It’s not often I get excited about a menu screen, but gosh darn it; The Behemoth know how to sell you on a game before you’ve even started playing. Water balloons full of color to the dome! Frenetic organ synths that are somehow Gothic and goofy at once! The chunky, endlessly satisfying clang of metal whenever you hover your mouse over a new option! It’s enough to turn a man into Totalbiscuit, I tells you.
As if I wasn’t already willing enough to let The Behemoth shove a fingerful of cupcake frosting in my eye, Pit People then asked me if I’d like to switch on permadeath. I’m a man of simple tastes, and all of them involve having my dreams brutally crushed if I make a bad decision in a tactics game. Throw in a world-destroying cosmic Teddy Bear, and I’m yours.
After a suitably ridiculous introduction featuring said Teddy-Bear-Ageddon, you’re introduced to Horatio, The Humble Blueberry Farmer. As is generally the case with humble farmers at the start of fantasy stories, some bad stuff happens, resulting in Horatio getting all revenge-y. Pit People does an excellent job of making tutorials feel natural, and as you progress through the opening battles, you’ll have fun picking up the basics of combat. Horatio is equipped with a shield which – as well as really bringing out his glorious moustache – protects him from ranged attacks. Pit People‘s turn-based combat is initially limited, but as you recruit more party members with unique abilities, you’ll start to get a feel for the nuances. As with The Behemoth‘s previous offerings, however, it’s the small details in presentation and overall character that make Pit People special.
Pit your Wits
One minute, you’ll be helping a bejeweled-mace wielding princess fight off knights whomst have crashed her castle. The next, you’ll arrive at a beach just as a would-be smooth daddio in a shark hat tries to impress a lady, while ogres with huge clubs bob in line to a velvety acoustic bassline. Chaotic events will occur right in the midst of battle. Both the soundtrack and style veer between a bizarre mix of medieval, western, futuristic, and fairy tale, like Pop Culture’s timeline has ruptured and spilled out over Pit People‘s universe. It’s this rapid fire assault of sounds and images that defines Pit People, making you feel like there’s barely time to catch a breath, despite the turn breaks in combat.
Outside of combat, you’re given a huge hexagonal map to explore at your leisure, filled with secrets, bastards, and amphitheaters shaped like toilets. A home-base type town map allows to you to change your team’s equipment, engage in pit fights, access online play via a telephone the size of a skyscraper, and use various shops. There’s also a bopping electroswing soundtrack, although you can change that through collectibles. Your home also stores any extra characters you recruit on your travels. Many have special abilities, but you can often change combat roles by switching equipment. As with the rest of the game, The Behemoth have packed in a huge amount of detail to every menu screen. An extensive glossary tells you everything you need to know about the world, and while Pit People‘s overall feel might be whimsical, it’s obvious how much serious attention went into making sure players had as much stupid fun as possible. You can check out Pit People here, and check back on Cliqist for a full review in the future.