Despot’s Game: Dystopian Army Builder Steam Early Access Report (Launch)
Disclosure; This Despot’s Game: Dystopian Army Builder Steam Early Access Report is based off of a review copy provided for free.
Despot’s Game: Dystopian Army Builder, developed by Konfa Games, is a tactical rogue-like army builder where you equip and guide them through procedural dungeons using various weapons types and abilities. The biggest tactical element of the game is about unit placement of your humans based on their weapons and abilities because the battles can’t be controlled as they happen. Winning battles as you move from one room to another will reward you with currency to buy more humans or weapons from an upgradeable shop. The survival aspect of the game is a food system, as you’ll need to also buy food for your army or they can starve to death. Managing your food supply is equally important in this experience, but can also be frustrating.
Given that Despot’s Game is random and different every run, you’ll need to adapt on the fly to make sure your army is effective. One of the more interesting mechanics in the game is that the weapon abilities are gated by weapon types through thresholds. For example, if you have two different sword weapons on the battlefield it unlocks a new ability for humans using that weapon type. This forces the player to choose weapons that synergize with each other, rather than spread out the army across weapon types. The other reason is the bigger the army, the more food will need to be consumed, so focusing on a few types of weapons will be beneficial. The other major system in the game is the mutation system. Besides buying humans, food, and weapons, you can also buy ‘mutations’ for your humans to give them passive bonuses or make items cheaper in the shop.
I was generally surprised by my experience because I had largely ignored the game until reading more about it. The pixel graphics aren’t amazing, but they make the game work in allowing you to feel like you’re managing an army and not having to worry about technical performance. The game has some interesting weapons, including a pretzel weapon that stood out the most out of everything. I’m a real sucker for games with weapon tiers like common, magic, and legendary, and the game has that also.
I haven’t played too many runs in this game, but I will over time. Despot’s Game has a very casual experience type of feel to it, especially for a game with a decent amount of mechanics all going on at once. I will definitely be playing this more as the game adds more features like multiplayer mode and more mutations.
Despot’s Game: Dystopian Army Builder is expected to be in Steam Early Access for as long as a year.
Version 1.0 Wishlist
- Scrap the food system for a supply system