- Developer: Ink Stains Games
- Publisher: HYPETRAIN DIGITAL
- Release Date: 05/03/2019
- Price: $9.99 / £8.99
- Review code provided by Hypetrain Digital
Wild West Mexican Fun
Where it all begins
It is 1873.
You awaken with with no memory of who you are, where you have been or even why you are in a mine.
Escaping capture and leaving a bloody trail of dead bodies, you get from Mexico to Texas.
To remember your past….
With a six-shooter and the sombrero of a dead man!
All You See Are The Hats
12 Is Better Than 6, is a top-down shooter in the old Wild West. You play as Juan a Mexican who is on a path to get his memory back. He does not care how he gets there. In the state of Texas, Juan visits real-world places and gets involved with the problems within towns, Natives and the Law. All the while Stabbing and shooting his way to the truth of who he is or was.
This being a top-down shooter the hat is essentially your player, the weapon you have equipped faces forward. That is all the character detail you get on screen, this is the same for the enemies. This sometimes leads to a slightly more tactical approach to a level, as well as some sheer luck. If Juan is killed it restarts the level. each level is set and enemy placement is the same.
The gun play sticks true to the times, each shot needs to be cocked before you can shoot. Pressing LZ will cock and will allow you to aim the shot. When the red swirl appears over the enemy you can shoot with RZ. The lock on system is a massive help in this type of game but it is also a drawback, it will lock on to the enemy off screen as for a more realistic feel, which is fine if you just take a pot shot (plenty of opportunity for them). The lock on makes the game somewhat easy.
Juan’s auto assisted aim would have made Billy the Kid jealous.
All you see is the sun, reflecting off of the gun.
Unlike most top down-shooters, 12 Is Better Than 6 also has a fair amount of stealth thrown in. This for me was the best part of the gameplay – I love stealth type games. Along with a gun, Juan carries a knife. Using said knife, he can sneak up to unsuspecting victims and stab them. It works excellently and does not feel tacked on, but more like part of the core gameplay, however the bow and arrow is by far the best weapon. As cartridges are not easily found Juan can not go Rambo Style into a fray and unload all the bullets carried, each shot has to count.
Running low on bullets?
Pick up a dead mans gun. This will allow Juan to have however many bullets are in the barrel.
While crossing the state of Texas Juan will come across hats he can wear, allowing for some small customisation. There is also a system where you buy upgrades at camps. Juan can collect money throughout his story from tables and draws. If you are short on money, not a problem, do a quest and earn some. Quests are usually along the lines of – get to a crate, steal the money and leave, all while not dying.
There Is More Than Meets The Eye
12 Is Better Than 6 is not just; kill, kill, kill it has an interesting story as well as a backstory. Along the way, Juan meets a cast of strange, weird and outlandish characters. Each out to get him, help him or just get in the way. With each interaction, you will learn more about the world, Juan, and his motivation to help as well as the lengths he is willing to go. The script could be something out of a Quentin Tarantino movie; the language, the grit, the disregard for human life. The story was great – well if you do not mind reading a lot. I for one loved the story and how Juan acted, there was some laugh out loud moments along with a nice twist.
What’s black and white and red all over?
As you can no doubt tell the art style is very stylised in the sense that it is hand drawn and minimalistic with only three colours used, dark grey, white and red, lots of red. I for one fell in love with this style straight away, the crisp white with the outlines of building and stones which all remained white. The staining of the white, with a pool of red behind Juan’s latest casualty.
The levels are small in size but are littered with building, outhouses and places to stay out of sight. The level design is outstanding with multiple ways to play leading to multiple ways to approach most levels. Some levels make you have to kill everyone who aim at you but most give the freedom to play as you like.
The art was important to the development team as, an H.U.D is almost none existent. With a weapon drawn you will get an ammo count as well as the barrel the gun uses, the six-shooter has a round barrel with six bullets and when cocked the barrel moves (that was a nice touch). Reloading happens in the middle of the screen but is small enough to not impede the gameplay. There is no health as one hit and you are dead.
The End is Near Gringo
12 Is Better Than 6 is a smooth, blood filled romp through 1800’s Texas, the simpler times where all that mattered wass money, bullets and who can shoot first. The game will only take a few hours to complete between 3-4. For less than £10 I can’t really complain. 12 is better than 6 offers a good story, enjoyable gameplay and replay value as you can try to complete levels in a different style.
- Beautiful art style
- Well written
- Fairly short