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August 2022

El Hijo: A Wild West Tale

Platform(s): Google Stadia, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Genre: Action/Adventure
Publisher: HandyGames
Developer: Honig Studios
Release Date: March 25, 2021

About Tony "OUberLord" Mitera

I've been entrenched in the world of game reviews for almost a decade, and I've been playing them for even longer. I'm primarily a PC gamer, though I own and play pretty much all modern platforms. When I'm not shooting up the place in the online arena, I can be found working in the IT field, which has just as many computers but far less shooting. Usually.


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Switch/PS4/XOne/PC Preview - 'El Hijo'

by Tony "OUberLord" Mitera on June 24, 2019 @ 1:30 a.m. PDT

El Hijo: A Wild West Tale is a non-violent, spaghetti-western stealth game where the player takes the role of a six-year old boy, searching the Wild Wild West for his mother.

El Hijo managed to be one of the most delightful games I checked out at E3 2019. You play as a six-year-old boy who lives with his mother. One day, the family farm is attacked and burnt down by bandits, and the mother leaves the boy with the monks at a monastery while she goes to get revenge. However, the boy finds that the monks just make the children work and seeks to escape and chase after his mother.

At its core, El Hijo is a stealth game with light puzzle elements. Enemies patrol around and look back and forth in set patterns, and while there may not be only one way you can proceed, it's up to you to figure out how to sneak past enemies and move onward throughout the level. The game will have 30 levels in total: 10 in the monastery, 10 set in the desert, and finally 10 in a desert town.

Sneaking around is best done by sticking to the shadows, where monks can only find you if you literally bump into them or vice versa. Once in the light, you can be seen by any enemy looking in your direction, but it's possible to lose them if you quickly return to the darkness. If grabbed by an enemy, you're sent back to the most recent checkpoint to try again.

To your advantage, you have several options to help you reach the end of a level. You can lean against low walls or other such objects to sneak around enemies, throw rocks to distract them, and pull them away from their posts, or hide in barrels or behind curtains as they walk past. While stationary, you can also move the right thumbstick to look around in the level to see what lies ahead and plan for it.

There were many games that I saw at E3 2019, but El Hijo managed to be quite memorable. Between the smooth animations and interesting art style, the title manages to be visually appealing, which only helps the charming gameplay. El Hijo is set to release sometime in early 2020, and it looks to be a simple yet rewarding stealth title.


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