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Casual Friday - Hard West

Outside Rockstar's densely packed open-world experiences in the Red Dead Redemption series, the Old West has been kind of a non-starter in the realm of video games in the last decade. The Call of Juarez series survives mostly on the blind devotion to first-person shooters from a strong contingent of bargain hunters, and every once in a blue moon a survival or resource-management sim might take on the genre. There seems a reluctance for developers to stretch the aesthetic and themes of the Western into a game type that doesn't immediately fit.

Originally released on PC in November of 2015 after a successful crowd-funding campaign, Hard West seeks to achieve that stretch, and the Nintendo Switch's E-Shop seems like a terrific fit for it. The 2018 port includes the DLC pack "Scars of Freedom," and takes the game mobile. That alone peaked my interest, even if the game hadn't been on sale for an astounding $1.99 at the time. As it stands, the content is more than…

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