Hard West is a "tactical bloodbath" that combines X-Com with the Wild West

X-Com, but... is an increasingly popular design choice these days. Hard West, for example, is X-Com, but in the Wild West. Pleasingly, it also appears to be drawing from other influences: nightmarish weirdness and horror join harsh landscapes and bloodshed for a interesting genre-mix of environmental exploration and tactical turn-based decision making. Before any of that, though, there's a Kickstarter campaign to complete .

"The world is packed with adventures, stories, treasures, hideouts, mysteries, secrets and surprises," states the Kickstarter page's exploration overview. "It's a box of gruesome chocolates. Events aim to astonish you with how bad or how good they are. There's no mediocrity."

Combat seems equally interesting. Focused around small-bursts of action, the developers claim that you won't be chipping away at enemy health bars. "It's short, bloody, and decisive. All it takes is one well laid shot. It's just not that easy to put yourself in the proper position."

To secure all this, the developers want $70,000 CAD, (£38,00/$64,000), and are currently 30% of the way there with 26 days to go. It's easy to see why—it's a strong concept, and the attached gifs do a good job at explaining the appeal of the game.

The only thing that rankles is the way the reasons for the Kickstarter project are largely dismissed in the pitch video. Developer CFG suggests that publisher PlayWay will provide support, but only if the concept is proven to be wanted. Which sort-of makes sense, but doesn't explain why money needs to be part of the equation. A recent Kickstarter update by the team attempts to explain what's going on:

"PlayWay has some finances invested in CFG, and works as a no-problemo publisher-proxy. They're OK with everything we give them, literally. That's sheer awesomeness, right there. Of course as long as it's up to par technically. The amount of trust here is enormous. So PlayWay allows us to use their KS account (it's very problematic to start KS campaign if you're outside of US, UK, Canada). Plus, PlayWay has a big brand to protect, and will wrap it up even if we fail - there's a huge workforce and lots of resources/options in there, "The Way" team is just one of the sub-teams. So PlayWay is actually a backup for all of us. Their history of published games is proof that they're good at wrapping it up."

For info, you can see some of PlayWay's published games here .

It's an odd situation, but it sounds like—through the delay of an unannounced project—the developer is in need of cash. For more on Hard West, check out the below gifs.

Phil Savage

Phil has been writing for PC Gamer for nearly a decade, starting out as a freelance writer covering everything from free games to MMOs. He eventually joined full-time as a news writer, before moving to the magazine to review immersive sims, RPGs and Hitman games. Now he leads PC Gamer's UK team, but still sometimes finds the time to write about his ongoing obsessions with Destiny 2, GTA Online and Apex Legends. When he's not levelling up battle passes, he's checking out the latest tactics game or dipping back into Guild Wars 2. He's largely responsible for the whole Tub Geralt thing, but still isn't sorry.