West of Loathing is a single-player comedy adventure role-playing video game developed by Asymmetric Publications, the creators of the Kingdom of Loathing universe. The original game was a 2003 browser-based MMORPG that evolved into a cult classic and is still played by gamers today. While the developer still updates KoL, design work for WoL began in 2014 with the intent of creating a fully downloadable game. West of Loathing was officially announced May of 2016 and released on August 10, 2017, for Windows, Mac, and Linux via Steam and GOG. The first console version was created for the Nintendo Switch and released on May 31, 2018.
Other console versions are under development as well as a release for iOS. The release date for those version has not yet been announced. The game uses Unity as the base framework but has been modified to accommodate the hand-drawn stick-figure art graphics style.
West of Loathing takes place in the wild west universe of its predecessor. It features a turn-based strategy combat system that isn't difficult to learn. Players can turn the combat floor grid on and off using the options menu. Interaction with the open-world is done via a point-and-click system. Players will have options to talk to in-game characters who will send the player on quests to complete for experience and rewards. The branching narratives let the player develop their own story as their character leaves the family farm to see their fortune elsewhere.
Punch cowboy-hat-wearing skeletons, dig through nasty spittoons, and face-off with demonic cows. West of Loathing features three classes that are just as insanely silly as the narrative. Players can be the silver-tongued Snake Oiler, the wise and subtle Beanslinger, or forget all that and take the Cow Puncher class and let the fists do the talking.
As the player progresses, their character gains access to perks increases the ability to gather resources, alter skills and attributes, reduce damage, affect crafting, and more. There are even some silly perks including 'Stupid Walking' which alters the way the character moves. This adding to the hilarity already designed into the storyline that includes gags, goofs, and often terrible jokes.
- A sprawling open world
- Quests, puzzles, and mysteries galore
- Dozens of NPCs and hundreds of enemies
- Nearly 100 unique locations to explore
- Thousands of jokes, gags, and goofs
- Liberal use of the Oxford comma
- Lush hand-drawn black and white graphics
- Crunchy turn-based combat (but only if you want it)
- Over 60 hats
- Disreputable saloons
- Several gulches
- A drunken horse