Antihero

Posted by GG Goblin On July - 17 - 2017

Ruling the city streets.

 
Fresh from Tim Conkling and Versus Evil, Antihero tasks the player with controlling a thieves guild and taking full control of a Victorian city through all manner of nasty, underhanded methods. Playing out like a digital board game, the players will take turns to scout locations and maybe burgle a few houses with their master thief, before hiring some urchins or thugs to take care of other business. Build up the most powerful guild in the city and rule the streets.

 
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Antihero comes with a nice campaign that breaks down the different gameplay ideas across various different matches in order to teach the player the finer points of playing. There is not really much by way of story, but as the player will simply be moving from one match to the next, there is not much missing here. The matches themselves, in which the player will compete with the AI to achieve certain different victory conditions, range in length and do take longer as the game progresses and the maps get bigger. There is also quite a difficulty spike that certainly took me by surprise, but it really doesn’t take too long to get the hang of things, and then it all comes down to the players strategy.

 
There are two different currencies in play in Antihero. Gold coins are the most obvious and can be gathered through various means, primarily by having your master thief burgle buildings. Before doing that, the master thief will need to scout areas of the map in order to remove the fog that covers the streets and see what is actually there. Removing the fog will reveal different types of buildings that can offer various bonuses.

 
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So, the gold coins are used to hire new characters that will make up the thieves guild alongside their master thief, and each type of character comes with specific skills and uses. Urchins are perhaps the most important strategically, as they can be moves into buildings for ongoing bonuses, such as cheaper recruiting or extra currency each turn. You also have thugs that can be used to guard or block routes on the map, and gangs that can also move opposing urchins from buildings. The truant officer is used specifically for rounding up urchins, and the saboteur can set traps. Then there is the hugely expensive assassin that can be used to remove a particularly troublesome opposing unit from the board.

 
The other currency is lanterns, and these are used to unlock various abilities in your guild, along with unlocking the different units to make them available to buy. There are three different branches in which to purchase upgrades, such as cooking in the Skullduggery branch that allows the hiring of urchins, or the dagger in the Stabbery branch which gives the master thief a way of attacking opposing units. Through spending lanterns, the player can also purchase bribes which can count as one victory point. If no upgrades are purchased in a turn, the player can claim either a few extra coins or a couple of lanterns to be used later.

 
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There is a brilliant too and fro to the gameplay in Antihero. Victory points may come from killing characters that roam the map, or they may come from blackmailing the church by moving three urchins in. Victory points can sometimes be lost as well, such as when a truant officer moves the urchins back out of the church, so the flow is forever changing.

 
The campaign lasts a good few hours, and prepares the player for what comes next. Antihero offers plenty of multiplayer choices, including both local and online multiplayer. Most interestingly, there is an asynchronous multiplayer mode in which the player can play a match over an extended amount of time, and even get emails sent through when it is their turn. This is a nice idea, reminding me of the email games of old, and works surprisingly well.

 
Antihero is a great looking game with tons of personality. The different types of buildings are easy to identify and fit in with the theme, while the different characters, with their oversized heads, all look menacing and can easily be spotted as they move around the map.

 
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Antihero is a great turn-based strategy game with a board game style and plenty of charm. There is plenty to learn through the course of the campaign, and then loads of multiplayer options for every type of player. Fans of turn-based strategy would do well to check out Antihero.

 

 ★★★★★★★★½☆ 



 

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