PC/Mac/Linux, iOS (coming in 2017) • As a kid I had no use for the Old West. Immersed in things like D&D, Tolkien, and Dragonlance, the Old West seemed like a boring, dusty place filled with images and stories that just didn’t push my buttons. As an adult, I stumbled onto the Deadlands RPG, and all the possibilities and adventure of the Old West suddenly made sense to me. These days, my favorite TV show of all time is Deadwood and I didn’t miss an episode of last year’s Westworld. Thus, when I heard about West of Loathing, I was excited. An RPG set in the untamed West that would, eventually, be coming to iOS? Sign me up! Then I saw the screenshots, and had to wonder what the hell was going on.
Colt Express has two things I adore: an Old West theme of bandits robbing a train, and programmed movement with character decks. Westerns are in sort of a tough place right now. The themes common to westerns are largely in tension with some now-common values, so it’s difficult to make them without effectively taking a controversial political stand (either to support those themes, or explicitly reject them). As a result, family-friendly western content is rare these days. Admittedly, I have never seen Sheriff Callie’s Wild West, but Wikipedia tells me it occurs in the town of “Nice and Friendly Corners”. I am now imagining Fred Rogers in a poncho, chomping a cigarillo, and my attempt to deride the western credentials of the Disney Junior show has gone totally off the rails as I embroider that fabulous image.* Anyway, a western family game stands out.
We’ve known about the flood of board game ports that tabletop giant, Asmodee, is planning on brining to digital. Time to grab your galoshes, because the flood is beginning today with the release of the 2015 SdJ winner, Colt Express.