Wild Gunman Review - Screenshot 1 of 2

Just like Duck Hunt and Hogan's Alley, Wild Gunman was one of the first games released to take full advantage of the NES Zapper, and can now be played on the Wii U by using the Wii Remote's pointer instead. Based on Nintendo's light gun arcade machine, you might even remember seeing it in the Cafe 80's in Back to the Future II.

A classic setting for gunslinging action has always been the Wild West, so it's no surprise that Nintendo would try their hand at a game with a western setting. Much like Hogan's Alley, Wild Gunman is all about reaction time. Targets are always stationary, so you just need to focus and fire as quick as possible.

As with most Nintendo-developed NES games three modes are on offer, each differing slightly from the others. Game A is perhaps the most well-known; in this mode you're out in the middle of the desert, and goons will walk up to the center of the screen one by one. During this period you're supposed to do nothing - once they stop moving and shout "Fire!!" you need to aim at them and fire as quickly as possible. If you're too slow you'll get shot instead. Different goons will fire faster than others, but eventually all of them will start shooting faster and faster until it becomes almost impossible to respond in time. You're allowed a handful of misses, but too many and it's all over.

Wild Gunman Review - Screenshot 2 of 2

Game B is mostly the same, but with the big difference of there being two goons at once, instead of one. Just like in Game A each enemy's reaction time will be displayed on screen, so naturally the best course of action is to fire at the quicker one first, before quickly pointing at and shooting the other instead. Although it would've made for some nice mind games, curiously enough the goons will never draw at different times - they'll always pull their guns out simultaneously.

Unsurprisingly, Game C is once again the one that's radically different. In this mode you're presented with the front of a saloon, with a main doorway and four windows. Foes will simply pop out of all of these at random, and you just need to fire at them as fast as possible. They still maintain their different firing speeds from the other modes, so hopefully by this point you'll know which ones should be focused on first.

Like its contemporaries, Wild Gunman is relatively simplistic in terms of audio and visuals. The enemy sprites are quite fun to look at and have some funny expressions, but aside from that the game consist of nothing more than two non-scrolling screens. The only audio, again, consists of sound effects and a few short jingles.


Just like the other NES Zapper games, in terms of gameplay there's nothing particularly wrong with Wild Gunman. Unfortunately it gets repetitive quite fast, as all three modes are very, very simplistic and really don't have a whole lot to offer. If you don't have much else to play and you like trying to beat highscores then by all means try it out, but otherwise it's probably best to look elsewhere.