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PC Game Review



Format: PC
Publisher: Versus Evil
Developer: Tim Conkling
RRP: £11.99
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Age Restrictions: TBC
Release Date: 10 July 2017

Antihero is a game which has you play as the leader of a thief’s guild who is in competition with others of your ilk. You’re a young Fagan who must recruit street urchins, thugs and assassins in your quest to take over the whole town. The game has three main forms of play. The campaign is relatively short, around four hours, but is primarily there for you to practice. The game does provide a story to link the campaign together as well as mission objectives.

Review imageThis is a game which is designed to be played against either an AI in the Skirmish mode or against other human players in the online mode. The online mode can be played either asynchronous, which is a bit like ‘play by mail’ chess or synchronous where the moves happen in real time. In each of the latter two modes the game will randomly generate a map so no two games should be exactly the same, at least within reason. This keeps the challenge and feel of the game fresh and for the uber competitive gamer the antihero supports leader boards. Given that both map layout and objectives are randomly generated this leads to the game having a lot of repayable value online.

Antihero is essentially a turn based board game transposed to a computer. Your town is set out in a grid pattern, however the fog of war effect means that you cannot tell exactly what your opponent is doing unless your units happen across theirs.

There are extensive menus to work through. At a global level you can change the resolution, determine the levels of sounds and fx, or mute them altogether. The game can be played either full screen or windowed. It is designed to be played with only the mouse and this works well in actual gameplay. The game does offer you the chance to tinker around with more in-depth options to better change the gameplay to your liking. And there are three levels of difficulty.

Review imageThe game requires you to place and move your units in such a way as to farm resources. Both placement and movement have restrictions on them. This means that, with the fog of war, if you are too bold your weaker unit may well, suddenly, encounter your opponents stronger units and be removed from the game. On the other hand play a too cautious game and you are likely to find all of the resources already occupied.

You start with a single master thief whose role is primarily as a scout/burglar. The game has an in-game currency which you use to recruit other types of pieces. Urchins are pretty good at thieving which will gain you gold, place them in an orphanage and they will train up more urchins giving you a better chance at gaining even more gold. However, the truant officer can move in and remove them all.

The other form of currency in the game is the lanterns, which are used to increase your research. This falls into three main categories, Skulldugery, Sneaker and Stabbery. You also have the option to use your currency in either offering bribes or charitable donations. At the beginning of the tree the units are quite cheap but become more expensive as the game goes on, so you will need a strategy which maintains a certain level of income.

Review imagePlacing a single urchin in a property will gain you a basic level of income, the more you add, to a predetermined limit, will increase the properties productivity. When you finally get to the point of either taking over territory or having to protect your own you can recruit thugs, which in turn can form the stronger unit, the gang. Gangs and assassins are useful for taking out in-game characters.

The overall look is cartoon like and in keeping with the light-hearted feel of the theme and, given the price, this is quite a good game, which concentrates on its core playability and replayability. If you like it, it will provide many hours, outside of the campaign, of play, so long as you accept that this is essentially a board game on a computer.


Charles Packer

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