Super Amazing Wagon Adventure

The rate that new games appear on the Xbox Indie service is overwhelming – there’s no way we’d be able to play through them all to sort the wheat from the chaff. We have Eurogamer to thank for bringing this 80 MSP shooter to our attention via their review, and now we’re going to wax lyrical about it too.

Super Amazing Wagon Adventure both looks and plays like one of the spoof videogames you would expect to see in something like South Park or Family Guy. It tells the tale of three adventurers migrating across America during the 18th century, and it does so in a humorous fashion. Animals and bandits die surrounded in pools of pixel blood while weapons include flame-throwers and alien laser pistols. You can even call in an air strike to wipe out a stampede of buffalo.

Buffalo that are on fire, no less.

The sense of humour can be very dark in places, especially the rather grim descriptions of how your adventurers died. We probably shouldn’t admit that we laughed out loud at these but they’re so elaborate that we couldn’t help it.

Each game is randomised which is something that gives it a very addictive streak. Your adventurers come across caves, are attacked by bears while searching for food and can even be fooled by damsels in distress who then turn out to be bandits in disguise. There’s also a very challenging trippy twin-sticker shooter section that occurs if one adventurer discovers a batch of mushrooms and decides to eat one.

Occasionally there are rivers to cross in which you have to carefully avoid some shrewdly placed boulders that tumble downstream. You’re given the choice to jump or ford the river beforehand but ‘Lady Luck’ will have to be on your side to jump across unscathed.

It would be very easy to dismiss Super Amazing Wagon Adventure as a load of pixelated nonsense but thankfully there’s a very clever game underneath the colourful exterior. Most enemies have attack patterns and there are dozens of nuisances to learn, such as using special weapons sparingly and trying not to shoot any skunks as they leave harmful plumes of toxic gas behind.

Not only does it resemble a retro game (an Intellivision game, in our eyes) but the difficulty level is also comparable to most 8-bit titles. As tough as frozen toffee, in other words. It’s not an unfair game however and chances are that every time you play you’ll get a little further.

A survival mode, in which your performance is ranked, finishes off the package nicely. It’s also worth pointing out that you can turn the CRT warped-screen effect and motion blur off.

A PC version is due out soon with additional random sequences but the developer has promised that these will eventually be made available to Xbox owners at no extra cost. For a game that only less than a quid, that’s mighty generous.

We won’t be calling the trade descriptions bureau about this one – it’s one hell of a super adventure.

Matt Gander

Matt is Games Asylum's most prolific writer, having produced a non-stop stream of articles since 2001. A retro collector and bargain hunter, his knowledge has been found in the pages of tree-based publication Retro Gamer.

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