Review: Pit People by The Behemoth

Expect a fair few poo jokes throughout the game. The writers love it.
Pit People Review
Credit: pitpeople.com

The Behemoth are the developers of the Xbox Live Arcade bestsellers Castle Crashers and Alien Hominid. Battleblock Theater followed, a sidescroller where you completed trials set out by a clan of psycho cats that have kidnapped your best friend; Hatty Hattington. The Behemoth have seen an astounding success within the console markets but have recently started supporting the PC market from the get go. Pit People is the third game that they have released onto the Steam Store, the fourth in their portfolio. Pit People is still in Early Access but is making steady, dedicated progress through to the eventual release. So far updates have included extra story quests, world changes/adaptations and new characters and enemies. Here’s our review of Pit People.

Storyline of Pit People

Pit People is a new game that takes place in a fantasy world where you play as Horatio the blueberry farmer. After a disastrous event that saw the space bear crash into the planet, chaos ensued. Evil forces triumphed. In the war Horatio’s family is killed, you must get revenge on the guilty. A seemingly impossible task that will see you travelling the land, completing quests and recruiting allies who will help you bring justice for your family.

Starting out with just a trading caravan. Horatio will need to sacrifice everything to become a warrior and fight. Meeting characters along the way, he will need all the help he can get to complete his objective. Playing with death which could come with a single error.

Gameplay

Pit People Review

The attack on Horatio’s blueberry farm (Credit: pitpeople.com)

Unlike the studio’s other games which have been real time, fast paced games. Pit People is a turn-based strategy game, the battle area is divided into hexagons. Each turn allows you to move all of your recruits a predetermined number of places depending on the type of unit that you have chosen. An attack then follows using a random generator that attacks a random enemy as long as they are in range. This mechanic means that you can never be sure which enemy will be attacked. Dangerous in certain situations where a specific enemy has to be killed for you to survive. Forward thinking is therefore essential.

Based in a city that relocates from time to time, you can fight in the arena and buy items for your use outside the safety of the city. Customisation is a main mechanic within the game, trading is available for those looking to complete their collection. Multiplayer can be utilised to help you on your journey of revenge, or fight within the arena.

The game includes a very extensive amount of quests. Large content pools will eventually get boring and repetitive. I experienced this a couple of times throughout my time within the game. A possible step in the wrong direction? It does improve on Battleblock Theater’s world design that persisted with bland corridors outside of the levels. Completing a hostage rescue for the fifth time does take its toll on the experience.

Characters include a cupcake that heals other members of the team but damages itself to achieve this role. This is equal to the amount of healing that they output. Another is a unicorn that shoots its horn over large distances making it a powerful unit but vulnerable if enemies get too close for comfort. Recruits are gained through capture of the last enemy unit on the battlefield. Units with a cage are essential for the attempt.

Toilet Humour in Behemoth Fashion

The Behemoth are toilet humour and silliness enthusiasts. This can make a great change from the seriousness of most games on the market. A brilliant trademark of the company. There are crossover jokes that cover all games within their backlog, it is not necessary to play the other games to find the game hilarious.

Expect a fair few poo jokes throughout the game. The writers love it. Pulling off the childish yet clever one liners is a selling point. Breaking up fights with the occasional witty comment will bring a smile to your face. Cutscenes throughout feature much randomness and the unexpected.

Conclusion

I had great pleasure in playing the current build of this game. Pit People lives up to the legacy that is Behemoth. The gameplay is engaging and thoroughly enjoyable even though I am normally quick to dismiss turn-based games because of the stop and start nature. Consider putting the game on hold however until the full game releases. Waiting will guarantee a full and complete experience. Bugs are a trademark of Early Access games and Pit People reflects this. The discount may be worth it though if you are a fan of the studio or want to support the development of the game through feedback on the Steam forums.

If you are a gamer that prefers a less hectic experience than that of a traditional first person shooter. This game is definitely worth the money. Personally I don’t like the idea of Early Access. Many games fail to deliver down the line with many still being in the state years after development. Pit People breaks this tradition though and is following through on their promises efficiently. Communication is strong on their Discord chat answering questions you may have. Be patient if working hours aren’t current within California. Be aware European gamers.

Pit People’s release schedule based on the Steam Store is “No later than a year, but no less than a couple of months”. Early Access launched in January so expect to see it in full release soon.

I am a student studying video games and business at the University of Portsmouth. Current platforms are Xbox One and PC.
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