Half Baked: Pit People

From a flash game about an alien on Newgrounds, to a game about knights rescuing princesses, to a game about collecting things and putting on small stage plays, to this: a turn based strategy game about a blueberry farmer seeking revenge for his totally dead son.

What?

Welcome to Pit People, the newest game from The BehemothPit People starts off directly where Battleblock Theater left you: with a giant cosmic bear crashing in to the world, “transforming it in to a colorful kaleidoscope of delicious chaos.” And chaos it is. Green bear blood oozes all around, monsters roam freely, and a passive aggressive comment spouting narrator torments the land.

Strategy isn’t a genre that The Behemoth is exactly known for. They’re excellent, possibly the best, at making chaotic side scrolling action/adventure games. That didn’t stop them from tackling a pretty tough genre to get right. Pit People doesn’t get bogged down with resource management and complex strategies, instead it is a pretty straightforward balance between simple tactics and exciting combat. The combat screen even provides a +/- icon to let players know if their attacks are going to be worth it before they finish crafting a strategy on their turn.

The overworld map is chaotic and intense and an homage to classic Final Fantasy when monsters roamed the map and you could avoid them with the right timing. If timing isn’t your thing, your wagon has a sweet cannon that can stun enemies for easy escape and passage.

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Oh. It’s Horatio.

Pit People follows Horatio, a blueberry farmer who just wants to avenge his dead son. Horatio is soon joined by a friendly cyclops named Yosef, an angry and vengeful princess Pipistrella, and a conquistador who helps you, er, recruit new party members, named Sofia. These four heroes comprise your main party until you can recruit different types of fighters or until you pay to expand the amount of party members you can have at any given time (up to a max of 6).

The party system is one of the most intriguing parts about Pit People because any enemy you meet on the hexagonal battlefield can become a party member with a simple flick of the wrist and  toss of a net. The system gives players the freedom to customize their party to their particular play style. Want a bunch of long-range fighters armed with balloon longbows and one tank character with a fence for a shield and some broccoli for a sword? Do it. Go nuts. The world is your ridiculous creepy oyster.

Also, you meet a Cupcake named Gluten and he heals your party with globs of his sweet, tangy delicious frosting.

I fell in to the piiiiit.

I need to preface this with the fact that Pit People is, indeed, an Early Access title which means that the bugs haven’t been squashed, the mechanics aren’t back from their lunch break, and the story hasn’t quite been finished. And that is all perfectly fine because there is a metric ton of content to play around with and familiarize yourself with.

The main story, which I’m going to hopefully and safely assume, follows Horatio and his quest for revenge for his dead son. The only playable story quests involve assisting Princess Pipistrella in hunting down the grumpy warriors who raided her castle and killed her father, King Papastrella. Once you track down Helmitor and his minions and you have your epic showdown (seriously, some of the animation and storytelling and concepts in this game are nothing short of brilliant) and the story starts getting captivating…you run out of story quests.

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Once you return to the main city, a plethora of side quests are opened up for you and your heroes to enjoy. You can bring toilet paper to a town with a giant toilet or you can bring the mail to an retired-Army cupcake or any number of other fun and exciting things you can do.

Or, if you think you’re real tough and real cool, you can fight in The Pit. The Pit is a tournament arena for you to test your mettle against either the AI or against other Pit People. I played a couple matches against the AI (matches are three rounds where damage, fallen party members, and kills carry over) and did fairly well. It’s a good way to make gold and get sweet loot.

Thoughts for your thoughts.

The Behemoth has said there is a lot of content that they aren’t ready to have tested yet and there are things they haven’t quite hammered out yet such as story quests, characters, weapons, etc. And again, this is an Early Access title so if you buy it, you should try to understand that concept.

All of that being said, I absolutely love this game so far. As always, it was well worth the gold I paid for it. Some studios don’t make bad games, The Behemoth is one of them.

Does it sound like your cup of frosting? Pit People is available on PC via Steam (Early Access) and on Xbox One via the Preview Program for $14.99. A full release date is anticipated within the next year.

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