Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

The Real Texas

Review: The Real Texas

2:00 PM on 07.01.2012 // Patrick Hancock
  @therealhancock

The Real Texas is a game that reminds me why I got into indie gaming in the first place: it's a unique experience unlike anything you'd find on store shelves. Immediately after I saw the launch trailer, I knew The Real Texas was going to be an entertaining game. What I didn't expect was an extremely well-written adventure through an incredibly quirky universe.

The game is self-described as "an action adventure game that plays like a mashup of Zelda: Link to the Past and Ultima VI." Interested? I thought so.

The Real Texas (Windows [reviewed], Mac, Linux)
Developer: Kitty Lambda Games
Publisher: Kitty Lambda Games
Released: June 16, 2012
MSRP: $14.95

The protagonist's name in The Real Texas is Sam, but that information is only given out on the official website. The character's name isn't even asked about within the game itself, since everyone just calls him "Cowboy." Sam is an American vacationing in England, but soon enough stumbles upon a blue portal, taking him to Strange Texas. From there, it quickly becomes apparent that you need to find out what this place is, Sam's purpose, and how to get out. 

Strange isn't only the name of the town, but the quintessential adjective to describe this game. Questions will undoubtedly whirl through your head while playing through The Real Texas. The game deals heavily in metaphysics; it isn't uncommon to start questioning what is actually real and what isn't. Or even perhaps what being "real" even means. Fleeting thoughts turn into real concerns and small issues quickly become big ones.

There are plenty of characters in the town of Strange to interact with during the game. They seem almost secondary at first, but it doesn't take too long to get caught up in their various plights. Although there was no prior connection to these characters, it didn't take long before their issues became a focus. Many of their issues were incredibly relatable, despite sometimes being bizarre on the surface.

Dialogue harkens back to the classic adventure games where dialogue trees are spurred by mentioning a specific word or phrase. The Real Texas doesn't overcomplicate things though, and displays the key words on the screen. Just click or type them to progress the story instead of weeding through the unimportant words to find the right trigger word. There are, however, other key words not given which will trigger a sort of "hidden" dialogue reaction, often of the hilarious variety.

Oh man is there some wonderful humor in this game.

By setting up a bizarre, quirky, and yet believable world with Strange, the nonchalant quips that some of the characters make become one of the most beloved aspects. Situations arise that are borderline absurd and yet no one bats an eye. The commitment to the eccentric is what makes this game such a joy to experience.

Movement is accomplished with the traditional WASD style or by holding and dragging the left mouse button, and interacting with objects involves clicking on them with the mouse. At times, clicking on specific objects in the environment can be difficult, but it never becomes more than a slight nuisance. A bigger issue comes when trying to click on something while moving since -- if the object isn't clicked on Sam -- will just stop moving because the game will switch to mouse movement immediately. Again, only a minor nuisance but is nevertheless worth mentioning.

Progression through The Real Texas comes with a mix of intelligently designed puzzles with a side of combat. Completing puzzles often grants a huge sense of satisfaction, the key aspect to a great puzzle. There's enough variation that there isn't a significant sense of familiarity between them. I did come across an issue with the last puzzle in the game due to my colorblindness. Without spoiling it, I had to go to extra lengths in order to complete the puzzle, resulting in a lot of in-game money lost. Mr. French is aware of the issue and it should be patched in version 1.3.

As for combat, hitting either the spacebar or the right mouse button enters combat mode in which the cursor becomes the aiming reticule. When only fighting a few enemies at a time, it works fine, but it can become a hassle when confronted with multiple enemies of various types. Mr. French has already taken some steps to make the enemy behaviors a bit more tolerable, but certain enemies are certainly still an issue towards the end of the game.

Perhaps the combat is intentionally difficult as a contrast to the character's nickname of "Cowboy." When Sam is injured, he will occasionally hunch over and take a deep breath, something that plays against our ideal version of the western movie cowboy. It's impossible to move and shoot at the same time, a mechanic the classic Resident Evil games employed to make the player strategically choose their location during fights. It works just as well here, epitomizing the idea of risk vs. reward during combat. In fact, the schism between Sam's character and his nickname isn't unlike the difference between the bizarre setting and the real characters. Fancy that.

Regardless, combat can get quite frustrating towards the end of the game. Sometimes entering a room can result in being on top of an enemy and getting killed almost immediately. Other times, getting hit once results in an unstoppable chain reaction that leads to death. It's great, then, that the checkpoint system isn't too harsh, only resulting in some money lost at times.

There's also an inventory system that allows the changing of Sam's appearance and what item he is holding. Early on, it's necessary to manually switch weapons via the inventory screen, but this is later alleviated thanks to a specific item, allowing the use hotkeys. Dressing and undressing Sam can provide decent entertainment since there are a good amount of clothing options to encounter and wear. It's pretty entertaining to strut around wearing a swan-inspired dress and no pants.

Since this is such a new release, I did encounter a couple of progress-halting bugs. Mr. French is going above and beyond the call of duty to help fix these, by working on patches and even fixing individual save files. Whenever I couldn't progress I sent my save file to Mr. French and had it back usually within an hour or two.

The art style and music should also be lauded. The blocky aesthetic works wonders to make this already curious world even more extraordinary. Characters move with a swaying motion, not unlike those in Stacking, and it is completely adorable. It's cute, charming, and best of all it jives with the general strangeness of the game.

The background music is catchy, simple, and thematically fitting. The music screams "grandiose adventure" while trekking through the various environments the game has. The sound effects are very fitting to the aesthetic and have a very old-school videogame vibe to them.

