Indie Review: Grotesque Tactics 2: Dungeons & Donuts
Grotesque Tactics 2 is a satirical exercise in RPG fare and favours parody over serious RPG substance. The game is a turn-based RPG with a basic tactical battle system. It is befitting of any type of player both casual and hardcore.
- Worth The Time?Not really.
- Things LovedThe hilarious voice acting, likable characters and the blatant parody on show.
- Things HatedThe battle system is old and tired, graphics are dated and the game suffers from a few bugs, and crashes.
- RecommendationIf you enjoyed other strategy RPGs or fantasy games with tactical flair this may be for you. Otherwise, it's not all that good.
- Name: Grotesque Tactics 2: Dungeons & Donuts
- Genre: Strategy RPG
- Players: 1
- Multiplayer: None
- Platforms: PC
- Developer: Silent Dreams / Headup Games
- Publisher: Meridian4
- Price: R199
- Reviewed On: PC
Grotesque Tactics 2: Dungeons & Donuts is a satirical turn-based RPG from developer Headup Games. The game parodies the RPG genre with all its frills and steel plated armour. Any game is fair play from the popular Pokemon series to the Baldur’s Gate series, to the Diablo series, to nearly every conceivable dungeon crawler that has sufficient tropes on display.
The story follows that the game’s fantasy world is in grave danger and it is up to the main protagonist Drake, who suffers from hero’s amnesia, to form a guild and take on enemy forces. He meets a range of characters along his journey beginning with the introduction of the Holy Avatar guild led by the charismatic Holy Avatar, and followed by his dedicated maidens. From then on, you begin to explore the vast network of dungeons and meet new party members along the way.
Gameplay in Grotesque Tactics 2 is very basic and derivative of the genre. The battle system can be likened to games in the Might & Magic series, King’s Bounty series interspersed with dungeon crawling elements. Essentially, you move your characters along a grid-like system of spaces, like a chessboard, and can choose to attack enemies with magic or physical attacks. As such, characters in your party can travel along a select number of spaces. From there, you can initiate either an attack with a character, or even assume a defensive postion if your reach is limited.
Depending on where you position party members within the grid the amount of damage you inflict is relative. So if you attack an enemy from behind, such as a Blob or goblin, damage inflicted will be relatively higher than if you attacked from the front. Characters have both a normal attack available and a special attack which costs mana, and upgrading your talent trees becomes useful in powering up attacks. The same can be said of spells and magic in general. Critically, you have to be careful with the choices and decisions you make because if your strategy is at all faulty you’ll suffer against higher level monsters and enemies. Picking roles for your characters such as a designated attacker, healer and defender are all an essential part of how you define a good party in Grotesque Tactics 2. Yet, this type of battle system has been done to death and Grotesque Tactics 2 does nothing new with combat. It ends up feeling like a rehash of a rehash and after a while the game becomes boring, and repetitive.
Aesthetically, the game’s visuals are somewhat dated and feel lack lustre when compared to other Indie RPGs on the market. The game does indeed have a definitive visual style which is appropriate for the humorous undertone present in the game. But a limited number of stock animations in character models tarnish the overall package.
In terms of sound design, the game has a forgettable soundtrack. However, excellent voice acting especially within the main cast of characters brings to life the somewhat likable characters and doesn’t dull the total experience.
Subsequently, this doesn’t save Grotesque Tactics 2 from being an average RPG title which whilst funny in parts isn’t fully realised. The game at times feels directionless and doesn’t have enough depth. I understand it’s not a serious title. Nevertheless, for the price I was expecting a funnier game. Sadly it doesn’t fit the bill.