The Top 7… Weirdest westerns

Oh, and whilewe realize it's going to be the first thing that pops into a lot of your heads, we'll just say up front that Custer's Revenge isn't one of them.


7. Tin Star

The western: A cartoon sheriff with a sunny disposition and a Dudley Do-Right chin has to battle endless gangs of outlaws who threaten the peace in his little town…

The weird: … which is made up entirely of cowboy-themed robots. Not Westworld-style killer robots, or robots that were built for some reason, but friendly cartoon robots who herd hovering metal cattle, are hilariously protective of prize geraniums and try to rob rickety wooden trains.

In other words, it’s an extremely conventional cartoon western, except for all the robots. And that opens up all sorts of questions; why would robots, which we can assume are advanced AI constructs, choose to live in the primitive frontier civilization of the 1800s? Why do they spend their days roughhousing with six-shooters in antique clapboard towns? And why, for the love of Christ, do they cultivate hovering robot cows?

Above: Seriously, what are they going to do? Eat them? Milk them?

Are there offscreen humans somewhere who’ve created these beings to unknowingly play-act for their amusement? Or are we looking at a bleak future world, in which the machines left behind by an extinct human raceremember just enough about their former masters to act out a sad mockery of half-remembered civilization? The more we think about it, the more this seems like a creepy treatise on machine intelligence instead of an innocent 16-bit shooter in which cartoon robots cheerfully blast holes through one another.

Above: It couldn’t just be that making everyone into robots makes this kind of violence excusable; that'd be too obvious

After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.