‘Pit People’ gives hope for Early Access

By Nicolas Jozefczyk | Staff Writer

“Pit People” is a game where you enter the world as a blueberry farmer whose family gets crushed and then has to fight fat unicorns, pixies, and other mystical creatures to grow stronger to get revenge. A game with a weird plot, yes, but it has much more to offer. However, some may shy away from buying the game in its current state because it is in Early Access.

Early Access is a concept wherein the developer of a video game releases it in an unfinished state for sale. This can generate some early revenue needed to finish the project, as well as allowing players to be beta testers, giving the developer feedback on what he/she feels is good or bad in the game and what the developer could work on in future updates.

However, with all good things, there must be a negative. Early Access is infamous for games that will take a long time to develop or may never completely release. Games like “Rust,” which entered the system in 2013, and “Ark,” added in June of 2015, have seemingly become stuck in a state of perpetual development. These long time frames to complete a game and not knowing if the game will actually get completed leave a lot of consumers on edge.

I personally bought into “Pit People’s” Early Access because I saw gameplay of it on YouTube, and I do not regret it. The game seems to show more promise than other Early Access games, and makes me more inclined to believe that The Behemoth will finish it. Considering The Behemoth already made two complete games, I feel that it is more likely for them to finish “Pit People.”

The game is interesting to say the least. Developed and published by The Behemoth, the same people who made “Castle Crashers” and “BattleBlock Theater,” “Pit People” takes a different gameplay approach from their previous games by introducing a turn based combat system. The game still follows a similar art style to “Castle Crashers” and “BattleBlock Theater.”

Along with the art style that makes up the characters and world in the game, “Pit People” also follows previous games made by The Behemoth by having a non-conventional and very creative storyline. The game starts out with a cutscene in space that shows a big, mutant bear crashing into, Earth. This is “Pit People’s” inexplicable explanation for why the ground is in a hexagonal grid arrangement.

The grid, similar to the one in the “Civilization” franchise, is actually very important to the gameplay and mechanics of the game. In “Pit People,” the player controls different characters in order to defeat a horde of enemies. Each character has their own moveset and amount of spaces they can traverse. Some characters are melee, some are short-distance and others are long range. There are characters that can change how they fight based on weapon choice, but others are forced to be a specific way.

Fights are initiated in the game by running into other characters on the world map. In these fights the objective is plainly just to destroy the other team, unless there is a quest, which may add side objectives to the fight. Fights are turn based by taking control of each character in the player’s roster and moving the character to where the player deems fit. After the player goes, the enemy AI takes a turn. This cycle continues throughout the entire battle. As a fight commences, if only one enemy is left, the player can capture the enemy in a cage, which allows the player to expand his/her character roster. The player wins the battle by either defeating all of the enemies on the grid, or by defeating all but one enemy and capturing the last.

There is one downside in the fighting mechanics that can make things slightly more difficult. When one character is up against multiple enemies, the character decides which enemy to hit instead of the player. For example, if a character is next to two enemies, one that is a hit away from being destroyed and another with full health, the character may hit the one with full health instead of finishing off the weak enemy.

Another con to this game is the inventory management. Acquiring different items is fun because each is creative, but the changes are only cosmetic in each of the respective categories. For example, under the sword selections, a player might have different swords, but those swords each have the same stats, just with different looks. Also, the inventory management seems clunky and hard to navigate. I had to click a couple of times to figure out how to work the system.

Honestly, I feel like anyone that likes turn-based combat gameplay will enjoy this game. It feels fleshed out enough to be worth the $14.99 pricetag. It is easy to get over the mechanic issue and although the inventory management is annoying, it is not the main portion of the game. Overall, “Pit People” is a good game and is definitely worth your money and time.