The indie developers at The Behemoth have created a delightfully hilarious RPG strategy game with an addictive, simplistic outlook on the often confusing genre. The shrunken hand-drawn visuals, compelling backing score and hysterical dialogue offer a brilliant experience while combining some of the finer elements from the turn-based category. Build your army to prepare to fend off against absolute absurdity in brutally tactical combat.
The game itself looks like a direct sequel to The Behemoth’s mega-successful 2008’s comical brawler, Castle Crashers, with unique hand-drawn visuals and off-the-wall humour. The characters that make up your party are as unforgiving as ever, squaring off against foes that only add to the off-beat charm and often greasy humour. Travelling across the sundry map in search of quests and ridiculous enemies sets players into a wagon ride filled with chaotic bouts, side-splitting narratives and combat that ceases to let up.
Within Pit People, you won’t find a team of highly skilled characters looking to overpower their way to victory, but rather a group of unlikely candidates with a rather grim take on life. Combat doesn’t take any unnecessary risks by adding complicating tactics, manoeuvres or abilities, but allows players to meticulously place their characters in strategic positions for the best outcomes. While players won’t have the standard options of defensive or offensive skills per every turn, the turn-based fighting style still manages to give off a fresh sense of tactical gameplay.
A Simple Twist On Strategic Combat
While in combat players simply select which position on the grid each character will move to in sequence. Each turn consists of the player choosing where each player moves to, as well as sitting back as your characters take damage. Your party members think for themselves as they will attack whichever enemy is closest to their position – as well as defend any incoming blows – on the combat grid. Moving around to appropriate positions, pairing your mates up against the weakest enemies and watching your crew take damage is all part of the dance when battling it out in Pit People, adding a broad sense of simplicity to the combat mechanics.
As your characters and battle companions begin their romp on the fantasy land of Pit People, each successful blow earns a bit of experience. Levelling up is a common occurrence, but never actually leads to any enticing unlockable skills, perks or abilities, but rather stronger and more advanced auto-attacks and a likely much-needed health refill. While the character development in any enduring RPG title will claim it’s a major asset found in the formula of keeping players successfully engaged throughout hours of gameplay, Pit People simply isn’t competing with that. That lack of any real character development is a bit disappointing – especially when live-action combat has been tossed out the window as well – but nonetheless offers yet another unique quirk from the veteran game developer.
The provocative nature of Pit People is borderline raunchy and filled with seemingly crude jokes around every corner. The narrator is an absolute cynic constantly pushing at the integrity of your group of “rough around the edges” heroes. One line after another leads to witty remarks that help keep the overall charm at play throughout the entirety of the campaign. The absurd monsters one will fight may come off a bit misleading at first, but once engaged the battles never seem overly impossible. Futuristic robots, dual wielding uzi sharpshooters or the vibrant unicorn foe barely show much of a difference when it comes to challenge of combat diversity, but does act as a solid form of exciting entertainment.
Building your party in Pit People is a major factor in success, as players are able to capture a variety of monsters and enemies throughout their rambunctious journey. Leaving specific candidates left alive last will allow players to trap these beasts – with a simple net of all things – in turn providing players with an opportunity to add them to their squad. There are tons of different enemies and foes to capture throughout your adventure, all with their own unique assets in having them aid you in combat.
Enter The Pit
While the campaign is brimming with hysterical dialogue and methods of unlocking more carnage-inducing characters, The Pit mode offers more of a challenge. Taking on unfair waves of enemies or online versus matches provide the same amount of excitement that comes in the campaign, earning gold and levelling up your crew. The Pit offers the same style of combat found in the campaign, so there’s not much in the way of diversity, but facing off against online competition and unique waves of AI foes does offer a good amount of practice for winning those tougher battles down the line.
Pit People is a vigorous turn-based title from a veteran indie team – and one in which they strayed from their usual path yet again. Taking on a new title in a genre that hasn’t been seen in their arsenal as of now proves The Behemoth isn’t afraid of taking risks to keep their library fresh and thoroughly enjoyable. The concept, gameplay, simple mechanics and, of course, off-colour humour shine delightfully all along the gruesome path left by your Pit People army.
The colorful cast of characters, easy to understand gameplay mechanics and excellent use of strategic combat puts another notch in The Behemoth’s impressive belt of developed games. While a bit on the tasteless side of comedy, it somehow manages to blend perfectly with the overall aesthetics found in Pit People.