It's appropriate that Midway's Gun Fight
is set in the Wild West, because that's a great way to describe the state of the video game industry in the 1970s.
In 1969, Sega made an electromechanical game called Gun Fight
, which eventually inspired Taito to make Western Gun
in 1975. Midway then adapted Western Gun
into their own Gun Fight
but with enough changes that I would call it a different game.
That wasn't the end of it, however. Atari then ripped off Midway's Gun Fight
on the VCS, in a game called Outlaw
. As it turns out, Outlaw
is also the name of an Atari coin-op, which uses a light gun and plays totally differently from any of the aforementioned games.
This review is for Midway's Gun Fight
, both because it was the best design and because it was the first arcade game to use a microprocessor. Basically, players try to shoot each other from opposite sides of the screen, with several obstacles in between. You have 2D control over your motion and 1D control over the angle of fire. You also have limited shots, so you won't win with a hail of bullets.
There is a certain charm to the simplicity of these early "face-off" action games, but I find that they wear quickly. Gun Fight
is the best of them, and the best premise for the action, but it's not something I would return to for reasons other than nostalgia.