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Gun.Smoke is a top-down scrolling shooter that casts the gamer as a lone gunman, out to save the gold rush town of Hicksville from a fearsome group of bandits known as the Wingates. Each level has a particular target enemy, although his or her henchmen must also be taken out.

Although it largely takes place on foot, the gameplay resembles Commando, with its top-down action. The screen scrolls at a constant rate, and enemies come at you from the edges, to be shot or avoided. You can grab various power-ups along the way. Finding a horse will allow you to get hit twice before you die rather than just once. There are scenes in which you raft up a river and use the tracks of a railway line.

On the NES you can tap the A button to fire up and right, the B button to fire up and left, or A and B simultaneously to fire straight ahead. One-button control systems mimic all this.


Gun.Smoke Amstrad CPC Main menu
Gun.Smoke MSX The crook of phase 1
Gun.Smoke MSX Redskins!
Gun.Smoke Amstrad CPC Literally 'on' the track too, but be careful of sticky movement across the rails

Promo Images

There are no promo images for this game

Alternate Titles

  • "Gunsmoke" -- UK MSX title
  • "Desperado" -- Spanish computer title

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User Reviews

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Critic Reviews

NES Times NES Dec 28, 2007 8 out of 10 80
Zero NES Feb, 1990 77 out of 100 77
Retro Game Reviews NES Jul 18, 2015 7 Stars7 Stars7 Stars7 Stars7 Stars7 Stars7 Stars7 Stars7 Stars7 Stars 70
RetroGame Man NES Nov 14, 2016 7 out of 10 70
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) NES Sep, 1988 7.6 out of 12 63
Your Sinclair ZX Spectrum May, 1988 5 out of 10 50
ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) ZX Spectrum Jul, 1988 428 out of 1000 43
Tilt Amstrad CPC Jul, 1988 6 out of 20 30
Commodore User Commodore 64 May, 1988 2 out of 10 20
Zzap! Commodore 64 May, 1988 15 out of 100 15


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German index

On May 31, 1988, Gun.Smoke was put on the infamous German index by the BPjS. For more information about what this means and to see a list of games sharing the same fate, take a look here: BPjS/BPjM indexed games.

Since August 31, 2005, the game is no longer on the index.

Spanish version

Desperado started out as an unauthorised Gun.Smoke clone in Spain, but upon its release in the UK, publisher U.S. Gold, who didn't want to spoil its good relations with Capcom, obtained a proper licence, hence licencing the game retroactively.


The dot in the middle of Gun.Smoke was inserted by Capcom in order to avoid certain legal issues; namely, there was a popular American TV series that went by the same name, albeit without the dot. With the dot being rendered as a sheriff's star, most people hardly notice this difference.

Information also contributed by Игги Друге

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Contributed to by Eurythmic (2694), 666gonzo666 (64548), Sciere (740935), Martin Smith (76050) and Игги Друге (46324)