A Fistful of Gun Hands-On Preview – Top Down, 8 Bit, Old West Mayhem At Its Best

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I was eager to get my mitts on A Fistful of Gun for two reasons: I like well-produced indie 8-bit games, and I like shooting things – thankfully, these are two things this title has in spades. With a healthy smattering of game modes, a wide variety of characters and abilities to choose from, and a core concept true to indie gaming in that it’s easy to play but hard to master, A Fistful of Gun delivers exactly what its title suggests.




Hold onto your over-sized Texan belt buckle and get ready for some fast-paced, olde-style 8-bit shooting! A Fistful of Gun lets players select from eleven unique desperados, each specializing in a different weapon of the West, and unleash drunken, gold-chasing, hoof-pounding mayhem across the dusty plains.

Developed by FarmerGnome and published by Devolver Digital, A Fistful of Gun is a top-down, shaded 8-bit affair, sporting the patina of the Old West from faux sun-fade in patches of the monitor to old-style film effects during gameplay – all put together, it has the extras that make a relatively simple 8-bit game a notch above the run-of-the-mill pixel titles. It also features audio effects straight out of an old Clint Eastwood Western, and a soundtrack that runs the gamut from high-tension during gunfights to upbeat and joyous when you’ve cleared a level. All in all, the aesthetics of this title put it in a class of its own.


A Fistful of Gun is classic arcade blasting at its best with random peyote-fueled mini-games, intermittent gambling, and more power ups and debuffs than you can shake a rattler at.”

Set to the backdrop of a classic western, players take on the role of one of the psychotically righteous to stand up to Clayton Boon, a railroad tycoon who will stop and nothing to see his iron horse dash across the West. Playing solo or with up to 9 others, players progress through a series of acts, each involving a gun-slinging journey through the rugged badlands to the boss antagonist at the end.

A Fistful of Gun is classic arcade blasting at its best with random peyote-fueled mini-games, intermittent gambling, and more power ups and debuffs than you can shake a rattler at. This title offers something for everyone, whether you want to plunk down and spend the whole day chasing Boon and his minions, or just a few minutes perfecting your six-shooter aim. Each of the eleven characters specializes in a unique weapon, each with its own pros and cons, which can be upgraded during their chase through the Wild West. Each character also uses a unique control scheme, meaning gameplay stays fresh as well-preserved Bison jerky.

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Let’s not forget the game mode options – with Arcade, Story, Versus, and Online to select from, gamers always have an option for satisfying their trigger finger. Online is probably the best way to play A Fistful of Gun – if you don’t have the posse at hand to team up with local co-op, players can party with up to eight others on one of many servers and take on Boon’s minions together, stampeding across the vast plains of the internet. Versus mode is also a lot of fun, providing white-knuckle showdown action among you and your friends.

Though still in pre-release, the folks at FarmerGnome are working ceaselessly to fine-tune A Fistful of Gun, from providing more servers to developing theme days and contests, as well as constant updates. There are still some aspects of the game that are slightly unpolished, but once some elbow grease hits them A Fistful of Gun should be more fun than an olde-time, moonshine-fueled hootenanny.

***A PC preview code was provided by the publisher***