Every gamer out in the world has that one genre they are very peculiar on. Some people look for the best platformers. Other people are very picky when it comes to rhythm games. For me I am specific with strategy games. I have seen games that claim they have deep strategic layers only to disappoint me. So I was pleasantly surprised with Pit People. The style, charm, and quality are here and the game is one of the best strategy games I have played in a while. Let’s lead our group of princesses, berry farmers, and cupcakes with Pit People.
Pit People starts with a gigantic bear crashing into earth, terraforming the land into a chaotic mess. Horatio the berry farmer fights to protect his son from cannibals. A voice from the sky commands Horatio to die; when he refuses the voice crashes the hand of the bear into his home to take his son away into space. As he fights for survival he is joined by the princess Pipistrella and the cyclops Yosef in an effort to fight against all odds. Gather in the city, build up your forces and lead the charge against the apocalypse.
People describe this game as a mix between Fire Emblem and Pokemon and it shows. Once you organize your party and equipment you pick the next quest you want to work on whether it be a main story quest or a side quest and you enter the world. Side quests can also be found exploring the world map. In battle you move your team along a hex grid, positioning your team where they can best attack foes. After they move they attack automatically. You do not get to choose who they attack so your positioning matters much more compared to other strategy games. When you are down to the last enemy in any mission you can use the cage item and a unit with a capture weapon to take the unit for your own use. Units can range from humans, giants, robots, living cupcakes, fairies and more. Your hub city allows you to compete in tournaments to win equipment against the AI or human players. You can change your difficulty, customize your party, and start online or local co-op games as well.
The depth of the strategy in this game took me by surprise. The story was engaging and fun. I was strangely moved by Horatio and his war against the vile narrator. The soundtrack makes you feel like you're in an excellent action movie. The character customization is one of the best I have seen in a strategy game. You can equip your team with anything from swords to lollipops to used matchsticks. The equipment does not change stats much. Most of the weapons will have little to no stat changes; only some have different elemental effects or damage increases. The changes you make to your characters are mostly going to be for visual fun. Unit types will matter much more then the level of your units. Be aware that as of now you don't have to worry about your units dying. Once you get back to the city, knocked out units will be revived at no cost.
I don't have many negative thoughts about this game. While Pit People seems easy since it takes away the ability to choose your targets, simply charging into battle will get you nowhere. You have to use your weapons, abilities and positioning to your advantage to attack who you want, and have your enemies move the way you want them to. The game is balanced well, nothing feels broken and the power you gain, however small, always feels worth it. Note that the story mode is not complete and the title is in early access yet the game has plenty of content to cut your teeth on. A glaring negative that may or may not come from this game will be a repetitive nature depending on how the pacing of the main story comes out. As it is right now, I would want to have more reason to come back to the game after beating story mode. The balance of the game is sort of a double edged sword. Sure, everything's usable and strategies are varied, but visual loot will only drive so many people to keep grinding once the main story is complete. I respect the artstyle and graphics, yet funnily enough, it's nothing that surprises me or keeps me interested in the game. With all the customization you won't keep the main story characters looking the same for long. The Behemoth's wacky nature almost leaves me inoculated to beating enemy soldiers with a potato.
Multiplayer is a bit of a different story and adds to the fear of the repetitive nature of the game. The good news is that the gameplay is very balanced as of now. This allows you to make various team compositions to face opponents with or beat the unfair AI challenges in arena. Yet the game lacks that motivational push to play past single player missions. I didn't even know that prizes were awarded the more you build up your victory score. If they were to advertise the special prizes you could get each week in game this would push more competitive gamers to play past single player content.
The Behemoth’s crass humor is here as usual. This can range from poop jokes, self mutilating cupcakes or references to drug hallucinations. (At least, that's what I think the thing between Horatio and Yosef was.) The violence is cartoony and exaggerated, most foes explode into blood and bone upon defeat. I recommend this game to anyone over the age of 13 due to complexity and mildly suggestive humor.
The Behemoth fans and newcomers will enjoy this latest adventure. Prepare your band of misfits to save the world from its end.