“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!


  1. sinister agent says:

    Ay ay ay!


  2. DJ Phantoon says:

    So, this guy is on a quest to have the biggest hat?

    An honorable mission!

  3. DJ Phantoon says:

    Hahaha, yes! Sunset Riders reference.

  4. PleasingFungus says:

    Downloaded it a while ago, but by some chance, just ended up playing it yesterday. It gets pretty brutal in some places (I was stuck in the fields for… a while), but it’s tremendous fun where it works.

    Also, hats!

  5. Wipa says:

    This looks fun! :D

  6. Dominic White says:

    The whole Action 52 Owns project is a thing of beauty. For those who haven’t seem the despicable original, check out the AVGNs take on it here.

    link to gametrailers.com
    And the crowning glory of it all:
    link to gametrailers.com

    It really highlights the astounding lengths that you have to go to in order to make these games good.

  7. niffk says:

    haha, did anybody else catch the sunset riders reference?

    god i loved that game.

  8. Simon says:

    Wow, this looks pretty fun. Downloading now!

  9. Dreaded Walrus says:

    “You can have my sombrero…
    when you pry it from my cold, dead head”.


  10. dartt says:

    Me gusta!

  11. Snall says:

    Gunsmoke was an awesome NES shooter…

  12. Frank says:

    Less vaguely or less racist?

  13. Fumarole says:

    Looks like the bastard child of Commando and Call of Juarez.

  14. Dustin says:

    “Looks like the bastard child of Commando and Call of Juarez.”

    You’re the first person to actually mention my 2 influences on this game. Everyone guesses Gun.Smoke and Red Dead Redemption.

    I think I took the OJOS ROJOS aiming mode idea from Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood, before RDR came out.

    Thanks all for the comments!

    • DrGonzo says:

      Yes but didn’t Red Dead Revolver have a similar system? That came out before RDR.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Failed. I meant it came out before Call of Juarez.

    • Tacroy says:

      It was pretty awesome, I have to admit – I especially liked the third boss battle, he was especially epic; both his introduction and ending cutscenes were quite excellent. The only problem is that the controls in that fight were kinda wonky, but who cares since there was a save point right next to it!

      The final boss was kind of an anti-climax, though, I have to admit.

      All in all, a great game.

  15. Navagon says:

    That looks fecking awesome!

  16. niffk says:

    that second boss is an arsehole. i miss this arcadey style of game so much.

  17. Dustin says:

    Yeah, originally the final boss was going to have more waves of enemies, but I went ahead and finished it after what shows up now and felt it was more satisfying to have the boss desperate and scared, unable to really fight back since he’s a politician.

  18. geldonyetich says:

    They had a theme and they stuck to it. I have to say I’m somewhat impressed with the creativity of some of the scenarios.

  19. bildo says:

    Mother of god! Next project should be to make Cheetamen dolls :X

  20. Wilson says:

    I played this after seeing it on TigSource, and had a lot of fun.

  21. Ian says:

    It was great fun and then instantly became hideous as soon as the dogs were introduced.

  22. Redford says:

    The way the levels end in this game are video gaming perfection.

  23. Max says:

    Played and beat it. The last level is ridiculously difficult, but an excellent game overall.

    Other than the boss fights, you don’t have to kill anyone to progress. You can just run past. When you do have to fight, if you hold down the fire button, you can strafe around while firing in the same direction. Just move back and forth and you can mow down waves of enemies before they get a chance to fire back. Knowing that, it’s easily possible to beat the final boss without using bullet time and without killing most of the enemies.

  24. Jetsetlemming says:

    Old school bullshit hard, but that made me feel better when I beat it. I love the style the final boss conclusion took, reminded me of Bad Dudes. The last boss SHOULD be a pansy compared to his hired muscle!

  25. Jetsetlemming says:

    Also the player character lines were some of the best punchlines ever. Absolute perfection for the game. “That’s a border we all must cross” ahaha

  26. perfectheat says:

    Ctr+F and I found you. Great a new Gunsmoke! Played though the original just a year ago.

  27. Shazbut says:

    This plays like a beauty.

  28. Στέλιος says:

    I am completely rubbish at it but I’ll be damn if it isn’t a blast.