Fast Draw Showdown

Laserdiscs were very important. They showed us that a disc the size of a vinyl 33 1/3 record was still a viable medium for entertainment. It also paved the way for video games to be built with the very same technology. Instead of cartoony graphics that didn’t look a very realistic, suddenly you could see the most realistic graphics of all, real life!

Unfortunately, this meant that games that were built using this technology were usually pretty light on content. For every scene that the player saw, the developer had to set up and film the scene for the end user. When done well, the game could be pretty fun, though a bit short. Fast Draw Showdown managed to turn these weaknesses into a pretty fun little game.

The premise of this game (if there is a premise) is that you’re a gunslinger in the Old West, and you’re going to go up against a series of opponents in fast draw competitions. You have a gun in a holster attached to the arcade unit. When the light on the screen turns green, you have to out draw your opponent and shoot him before he shoots you. Your opponents range in skill, from the fumbling drunk old man to the crackshot preacher with a gun hidden in his Bible, and are frequently some degree of silly. Like the man who walks out of the Telegraph office, “Heh heh heh! I just wired your family, you’re dead!”

Eventually, if you manage to best all of the opponents you go up against Wes Flowers, pitchman for the game and ridiculously fast quick draw. When the light goes green, you have less than a second to react, draw your gun, and fire. You’re dead. He’s completely possible to beat if you either have phenomenal reflexes or time it like I used to. (He fires almost exactly 3 seconds after he touches his gun the first time, no kidding!).

Hitting my local arcade showed me that this game has been recently rereleased for some reason. It still stands as one of my all time favorite arcade games, even if you can see a car driving along one of the back roads in the Old West.

3 Responses to “Fast Draw Showdown”

  1. [...] I played this game several weekends in a row for three reasons. It was a pretty entertaining game to play with the full compliment of three players, we could finish it in about an hour, and it just so happens that the amount of tokens I could get at the arcade that housed the game (35 tokens for $5) was nearly exactly the amount that I needed to finish the game. The rest I blew on Fast Draw Showdown. [...]

  2. [...] One of the cool things about this game is that when you finish the race in first place you get to keep going, until you finish your cross-country tour, I guess. I played this game in my local arcades quite a bit, but was never quite able to get more than a few races under my belt until I stopped coming in first. And then the game starts to cost a whole lot more (a dollar for about 2 minutes of game time or about $30 per hour, ouch!). So I’d usually play this one to warm up my arcade muscles before I moved on to something a little more interesting. [...]

  3. [...] years before I had way more fun that a person really ought to have shooting cowboys with a fake gun. But several years before that, while visiting the arcade at Holiday World (rides? what rides?), I [...]

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