Buffalo Bill's Wild West Rodeo Games logo

Price: £24.95

This game is more in the tradition of recent circus games like Fiendish Freddy's Big Top O' Fun and Circus Attractions than cowboy shoot 'em ups like Wanted.

You kick off with Knife-Throwing. Tie down a defenceless squaw to a rotating target and throw knives at her. You score ONLY by hitting the target and to make it just that bit more iffy... you score more points the closer the knives land to the bikini-clad injun. Hit her and big patches of blood appear (we do have problems with this one, Tynesoft).

Next up is Bronco Riding. This one requires a lot of joystick action and if you can follow the little arrows which appear on the screen for direction fast enough, you might make a cowboy yet.

Next, we mosey on over to the Stagecoach Rescue. First off, you have to get level with the coach, which has fallen into Indian hands. Next, get on to the roof and prepare yourself for some John Wayne style fisticuffs.

Calf steering is a real toughie too. Mount the steer from horseback, grab its horns and force it to lie down. Not only are you racing against a pig-headed piece of meat, you are racing against the clock as well - and the fastest times win highest bonuses. All you've got to do in steer wrestling is to lasso the beast before it gets to the other side of the ring.

And what about Trick Shooting? For the first stage you shoot a lot of lead at various cardboard cut outs. Blast the baddies to a pulp and you score a lot of points, hit the good guys 'n' gals and you're out. It is as simple as that. Level two tests your dexterity with a shooter even further - shooting bottles before they hit the ground.

The game has some nice touches like the Wild West ditties, which play for each contest. Plus you get to make like John Wayne, savour some good graphics and listen to things like the Lone Ranger theme.

Where the game really wins over is in its originality. No doubt dozens of clones will appear, though whether they reach the same level of varying gameplay remains to be seen. And it is the variety of gameplay that makes this game what it is. The small number of events, mixed with the basic simplicity means that it will be short lived, but then again, nothing lasts forever.

An enjoyable romp, and an excellent venture into an untapped field. I would check it out.

Buffalo Bill's Wild West Rodeo Games logo

Tynesoft, C64 £9.95 cassette, £14.95 disk; Amiga £24.95

Yeeha, it is one of them there multi-event sports simulations pardner! Six different tasks lie ahead of you, and it is your duty as living legend, Bill Cody, to ensure that each one is tackled to your fullest abilities.

First off is Target Practice. You are given the chance to demonstrate your shooting prowess in a couple of ways: by knocking out the 'flip up' baddies (being careful not to shoot at the innocent bystanders), followed by a round where a cowpoke hurls empty bourbon bottles into the air, just for you to shoot.

On to Knife Throwing. This highly dangerous sport entails hurtling sharp knives at a revolving wheel. What is so dangerous about that? Ask the poor lass who is strapped to the wheel! Your score in this round depends on the distance from the girl which the knife lands - just make sure it is not TOO close!

Strap on your spurs and get ready for the ride of your life in Bronco Riding. As the horse does its darnedest to dethrone you, you must push the joystick in the direction indicated by arrows which appear on-screen.

In Stagecoach Rescue a renegade injun has captured a stagecoach and is terrorising the passengers. It is your duty to saddle your horsey and gallup up to the side of the stage, avoiding the suitcases which the Indian throws at you, jump on the coach, climb to the top and take on Hiawotha in a fist-fight to beat them all!

Then it is back to the show for a spot of Calf Roping. Again on horseback, it is lasso time as you attempt to slip the rope over the head of the fleeing heifer.

The day's entertainment is wound up with arguably the most dangerous of the six events - Steer Wrestling. Catch the seething bull and wrestle it to the floor by waggling the joystick.

Paul Rand Tynesoft have had a go once before at an 'alternative' multi-event game with Circus Games, which was not up to much. Thankfully, Buffalo Bill's Rodeo Games is a great improvement. None of the events featured would hack it as stand-alone games, but brought together in one package they add up to value all round. Each sub-game is playable, requiring a fair amount of practice to win through, and thankfully Tynesoft have included a 'Retry' feature so you can do just that! This is a good 'un, across both formats.
Robin Hogg As a fan of the Epyx games I view most other sports games with a certain amount of scepticism. Rodeo Games is sufficiently different from the norm and enjoyable to play even though some of the simpler events are not worth the long loading time on tape. The graphic quality is never below good but the sound effects are at times misplaced. I am surprised there is not a sense of humour about the game as most of the Epyx games benefited enormously from this. Despite this there is a good deal of playability to be found within Rodeo.