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High Noon Review: Gunslingers Unite

I always keep an eye out for fresh, real-time multiplayer titles on iPhone. There’s nothing better than getting hooked on a game that you can play with your friends at any time of the day, providing that the game offers a quick, satisfying experience with plenty of replay value . . . With that in mind, it’s my pleasure to say that High Noon from developer Exoweb Ltd. is the best online multiplayer title on iOS. Whether you settle in for a good half hour of dueling or just decide to respond to a friend’s gutsy challenge for a duel, I guarantee you’ll leave High Noon Gulch wishing you were a cowboy in the wild west, when honor and pride were enough to make grown men shoot each other at point blank range . . . Okay, maybe not, but the game’s infinite replay value and addictive system of leveling up will be sure to bring you back for more. And at the incredibly low price of free, that’s all we could ask for.

You’ll start out as a level 1 gunslinger, bald and boring looking, with nothing but a six-shooter to your name. But just imagine, in a few days you could be wielding a scoped rifle, wearing priest’s robes and sporting some crazy hairstyle . . . The game work’s using a simple match system. You’ll be thrown into a lobby with other players who are near your same level, and from there you can select one of them to duel, or let the game take care of that for you with a “wildcat challenge.” Either way, you’ll soon be thrown into a place called High Noon Gulch, where life or death ride on each bullet you fire.

One of the game’s most unique features is the way you holster your firearm. The iPhone must be tipped upside down and held at your side (like it’s a real gun). From there, some haunting western music plays, and when the bell dings, you have to draw your iphone, tilt to aim, and tap and release to fire. The mechanics are simple, but entirely addictive . . . Score enough head shots or body shots to deplete your opponent’s health meter, and you’ll be rewarded with a gold prize. This is the game’s currency, and it can be used to purchase bigger and better weapons as they become available. But weapons aren’t all you’ll want to buy: Western attire, good luck charms, dynamite, lassos, flour sacks, and faster boots are just a few of the options that’ll have you hounding gold however you can get it.

Speaking of getting gold by whatever means necessary, High Noon has an integrated social network that will really draw you in. Put your friends and enemies on your “shitlist” and enable push notifications to be alerted whenever they enter High Noon Gulch. That’s your cue to fire up the app and send them a challenge. Careful, though, cause with too many friends and a game this addictive, you’re iPhone is likely to rattle off the table with the push notifications you’ll receive. Telegrams can be sent to other players if trash talking is your game, and you can also make an attempt at stealing a handful of gold now and then, though purchased safes will keep gold safe, and result in a fine assessed for the thief. Are you getting the idea? High Noon has a ton of features built-in that are bound to keep you and your friends checking in multiple times a day, and way more than that if you happen to be unemployed. Your playing time is only limited by an energy meter that depletes with every duel or action, and refills over time. This is one of the way Exoweb attempts to monetize the game, since energy-giving items (and other goodies) can be purchased with indian wampum, which costs you, the player, real money! It’s a clever system that doesn’t require any real purchases, but you might be quite tempted.

The only real drawback from this cowboy fun is frequent connection issues. Since it’s online multiplayer, it would be tough to avoid, but it’s regrettable nonetheless . . . Take heart, though, because there is more than enough here to make up for occasional annoyances/glitches caused by lagging and slow connections. High Noon isn’t just the best online multiplayer game on iPhone, it’s also the wisest free download you’ll select in the App Store today. If I haven’t made this clear, you need to go download this game right now and enter the gulch. Trust me, you don’t want to get on my “shitlist.”

Our Score: 4.5/5

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