he turn based genre has never really appealed to me in any way whatsoever. I just can’t seem to invest the time for it as it’s mostly J-RPG’s that favour this for their combat mechanics. Not that I think that anything turn based is bad necessarily, just that it doesn’t push the right buttons with me. These last few days, that all changed with stealth and turn based infused gameplay from Vandals developer Cosmografik.
The isometric camera angle, stealthy turn based action, and the ability to spray graffiti on a pre-determined location whilst evading the police make Vandals a breath of fresh air in the gaming world. There’s also cool little collectibles found on each map, in the form of a photo giving a brief description of the history of graffiti and the artists involved.
Visually, the game is aiming for a less-is-more aesthetic, with low poly character models, set in the dim glow of street lights after night fall. The perfect time to commit acts of vandalism if you’re into that sort of thing, and here at KGK we don’t promote it. Unless you’re playing Vandals, in which case go crazy. But please, keep it clean.
Aside from just completing a level and moving on, Vandals offers the completionist the chance to earn a trio of stars to properly completing a level. Can you make it to the end in less than the set amount of turns? What about collecting the bonus? Or without being seen? These three challenges are up for grabs for each and every level, should that be of concern to you. Personally I enjoyed the added challenge that Vandals offered, although I’m far from ownership of all the stars.
In terms of difficulty, Vandals is far from hard to work your way through and some levels may have you making a couple of extra attempts before the solution presents itself to you. This is more likely to happen the further you advance, as police officers go from being stationary and even sleeping, to making patrols around the level and even using binoculars to see further. Thankfully, there’s usually a way out of trouble, which can be through the underground tunnels or through a broken chain link fence to escape would be pursuers. Sometimes though, you’ll have to cut your way through a fence and forego a movement turn, which if you’re currently being chased can mean all the difference between capture and evasion.
Vandals is a great time killer, whether that be in short or prolonged bursts, offering simplistic gameplay mechanics, a relaxed soundtrack and plenty of levels to occupy yourself with for a reasonable price. Worth a purchase at that low price on all platforms and each part of the world. Highly recommended even if it’s a little bit on the easy side.
Overall Score 8/10
Publisher: ARTE France
Release Date: 12th April 2018
Price: iOS/Android -€4.49/£3.99/$5.49 - Steam - €4.49/£3.99/$5.99
Steam copy provided for review purpose.
Available on Steam, iOS and Android.