Review: Sombrero: Spaghetti Western Mayhem (2016)

Sombrero is a 2-4 player, 2D, PvP shooter with quite possibly the easiest achievement to unlock ever.

Sombrero: Spaghetti Western Mayhem is pretty self-explanatory from its name. It’s a bit mad. Unfortunately, it is filled with manic PvP chaos that is somewhat short-lived. I think this is exemplified by the fact that on Steam you get an achievement for launching the game for the first time. ‘An achievement for just launching the game?’, I hear you ask? This certainly didn’t fill me with great optimism that many people have actually launched the game thus far…

The game itself, from PixelMeta, is an indie 2D Smash Bros style PvP shooter that has both online and couch play features. There are five maps and four game modes for you to choose from, including team deathmatch (first to 10) and capture the flag, a mode called ‘Loot!’ in which you need to collect more cash than your opponents and one called ‘Banditos’ where you need to keep hold of a monkey idol for the longest time possible.

The mayhem in the name is provided by each player having a pistol and powerups spawning to collect. This is when the game turns to chaos. A variety of weapons including shotguns, throwing axes, a blunderbuss and a crazy Aztec flying fist thing spawn almost all over the place help you with the objective. There are also explosive barrels and spike pits to help you win, if you can use them. I must say the soundtrack adds to the game’s intensity and the sound effects are fairly decent – the pistol, of course, being a highlight with its classic old school western sound. Just prepare yourself to hear a lot of it.

I make the above statement having played only the 1v1 matches and the amount of bullets there were flying about was mental. Just constantly firing at each other seemed the best way to fight so there isn’t much skill involved. 4 player matches I imagine are going to be a new level of mental. Each round is also a maximum of about two minutes, which means it can be quick fire fun for you and your friends but nothing more, quickly getting somewhat tedious. You definitely couldn’t play this game for hours on end, but as described by the developers, it is more of a couch party game, so maybe I am expecting too much. On this note, it would have been much more suited to console rather than PC. I think I’d recommend cracking open some tequila or whiskey to help get into the spirit of things.

Ultimately though, Sombrero: Spaghetti Western Mayhem fell short of my expectations. However, this might be due to the fact that I wasn’t even able to play multiplayer online. Despite having servers for pretty much all continents I wasn’t able find a match. But of course, I thought, “I’ll create one and someone will join! Everyone will be looking for one!”. If you can survive the wait with the 50 second, more Mexican rather than Wild West, soundtrack looping whilst searching for a game, then I admire you – because you will have to wait a bloody long time unless your friends have it too. I understand that this game actually came out in October but I’m sorry to say it did my head in after 15 minutes and I decided it wasn’t worth it. Reading around however, no one was online then either.

Well, I guess that explains the achievement for launching the game then… I think I can safely say that I am one of the lucky few to have made it that far.

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