We’re going back to the Wild, Wild West – and it’s as brutal as Red Dead, only in pixel form!

Developed by Retrific, a German Indie team, and published by Headup Games, Colt Canyon is a brutal, roguelite shooter set in the Wild West. Headup Games also recently published Outbuddies DX, which was a true delight for me, so I was expecting good things from Colt Canyon.

The objective of the game is simple: navigate from randomised level to randomised level killing the ruthless bandits and bosses along the way, on a mission to save your kidnapped partner. You’ll find all sorts of enemies, and some will frustrate you more than others – I’m looking at you, lasso dudes! You guys suck!!

You’ll find others in need of your help along the way, and you can free them to get upgrades, refills on your ammo and health, or even get new members on your team, who will follow you along and can be commanded to move, guard and attack. You’ll also find all sorts of new weapons along the way, which you can obtain by breaking crates and barrels and killing everyone in sight, and you can choose which ones suit your play style best.

There are all sorts of new playable characters to unlock along the way, each with their own perks, including agility, speed, extra melee strength and aptitude with certain weapons. These are the only unlockables you’ll keep when you inevitably die and have to start from scratch. Then you’ll reflect on your next approach and whether it’ll take you closer to victory: stealthy and sneaky, or all guns blazing? It’s all up to you.

Now I’ll take this moment to sadly admit that my noob spirit came out once and for all whilst I was playing Colt Canyon. Reader, I was not good at this game. *Sob.* But man, it’s a hard game!! I think I’m a bit too impatient a lot of the time – I’m very much the all guns blazing type and that means I die a whole lot in games like this. But it was still undeniably great fun, and it’s a great addition to the already incredible line up of roguelites of recent years. Colt Canyon is a game with super fast paced brutality and a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it action.

The game is really visually effective too, the dusty, bleak pixel art landscapes brought together by a sepia colour scheme putting you right in the middle of the Wild West. Contrasted with the crimson bloodstains you’ll create all across the map and some cool particle effects, the graphical dimension of the game is particularly impressive.

All in all, Colt Canyon is a real success – and in many ways, quite genius. After all, what better way is there to portray the ruthlessness of the Wild West than with the punishment of permadeath?

Colt Canyon is available now on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Nintendo Switch.

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