected to find novel ways to destroy him (for a time). Reminds me of a Superman villain that can never be beaten the same way twice. Later stages are a desert then an underground stage, where again, the Gunslinger is the boss.
The game follows the movie fairly well, except the fighting legions of robots instead of just one. Not all robots are people, as there are dangerous animals (but no monsters - I was hoping for a dragon in Medieval world). The game has unlimited continues (and an interesting continue screen with the Gunslinger's image), and a slightly different ending (which I actually liked more than the movie ending - no spoilers though)
So, grab your boots and saddle up for some robot beat’em up fun in Westworld.
The readers post their own reviews.
4 posts • Page 1 of 1
VideoGameCritic wrote:Was this an April Fool's joke too?
One of my favorite games on the Odyssey 2 is Showdown in 2100 AD. It is obviously a clone of the Atari 2600 Gunslinger. The Videopac game in Europe was marketed as the Western themed game it is, with titles like Gunfighter and Cowboy Duel. In America, the same game and there is nothing science fiction about it, except the title, and all the artwork for the manual, box and cart all get a science fiction twist. It seems like a Westworld skin, doesn't it? I thought a fun high concept movie like Westworld, that lends itself to a video game, deserved a classic video game. So for April 1st, I wanted let it have a fun 8 bit game. File under 'Games that should have been'.
I remember this film slightly. Wasn't Yul Brynner some terminator-like robot in a virtua western theme park? Cool movie. I just see Yul to be a fake Gordon Liu everytime I see him in a film. Would make a decent game. That pic gave it away, looks like a 2600 game.