Johnny Turbo’s Arcade: Express Raider challenges you to “Save the Old West, with your rifle and your horse, from thieving Train Robbers.” But wait, you’re playing as a thieving bandit yourself? So, train robberies are okay so long as you’re the one committing said robbery? It makes no sense, but Express Raider is not a story driven game, nor is it a good one.

The game’s site says this is “a test of stamina,” and that is true insofar as I had to endure to keep playing. With only two scenes that repeat on an alternating basis, you’ll have seen all this bare-bones arcade relic offers rather quickly. Clunky brawling on top of a train is nothing special, and having to hit up on the left stick to jump certainly does no favors. The shooting on horseback is worse, as it’s executed with no aiming crosshair which proves a real annoyance.

You’d think such a repetitious offering might be saved by its aesthetics but you’d be sadly mistaken. The colors on this port look quite washed out to me, and extra offerings are few, as expected. The music in Express Raider is sporadic, too, but plenty of shrill sound effects had me reaching for the volume.

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The best arcade games offer a hook that inclines you to pop in quarter after quarter. Express Raider, however, is so uninteresting I’ve felt no desire to return to it. In fact, this is the sort of bland game you forget about as soon as you turn off your Switch.

Johnny Turbo’s Arcade: Express Raider really should’ve been part of a compilation as it’s nowhere near strong enough to stand on its own. It failed to stir up anything close to enthusiasm while I played it, so naturally, it’s tough for me to generate much excitement with this review. Flying Tiger Entertainment thankfully has much better Data East games in their Johnny Turbo line like Joe and Mac, Sly Spy, and Super Burger Time, which makes Express Raider that much easier to ignore.

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