Just like cinema, the early days of pocket gaming were rendered in black and white.
Or several tones of grey-green, at least.
2-bit Cowboy tips its stetson to both the black and white westerns of the mid-20th century and the classic Game Boy platformers of the early '90s.
You play the part of a gunslinging cowboy or cowgirl, out to bring justice to the lawless west.
The controls are what you might expect given that premise - a set of competent, straightforward virtual controls that enable you to move left and right, jump, and shoot.The good
There's a also a double-jump facility, which also (rather counter-intuitively) combines with shoot to enable you to fire downwards.
Add in a Spider-Man-like wall-grip ability and you're perfectly equipped to go spelunking through each of 2-bit Cowboy's cavernous levels.
Contrary to the tight speed-run levels we've grown accustomed to on iOS, each of 2-bit Cowboy's levels is a pretty sprawling affair.
You can bound your way to the level exit pretty quickly, if you so choose, but that would be to miss the point. That point is to delve down into mines and leap up into the clouds to locate all of the job sheets dotted throughout.
Each of these assigns you a task, which typically involves shooting or collecting a set number of enemies or objects of a certain type.The not bad
Fulfil all these tasks and you'll get a hefty cash reward, which can be spent in the numerous shops, saloons, and casinos spread throughout each level.
You can also use these funds to customise the look of your character. If you're like me that won't be much of an incentive, but simply exploring every last nook and cranny of these retro levels is reward enough.
2-bit Cowboy's tick-list gameplay, alongside some neat little touches (you can mount horses and bulls at various points) and that Game Boy-aping presentation make for a curiously refreshing platformer.
Its levels tend to meld into one, given the specific setting and limited palette, and it's not the tightest-controlling platformer on iOS. But 2-bit Cowboy manages to stand tall against most of the App Store's young guns nonetheless.