The end result of all this is a bizarre yet satisfying mix of gameplay elements wrapped up in a surprisingly eloquent story with a damn good sense of humor. The puzzles can be frustrating in a good way, but the combat gets frustrating in a bad way when confronted with multiple enemies at a time. The progress-halting bugs are slowly being fixed, but some still remain.

The Real Texas is an incredibly smart game, particularly in how it deals with large metaphysical ideas and conveys them to the player. The dialogue is well written and the humor is one of game's brightest aspects. Although not all of the ideas work out perfectly, this is certainly an experience that is hard to find anywhere else and is certainly worth trying out.



THE VERDICT

8.5

The Real Texas - Reviewed by Patrick Hancock
Charming - Not perfect, but it's easy to ignore the rough spots when faced with so many engaging design decisions and entertaining moments. A memorable game that's hard not to like and recommend to others.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Patrick Hancock, Contributor
 Follow Blog + disclosure therealhancock Tips
Watching and playing competitive games like Dota 2, Counter-Strike, and Rocket League take up most of his time. His three favorite non-video game things in the world are space, dinosaurs, and ... more   |   staff directory



 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
The Real Texas


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


A blog test. Brought to you by Buckner & Garcia

Cblogs of 2/11/16, 2/12/16 + Firethoughts

PS+ Games of the Month January 2016 - Feat. GajKnight and SolarPonyDjango

Your Opinions On Racing Games Are Stupid

The Nerds Have Won

Emily Wants To Play has come to mobile (and I wish it would go away again)

Six Reasons Why YOU Should Buy Soul Sacrifice Delta For $8!

Mega Man X Drinking Game: The Super Smashed Bros

Video Gaming Bits -- Rampage: Total Destruction

Roses are black, PS4 lights are blue; This is a game, and it has valkyries too?

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Malthor avatarMalthor
Dear Lord, I think I've stumbled over the most bullshit boss fight I've seen in a long time. "Here, let me summon 2-3 mnions each turn. They inflict all of the status effects btw, as do I. Have fun!"
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Bought FF Explorers and downloaded Soul Sacrifice Delta last night. SSD is faring better than FFEx so far. What is it about this genre that makes SE go to crap on lore and world building? They're usually great at it. Also no 3D :/
MeanderBot avatarMeanderBot
Yeah buddy!
Niero Desu avatarNiero Desu
Isnt it better to ignore someone than post nasty stuff in their quickpost/blog comments? I hope so! Discuss this upcoming site feature here
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
So, I've decided to take my first big foray into creating original music! For my first venture, I did up some tracks heavily-inspired by Persona 3. I plan on making videos of them when they're 100% complete. Link in the comments.
Sir Shenanigans avatarSir Shenanigans
Ahhh GameStop demo... Now I want Street Fighter...
CJ Andriessen avatarCJ Andriessen
Don't have a date for V-Day weekend? Why not fill that void in your life by making a Super Mario Maker Level for this month's Dtoid Designs Contest? http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/CJ+Andriessen/dtoid-designs-the-wacky-wiggler-challenge-338301.phtml
Sarah Jane farron avatarSarah Jane farron
So uh, my dream was interesting. Travel somewhere to get furniture, protests going on, police lock us behind a gate so we go round and blow up their car to escape. Now apocalypse time with city on fire and zombies and then I get a girlfriend.Quite varied!
ikiryou avatarikiryou
I watched the movie Flight with Denzel Washington last night. It got especially good once John Goodman appeared and it turned into a sort of fun, surrealistic drug comedy. But then the ending undid every bit of enjoyment it gave me up to that point.
ChrisHannard avatarChrisHannard
Putting together the Valentines Day edition of Gaming's Beautiful People and finding it surprisingly hard - ooer, missus etc - to find a male couple to put in the list. Any suggestions? All I can seem to find is the guards from Undertale.
JohnSmith123 avatarJohnSmith123
The story in Destiny seem kind of crummy. I feel like I'm missing something here. It doesn't really click. Taken King however seems pretty good though.
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
You know how after years and years of constant truckin' Truckers are known to get one permanently sunburned arm?
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Quick note for Soul Sacrifice Delta: Sony designed it weirdly, and so while most of the updates should come in by downloading the newest update, other stuff you might not get unless you hit this on the main menu. Don't miss out!
Retrofraction avatarRetrofraction
Getting my Ninja on for a selfie in the Bathroom for the contest:
Donald J Trump avatarDonald J Trump
Found this image of myself on Ted Cruz's computer, disgraceful! Further proof he isn't natural born, no true American would have a disgusting image like this! (Censored by some idiot's ugly face)
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
That moment when your dog eats one of your figures but don't notice until it's to late. 10/10 Dog. Yah fuck.
Alphadeus avatarAlphadeus
Love, Lost, Live, Lost (2014) - Yesterday was me and my girlfriend's 16th year anniversary together, so I decided to share this song. It deals with being in love, losing that person, moving on, and learning to love again. It's 9 minutes long, too :P
gajknight avatargajknight
I have done my part. Thank you Niero. Question: Does blocking someone also remove their front-page articles too?
iam16bit avatariam16bit
I've been on this site for sometime and for some reason I've never done a quickpost until now.
TheKodu avatarTheKodu
So I'm hearing the UN called Japan in to discus "Banning the sale of video games or cartoons involving sexual violence against women " Which by Anita's standards = any Violence able to be done. Japan sent a 40 page long NO back to the UN in reply.
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -