"Crazy" is the name of the game for Pit People, a recent turn-based strategy game that pits groups of knights, barbarians, mages, and more against player characters. Between the unique take on role-playing game combat, the silly presentation, and the multiplayer modes, Pit People is a blast to play. Though it can feel a bit bland to play after a few hours, you'll definitely return to in the days and weeks after your first playthrough.
Gameplay: Turn-based with a twist
In Pit People, you control one of several different types of creatures that each possess special abilities. Classic role-playing game (RPG) roles are fully present, and you'll be making the classic decision between healer, damage dealer, tank, etc. These roles are part of tried-and-true game design, but where Pit People begins to get ambitious is in the way combat occurs.
Instead of giving your character orders to engage enemies, you move them to where you want them to go and let the artificial intelligence (AI) handle the fighting. Positioning is the only form of control you have over your characters; underneath the vibrant colors and funny animations, Pit People is, at its core, a game of chess in which knowing what your units do and where they need to be is crucial.
It's a unique and interesting spin on turn-based combat, but it ends up feeling a bit monotonous after a while. There's a lack of variety once you've played and learned all the characters, and though there is an equipment system, most of the items you can obtain have little or no effect on the statistics of your characters.
Thankfully, the game is a blast when played with a friend or against other players in the multiplayer modes, and successfully coordinating with a co-op partner or outwitting another person in player-versus-player is very satisfying. And while it does feel repeated after extensive amounts of time, it's a great game to hop into for a few hours every so often.
Presentation: Hilarious, colorful, and appealing
A huge component of Pit People is its comedic tone. A lot of RPGs tend to be more serious, but here, everything is lighthearted and quite immature. Sometimes, the abundance of crude jokes gets a bit tiring, but for the most part there's wit to balance them out. The world of Pit People does not take itself seriously at all.
Visually, the game features a cartoony aesthetic filled with bright colors, exaggerated animations, and creative artwork. Both the enemies and the player characters are brought to life excellently through the graphic designs. Finally, there's the upbeat and energetic soundtrack that fits the setting and style of Pit People perfectly. The tunes are catchy, and they work wonders to make what is essentially a match of chess feel like so much more.
Pit People for Xbox One conclusion
Though the game can get boring after long periods, and the abundance of crude jokes can be annoying, Pit People is nevertheless a great strategy game that's at its best when played with others, but a lot of fun when played solo, too.
- Fun, unique gameplay.
- Great multiplayer.
- Great visuals, sound, and comedic writing.
- Game gets repetitive after extended periods of play.
- Crude humor can be a bit much.
Pit People is available on Xbox One for $19.99.
This review was conducted on an Xbox One, using a copy provided by the publisher.