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"Vaguely Racist" - Sombreros

If you're the kind of weirdo who checks filenames you may notice I spelled sombreros wrong

Woah, woah: their words, not mine! Sombreros is one of several games tipping their, well, hats to an old, dodgy multi-cart for NES and Megadrive containing 52 pretty low-rent titles. The Action 52 project is an attempt to remake all those strange and terrible games, but make them not-crap. And less vaguely racist in Sombreros case, too.

It’s a top-down shooter about killing men and collecting their hats. You should play it, hombre.

Sniper Diplomat’s 16-bit Mexican romp is sort of the anti-Red Dead Redemption, going strictly for pastiche and abandoning all free roaming in favour of running ever-onwards, shooting in one of eight possible directions. Eight!

Also included: the slow-mo pistol targeting function that UN law now dictates all Western-based games should feature, dynamite, donkeys tied to doors and hats. Many, many hats. Your character is on a quest to collect all the hats, see. In addition, hats are the resource that fuel the slow-mo attack. Hats, hats, hats. It’s a gag that keeps on giving, and if you think I’m being sarcastic then you just don’t understand how much I like hats.

It’s pretty funny throughout, taking Mexican/Western stereotypes to charmingly stupid extremes. That Sombreros is so joyously unrepentant about its silliness entirely makes up for the sometimes fiddly controls.

Regardless, it’s a pretty ace shooty-bang-bang game in its own right, with some smart boss fights and a rewardingly stressful quick-draw minigame. It’ll never stop blowing my mind that someone can make something as neat as this then just give it away for free. It’s the Wild West, that internet.

Splendid music, too. Sounds like this, in fact:

Here! It’s here!

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Who am I?

Alec Meer


Ancient co-founder of RPS. Long gone. Now mostly writes for rather than about videogames.

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