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Fistful of Frags started as a deathmatch mod for Half-Life 2 in 2007. It's an Old West-themed shooter, and period weaponry like revolvers and single-shot rifles reign supreme; all of the guns have limited magazine sizes, are inaccurate, painfully slow to reload and take a long time to chamber another round, but they're deadly powerful.

This selection of weapons gives the game a unique competitive experience - instead of depending on high volumes of lead to take down a target and regenerating health to survive, you must be accurate, composed, and wary of how many shots you have left. Additionally, instead of basing scores on the raw numbers of kills and deaths, players win by amassing the most notoriety. Fragging an enemy with a lower-tiered weapon will yield more notoriety points. Health does not regenerate. The only way to recover lost vitality is by drinking copious amounts of whiskey.

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On May 9th, 2014, Fistful of Frags was released for free as a stand-alone game on Steam using the Source Engine. The new release gained the attention of YouTubers, whose videos are likely responsible for the game's expanded player base.


Examples:

  • An Axe to Grind: A hatchet can be used as a melee weapon. It can also be thrown.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: You are healed back to full health whenever you open a loot crate (or at least its golden version), making you less likely to die by an enemy who finds you there.
  • Badass Longcoat: Worn by a two of the playable teams.
  • Bar Brawl: There's a bar in a few maps. Expect to fight there often, since health pickups are plentiful.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Awards a 2X damage multiplier for guns. A single headshot will often decide the outcome of a one-on-one gunfight, even if the weapon isn't strong enough to kill outright in one shot. Humorously causes the victim's hat to fly off.
  • Booze-Based Buff: In place of first-aid kits or regenerative vitality, health is recovered by drinking whiskey to dull the pain.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Guns must be reloaded or replaced. However, you'll never run out of bullets to reload with.
  • Cigar-Fuse Lighting: The player uses this for while throwing dynamite around. Despite none of the character models being seen with a cigar at any other time.
  • Cool Train: One of the maps has a train running through the middle. It's slow enough to jump on and carries a chest of powerful weaponry.
  • Crate Expectations: All maps have a number of chests in them, colored blue, red, and gold in order of rarity. Opening one takes a few seconds, but it lets you select a weapon from the list to equip. These weapons scale higher in power with the rarity of the chest they're found in. They respawn on a timer.
  • Critical Encumbrance Failure: Averted. Carrying more and more weapons will gradually slow the player down. There is still a threshold after which picking anything up makes movement speed dives steeply.
  • Do Not Run with a Gun: Trying to hit any target further than an arm's length away while moving at full speed isn't worth the thought. Couple this with the generally slow fire rates the dated weapons have, and gunfights take a unique "shoot 'n' scoot" sort of format as players slow down or come to complete stops before making their shot.
  • Flechette Storm: Knives can be thrown in a pinch.
  • Dynamite Hot Potato: Dynamite on the ground can be picked up and thrown back at the enemy. Helpfully, the dynamite flashes green, yellow and finally red to indicate how close to detonating it is.
    • To give an enemy a nasty surprise, shoot the dynamite before he can pick it up. Or as it's leaving his hand.
  • Exploding Barrels: There are small, red barrels of gunpowder in all of the maps. These barrels can be picked up (they're heavy) and thrown, and will explode if dealt sufficient damage.
  • Ghost Town: Though all of the maps seem to be based on settled rural areas, you don't ever find anyone. Almost as though people were running from the nearly infinite number of virtually identical alcoholic, gun-toting murderers.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: An option in combat. A perk lets you wear Brass Knuckles that deal more damage and can knock guns out of an enemy's hands.
  • Guns Akimbo: All of the pistols can be dual-wielded with each other. A powerful tactic is to wound an enemy with a powerful revolver and finish them off with a faster-firing pistol in your offhand.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Players can reliably hit targets their pistols without properly using their sights, and techniques like fanning a revolver's hammer or dual-wielding are entirely functional in medium ranges. The game will even encourage players to shoot dynamite in life-or-death gunfights to make it explode faster.
    • On the other hand, every weapon becomes uselessly inaccurate if the character is moving at full speed. Accurate fire even in close ranges requires you to walk instead of run. Distant targets can't be hit unless you've come to a full stop. The rifles are so weak at hip-firing, the game doesn't bother drawing your cross hair when you use them. Keeping a bowstring drawn any longer than necessary makes the shot less accurate or powerful, with the implication that the player's arm is growing tired fighting with the bow.
  • Machete Mayhem: A Machete is an obtainable weapon from Red Chests.
  • No Experience Points for Medic: Attempting to heal teammates with the Portable Whiskey doesn't provide any notoriety points, and doesn't even register as a kill assist.
  • Notice This: Guns on the ground have a brightly colored outline. Green-glowing guns are completely loaded, yellow guns have shots loaded but aren't topped up, and red guns are empty.
  • Purposely Overpowered: The top-tier guns are all very strong, with the Walker being able to one-shot at long range and the Sharps Rifle actually having a scope, but their downside is that they give very few points per kill and you can only get them from the hotly-contested golden chests.
  • Quick Draw: One of the game modes from the original Game Mod. It was left out of the standalone release but is expected to make a return.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: A fully justified example, as the only true pistols in the game which aren't revolvers are derringers and the "Volcanic" lever-action handgun.
    • Hand Cannon: The Colt Walker can kill in one shot to the head or chest at most applicable ranges. To compensate for this, it's slow to fire, kicks like a mule and takes twenty seconds to reload an empty cylinder.
  • The Savage South: Averted. One of the maps is actually in a snowy landscape, though the battle may actually just be happening in the mountains.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: All of the game's shotguns are just not effective beyond about 15 feet and won't be killing anyone in one blast if you aren't touching them with the barrel.
  • Skill Scores and Perks: A variety of augmentations can be selected on spawn apart from weapons. You can equip heavier boots to kick harder, for instance.
    • In a number of the objective-based game modes from the original release the player's notoriety could be used to purchase the more powerful weapons, instead of finding them in chests. It is expected that these modes will be re-implemented in the standalone release.
  • Sniper Rifle: The Sharps Rifle is scary powerful. A single shot will kill a man at almost any range. Possibly justified as its doubtful anyone wounded during a match is able to seek proper medical attention.
  • The Wild West: The game's setting.
  • Throw-Away Guns: The game as much as recommends picking loaded guns up (helpfully outlined green or yellow) from the ground in longer gunfights, rather than trying to escape to reload. Extra weapons can be discarded.
  • Western Characters: High-Class Rangers, Mexican Banditos,
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