Secret Ponchos – Preview
Follow Genre: Action, Indie, Western, Multiplayer, Third-person
Developer: Switchblade Monkeys Entertainment
Publisher: Switchblade Monkeys Entertainment
Platforms: PC

Secret Ponchos – Preview

Good: Great concept, addictive fast-paced action gameplay, excellent sounds
Bad: Controller support only for now; no settings for video, audio or controls, multiplayer modes are on a rotation
User Score
(1 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Secret Ponchos is a Spaghetti Western third-person multiplayer shooter that is currently in Early Access. Developed by Switchblade Monkeys Entertainment, the fast-paced action game looks promising and the concept is sublime. Watch the bounty on your head increase as you gun down your enemies in epic fights. Pretending you are Billy the Kid has never been easier.

secret ponchos banner

So you want to become a famous outlaw? Secret Ponchos may as well be one of the best games to achieve this with. Pick one of four characters, each with their own primary and secondary weapons and different stats. The Killer uses a revolver and a hunter’s knife and has a decent range. Kid Red on the other hand uses dual pistols and dynamite and has a decent fire rate but has low health and will deal significantly less damage than The Killer. The Deserter is a big guy so he runs extremely slow but as he makes use of a hunter’s rifle, his damage is quite high. He also has the biggest health pool. Lastly we have the Phantom Poncho who uses a shotgun and a bullwhip. While his damage and stamina is high, his health is average and his fire rate is slow. As you can see, the characters differ from each other on almost every aspect which means that there should be a character for you that will suit your style. Leveling is done by gaining notoriety, or how much bounty is on your head. The better you play, the faster you will gain levels. The worse you play, the less your bounty will be. Leveling will grant you upgrade points which you can use to upgrade your perks such as damage, stamina regeneration, speed, fire rate and health.

The single-player practice-mode is a great mode to get used to the controls and special character attacks. Additionally it is also a great way to get used to the maps. However, practice-mode does suggest you get to practice your shooting skills and you can, except the opponents are stationary and will not shoot back at you. This is certainly something that needs to be revised in my eyes. The ranked multiplayer modes on the other hand are on a rotation. While this is great for testing purposes, I do hope they will not have it on a rotation once the game launches as it will leave a bittersweet taste in player’s mouths when they have to play a mode they dislike.

Secret Ponchos scr1

So far there are only three maps available: Boneyard is supposedly a small map, Saloon which is considered as a large map and Train Wreck which is extra large sized. These maps feel incredibly small, especially since you can find yourself at the other side of the map in a few dashes, or evades as they call it. But then again, the matches only last for about three full minutes so the sizes are more than fine for such fast games. You can pre-vote for a map of your choice in the menu or in the pre-game lobby. This is a nice feature to have but if you want to leave it up to the others to mix things up a bit, you are out of luck as you cannot remove your vote at all.

Unfortunately there are no audio, controls or video settings to tinker with, which is sad as the game immediately starts up in windowed mode. Secret Ponchos is one of those games that is more enjoyable in fullscreen. The gamers’ shortcut Alt+Enter does work but it tends to leave your game unresponsive. While the game is still early in development, you won’t be able to find that many bugs and glitches. You may find some placeholder texts here and there but these won’t ruin your gameplay in any way. Sound-wise the game performs great. You will have a clicking sound, as if shooting an empty revolver, in the menu which abruptly stops correctly when you go through the menu’s fast. While waiting in the pre-game lobby, you can listen to some catchy Western tunes that are sadly enough on an irritation loop. Of course, once the player base gets bigger, you won’t be waiting in the lobby for too long. The other in-game sounds ranging from gunfire to reloading to whips are just as spot on.

For now, you can only play Secret Ponchos with a Windows-supported controller like the Microsoft Xbox 360 controller or the PS4 Dualshock controller. The developers are working on support for the traditional mouse and keyboard but for now, if you don’t own a controller you’re pretty much left out in the dark.

Secret Ponchos scr3


Secret Ponchos is a nicely balanced fast-paced shooter. The gameplay may take a while to get used to due to its unusual controls on the controller but you’ll get the hang of it after a few games. The concept is superb, especially since there are not that many great western shooter games around. It feels like it’s far too early in development as there are not many features implemented but those that are available in the game are quite enjoyable.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Secret Ponchos - Preview, 8.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

Hi! I'm Jess and I’m a writer, dreamer and gamer at heart since the early ages. I primarily game on PC but occasionally also on PS4 and Xbox One. I have a tiny obsession for World of Warcraft and caterpillars but you may also claim I have a devoted passion for the gaming industry in general. If you want to hit me up, find me on twitter!

1 Comment

  1. […] previewed the game a little while ago on the PC but in case you don’t remember, here are some of the key […]

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