Boot Hill Heroes – Coming October 2012

Boot Hill Heroes is an impending release from Experimental Gamer which wears its traditional RPG values with pride. The developer openly draws comparisons to esteemed SNES roleplayer Earthbound. Nor does it stop there. Like Square’s acclaimed Secret of Mana, Boot Hill Heroes allows a different player to take control of each character in the party, but goes one step further in allowing for up to four-player local co-operative play.

Experimental Gamer is also boasting a very Final Fantasyesque job system, involving wearing different hats to develop skills from several professions. For all the mentions of Earthbound, it’s the work of Square (now Square-Enix) that seems to play the largest part here. Regardless, the ambition to modernise traditional RPG standards is admirable, and the game’s visual style is detailed and charming.

Boot Hill Heroes may have clear 16-bit console influences, but it doesn’t just trudge along in familiar footsteps. Its setting is far from traditional for an RPG: the American Wild West. This is a setting rich with potential that has barely been used in roleplaying adventures, with only the Wild Arms series touching upon Western styling to some extent. Nor is this just a visual theme here; the characters and plot are also consistent with the setting, revolving around preventing a war between settlers and a native community.

Having been in development since last year, Boot Hill Heroes is intended for an October 2012 release on both Windows and Xbox Live Indie Games. To that end, Experimental Gamer has embraced the current darling of the indie development community, Kickstarter, and set a fundraising goal of $5000. If the promise of a classic RPG adventure with carefully developed mechanics and a Wild West theme isn’t enough of an incentive, Experimental Gamer is offering rewards for donators, including NPC appearances and…cake. If the prospect of confectionary appeals, or you just want to see this intriguing RPG make it to market, you can check out the Boot Hill Heroes Kickstarter page or Experimental Gamer’s site. For those among you who like those new-fangled moving picture contraptions, there’s also a pleasingly Ennio Morricone-laden trailer.

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Author:Alan Charlesworth

A medieval historian by training, Alan tries by day to balance impending doctoral research with branching into freelance journalism. He brings to bear his 25+ years of gaming experience to promote overlooked quality games and occasionally wax philosophical about the industry. Alan can forgive flaws, but is merciless with those games that have no respect for their audience. In addition to The Indie Mine, he reviews Xbox Live indie releases on his blog,, and can be followed on Twitter @AlanWithTea

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