Despot’s Game: Dystopian Army Builder (Steam) Review

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There is, within me, a hunger for playing preposterously simple games. I often resist the temptation of playing the bad ones, but when a game like Despot’s Game: Dystopian Army Builder, from indie developer, Konfa Games, comes along, my interest is piqued and I cave in.

Despot’s Game is the cinematic equivalent of a golden oldie game, where you’ve never encountered anything you haven’t grown to love over the years of gaming. Taking pixel graphics from the early days of Atari to the gameplay of Berserker and Combat, Despot’s Game is sure to win the hearts of gamers everywhere with its humor and out-of-the-box gameplay.

The old saying that you should never bring a pretzel to a gunfight does not apply here, as the pretzel has the same damaging effect as a bazooka. This feature alone will make you question everything you thought you knew about this savory knotted pastry.

The game is based in a dystopian world where anarchy reigns, and the citizens, or puny humans, as they are often referred to are massacred one after another by a band of alien scums who are using them as target practice. This time, however, the puny humans decide to fight back using brawn, intelligence, and a hefty dose of pixel courage.

The game’s premise cheerfully borrows from literally every game I’ve ever played or remembered. You start off commanding a group of humans and equipping them with a wealth of weapons including conventional guns, rockets, cannons, to not-so-traditional weapons like boxing gloves, footballs, ping-pong paddles, and half-eaten pretzels.

Yes, you heard me right, pretzels. The old saying that you should never bring a pretzel to a gunfight does not apply here, as the pretzel has the same damaging effect as a bazooka. This feature alone will make you question everything you thought you knew about this savory knotted treat.

After equipping the team, you then move them from room to room battling it out with the alien forces. Every victory allows you the opportunity to purchase weapon enhancements, upgrades, gems, and other perks to help your men gain the advantage against the relentless onslaught of enemies and mid-level bosses.

There is, within me, a hunger for playing preposterously simple games. I often resist the temptation of playing the bad ones, but when a game like Despot’s Game: Dystopian Army Builder comes along, my interest is piqued and I cave in.

You can also purchase additional humans to add to your small but growing army. Keep in mind, however, that the more humans you have, the more food is needed to keep them fed and fighting, so juggling between wanting better weapons and needing to feed your men becomes a lot more strategic than the average auto battler out there.

On certain maps, you may, on occasion, come across a prisoner, a wizard, or a ninja, who will join the team and aid you in your quest. And because the maps and rooms are dynamically generated, you can be certain you won’t be playing the same levels twice.

To be quite honest, there is hardly anything new that Despot’s Game: Dystopian Army Builder does, except that I was mesmerized by nearly every minute of it. I prefer to assess a game on the basis of what the developers intended to do and not on what I think they should have done, so with that being said, I can’t argue for the graphics, the art direction, or even the music, but I can say that I was never bored.

I imagine that this giddy feeling I was experiencing was due to the fact that there is, perhaps, a little puny human tucked away in all of us, and this little gem of a game methodically finds it, leaving us feeling refreshingly entertained. So, if you’re looking for a unique experience that offers tons of customization, humor, and solid gameplay, look no further than Despot’s Game. You’ll never look at a pretzel the same way again.

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