Do you just like the Sq. Enix Go collection of video games, however really feel like they wanted extra crime? Congratulations, Vandals [$3.99] is the sport for you. This turn-based puzzler unapologetically resembles the collection that began with Hitman Go [$4.99] and applies a graffiti and road artwork theme to the sport. It is actually by-product, however the graffiti facet is enjoyable, and the sport gives a historical past of road artwork as well! Nonetheless, relying in your emotions concerning the Sq. Enix Go video games, this won’t be price choosing up.
This can be a turn-based puzzler the place you progress one between linked nodes on the grid-like ranges, utilizing stealth to keep away from detection from the police. You progress, after which the police make their transfer, however for those who stroll into their line of sight, or right into a fail state place the place you’re one tile from them, this can occur even earlier than the police make their transfer, even when their habits signifies they may flip a sure path, for instance. Your objective in every stage is to make it to the designated graffiti spot, spray paint your message of fact (or an enormous cartoon dong), after which bust it to the exit, with out getting nabbed by the coppers.
The place Vandals differs from the opposite Go video games is that sound era performs an enormous function in deterring your pursuers. You possibly can whistle to attract close by guards, although you higher have a plan to e book it out of there earlier than they see you and attempt to seize you. The guards aren’t very good for many of the sport, fortunately, so you possibly can simply get out of their line of sight…normally. You will additionally decide up bottles that you may throw additional than you possibly can whistle, so you possibly can create diversions. You’re the loudest road artist within the historical past of the medium, so you’ll wind up drawing consideration to anyone close to you whenever you spray your newest masterpiece. So, ideally you will need to ship your enemies far-off, after which spray in peace.
A variety of the enjoyable truly comes from making your individual graffiti. You are given a contemporary canvas on every stage, and when you can simply use the identify you place in (with quite a lot of completely different fonts) you too can draw your individual graffiti. There is not a time restrict, or any bonus to drawing customized graffiti, it is only a neat factor that you are able to do. And hey, it is a good little bit of enjoyable.
The sport presents three stars for doing effectively on a stage: finishing with out being seen, getting the bonus star, and finishing in underneath a sure variety of strikes. You possibly can full ranges with none stars, although getting stars principally simply unlocks different ranges, together with aspect quest ranges you possibly can play via. Whereas it won’t make it attainable to win a stage with the Invisible or Turns circumstances, you are able to do some enjoyable issues like getting cops to chase you round corners, liberating up the exit within the stage for you. The cops have predictable habits, and whereas the sport can throw some stumpers at you, I by no means felt excessively challenged.
Additionally, the sport does extra than simply use graffiti and road artwork as a handy theme. There are pictures you possibly can faucet in some ranges that may present you info on road artwork historical past, and educate you about some well-known road artists all through historical past. The sport itself takes place in several intervals of historical past in well-known world cities, and artists from these scenes are featured in these little data playing cards.
Vandals helps portrait and panorama orientations, which is one thing extra video games completely have to do going ahead. Particularly for a turn-base sport like this, the place it looks like there is no motive for it to not assist portrait mode if in any respect attainable. Vandals could be performed one-handed on a bus or prepare, or simply sitting again, enjoyable. It is a comfort issue that many video games, particularly puzzle titles, are inclined to overlook.
The chief drawback with Vandals is that it is extraordinarily by-product of the Go video games. There’s one thing reasonably specific concerning the guidelines, the construction, even the interconnected dots, that makes the sport simply really feel like an unauthorized entry within the Go collection. That is effective! It is a good sport collection to steal from! After all, it looks as if Sq. Enix Montreal is not making any extra Go video games, so if you need extra of this type of gameplay, one thing like Vandals is what you will must take pleasure in. And actually, I discover Vandals to a bit extra gratifying than Deus Ex Go was, significantly since Vandals has a way of fashion and character that Deus Ex lacked.
The issue is that I did not actually take pleasure in Deus Ex Go as a result of it did not deliver a complete lot that was new to the desk. Whereas I will definitely take pleasure in one thing like dual-stick shooters in all their variations, this turn-based puzzle gameplay is constructed round so many particular guidelines that future video games constructed round these guidelines will begin to really feel comparable. Every of the Go video games added its personal twists, nevertheless it feels just like the idea has had diminishing returns with additional entries. And Vandals, as a sport that cribs from that collection, winds up being an authentic title that also feels a bit drained. Like, I have been right here earlier than, I’ve seen how this all works. Certain, there is a couple new gameplay components, however that is not precisely something shocking. Dwell by the homage, die by the homage.
The counterpoint is that if you have not performed the Go video games or loved Deus Ex Go, you will probably have a superb time with this one. Such is the character of those sorts of video games that hew intently to their supply materials. And it is definitely a credit score to Vandals that it feels identical to the “actual” factor whereas additionally actually having its personal catches. I simply cannot recover from the truth that I really feel like I’ve performed this earlier than. It isn’t dangerous, simply that perhaps the idea wants to attend a number of years earlier than it feels contemporary once more.