This Could Be Good


Annie Get Your PlayStation Move

QuickDraw strips the art of dueling down to the essentials.

By Ryan Smith • June 14, 2013

Preview events offer only brief glimpses at very big games. Who knows how any given game will pan out in its final form? The most we can say is This Could Be Good.

As if I were committed to an extremely nerdy reenactment of the notorious duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, I stood back-to-back with Stephen Morris, the developer of QuickDraw, our shoulders squared and our eyes staring straight ahead. Oblivious to the thousands of conventioneers all around us on the E3 show floor, we gripped our PlayStation Move controllers aloft in front of us and listened to the foreboding rhythm of a church bell. With each toll of the bell, we took a pace forward. Immediately after the third note rand out, we spun and whipped the business ends of our controllers toward each other and pulled the trigger. My pistol stand-in buzzed and emitted a red light. I was dead.

The duel—that dramatic face-off that our forefathers used to settle scores with skill, savagery, and a gentlemanly sense of fairness—has never worked well in video game form. In last month’s otherwise enjoyable Call Of Juarez: Gunslinger, the duel interface overcomplicates the matter by requiring you to keep a set of crosshairs planted on your foe while you simultaneously hover your trigger finger near your holster. When the moment comes, you’re forced to hit a series of control sticks and trigger buttons in time to gun down your foe. Similarly, Red Dead Redemption made you “paint” your target with crosshairs before you could fire your revolvers.


In contrast, Morris’ pet project succeeds in delivering the cheap thrill of a duel because it sticks to raw simplicity. So much so, in fact, that the game eschews the television completely and turns PlayStation Move accessories into a stripped-down version of Laser Tag.

There are three modes to QuickDraw, all of them amusing party games. There’s the aforementioned Gentleman’s Walk mode, the classic duel. In the Mexican Standoff mode, up to seven players face each other in a circle with Move wands placed at the hip as if holstered. When their cue comes, the players fire at each other until there’s one man standing. The third mode, Outlaws Versus Sheriffs, divides players into two squads and pits them against each other. And that’s really it. There’s no “campaign” mode. There aren’t even any points, except for the ultimate in scoring systems: One person lives, and another dies. Which, if I’m not mistaken, is how they used to keep score in the good old days.

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8 Responses to “Annie Get Your PlayStation Move”

  1. George_Liquor says:

    Is that a typo or is Playstation Move really coming to Mac/PC?

    • aklab says:

      Developer page lists PC/Mac. Weird! 

    • The_Helmaroc_King says:

      Not really, but I think it’s possible to pair PS3 controllers with a PC if you have the appropriate setup. The controllers use Bluetooth, so if you have a PC adapter for that it may be possible, but it might involve some kind of software as well.

      • George_Liquor says:

        I’ve heard of a few programs that’ll let a Sixaxis controller work on a PC, but I’ve never tried it. 

        I’ve seen Wiimotes put to interesting use. One program lets you use it as a  virtual whiteboard, using an infrared LED as a pointer.

    • J.S. Joust is a similar Move game that runs primarily on Mac but has also been ported to PC (and is currently being developed for real honest-to-god PS3 as part of the Sportsfriends package). It’s also a fantastic party game, assuming you have eight Move controllers for some reason.

  2. Ryan Smith says:

    The developer said he’s been talking to Sony to get it developed for PS3, but nothing is confirmed yet.

  3. HobbesMkii says:

    I want this.

  4. Merve says:

    My friends and I used to play a version of this in our college dorm with dollar-store toy guns. Two players would be the duellists, and a third person would count down and judge who drew first.

    But being the rambunctious 18-year-old boys that we were, we soon found a second use for the guns. These guns shot suction darts, which made them perfect for all-out dorm warfare. It wasn’t out of the ordinary to see a bunch of guys chasing each other down the halls, firing darts at each other, yelling battle cries, and ducking into bathrooms to avoid dart fire.