Genre | Interactive Fiction, Shooter
Developer | Christine Love
Platforms | Browser (PC, Linux, OSX)
Website | http://scoutshonour.com/cowgirl/
Even Cowgirls Bleed is an interactive fiction shooter game in which the player takes control of an eponymous cowgirl who visits San Francisco. The player interacts with links on the page to advance the story and eventually reach the end.
Even Cowgirls Bleed contains fifty three links, seventy five paragraphs, four characters, one thousand four hundred fifty eight words total, five hundred seventy five unique words, and one hundred sixteen occurrences of the word “you.” The game is written in the second person. The player’s cursor is in the shape of a crosshair.
The player in Even Cowgirls Bleed does not select dialog responses during conversations. Instead the player undertakes certain actions which are sometimes accompanied by descriptions of the words spoken by the player’s character. The actions the player undertakes are themselves described not in terms of the action itself but rather by an object or phrase that is linked to the action, like a tumbleweed or a hat or words spoken by a bartender. The player then learns what action their character has taken by reading the description that appears after choosing the action.
The graphics in Even Cowgirls Bleed consist of text, the player’s crosshair, and the background, which is a gradient that is lighter at the top and darker at the bottom and which contains fifteen gradations of color. The text and crosshair are in a pixel art style. The sounds in Even Cowgirls Bleed are of gunshots. There is no music in Even Cowgirls Bleed.
At certain points during Even Cowgirls Bleed the player must holster their gun multiple times to advance the story. The game sometimes places the holster button for the gun on the left side of the screen. Other times it places it on the right side of the screen. This requires the player to move their cursor from the left to the right, or vice versa, to holster their gun multiple times, increasing the time it takes for the player to progress the story at certain points. This occurrence coincides with a point in the narrative during which the player’s character is spending time travelling and is impatient to get to her destination.