Pit People PC Review

Although its turn-based combat doesn’t hold up in the long run, Pit People is a hilarious, absurd adventure that’s worth trying out.

By Woozie, Posted 27 Mar 2018

At the start of Pit People, a giant space bear hits a planet where ghosts, kobolds, robots and sentient cupcakes co-exist more or less peacefully. During a storm of green bear blood, the narrator decides that Horatio, blueberry farmer and suddenly protagonist, has to die because he’s committed the unforgivable crime of being boring. An introductory fight sequence later and Horatio is free to roam through Pit People’s colorful world, fight turn-based battles and even capture the various creatures he encounters, in an attempt to get his son back from said space bear. It’s the fourth genre The Behemoth have approached since their debut title, Alien Hominid, while remaining consistent in terms of humor and art style.

Pit People, PC, Review, Screenshot

Visually, Pit People is a cartoony delight; a deluge of color that keeps things lively and elevates the chaotic nature of the fights, without making things hard to distinguish between, for the most part. You can put an afro on a ghost or have a cyclops throw revolvers at enemies; the wackiness is turned up to eleven. One moment you’re moving your pooping wagon across green lands, only to be met with a portion of the world that’s made of ice cream. Moments later, you may find yourself in a spooky graveyard, with vampires and zombies roaming around. The tracks that play at all times are quite varied and upbeat, with funk, electro, jazz and even slight tribal elements making themselves heard. Then there’s the voice acting which, while not making use of proper language, handles inflections and tonality in such a way that they emphasize the often outrageous situations excellently.

Pit People’s turn-based battles are showers of colorful chaos that ultimately end up not having enough lasting power in the long run. There are a couple of different character types with different roles and weaknesses, as well as a large number of items – some cosmetic, others with gameplay-affecting bonuses – but the battles themselves play out rather simply. You need only select a destination for each character, after which they’ll move and attack enemies that are in range, or adjacent. If near more than just one foe, they’ll choose their targets on their own. Thus, some planning is required as, adjacency to more targets means a smaller chance at taking out that low health foe, while allowing your character to get pummeled more. No matter how much you plan, however, there’s always the possibility of a ranged unit choosing to attack an enemy that explodes upon death, taking out friendly units in the process. Friendly fire’s not off the table either. No matter how much you mix up your teams on each run, and that’s where a good part of the planning goes into, it all eventually boils down to choosing each character’s position and watching things unfurl.

Pit People, PC, Review, Screenshot

It’s colorful, chaotic mayhem that kept me interested during Pit People’s first hours, as I was discovering how trolls can throw units across the map, cupcakes sacrifice their own health to heal others and robots are immune to poison attacks, while being able to zap a chain of targets from range. But after I had picked up on what each type of character does, the urge to turn on the included auto battler – which automatically plays battles without requiring any player input, but doesn’t allow fully skipping them –made itself felt increasingly more often. Certain subtleties like immunities to elements, vulnerability to sharp objects, or trading off movement capabilities in order to equip heavier gear, didn’t stop tactical choices from mostly coming down to which target to crowd around first, or which friendly character to block the enemy’s way to. Certain fights can also drag out for too long. The humor does a stellar job at carrying the game for a good while – if you’re into it, of course –, but when it comes to the actual gameplay, the battles which constitute the bulk of it run the risk of becoming a bit too similar a bit too soon.

Pit People also has a Pokémon-esque element to it. While quests sometimes reward new fighters, you can also capture any one you encounter by isolating and caging them in battles. At first, I hunted for the types I didn’t own. After a while, however, I found myself going after robots wearing carrots as hats, or ghosts with fancy hairdos. Then, while doing battle, I bumped into a troll named Butt whom I just couldn’t let go of. And who doesn’t want to kick ass with a troll named Butt? Again, the humor creeps in, making this seemingly silly endeavor something I actively participated in for a good while, and without which I probably wouldn’t have looked at the random encounters spread across the game’s maps after combat started to feel stale.

Pit People, PC, Review, Screenshot

What kept me going, and thoroughly entertained throughout most of my time with Pit People, was the game’s humor. If the premise of a giant bear hitting the planet, and deciding Horatio had to die because he’s boring didn’t give it away, Pit People has its fair share of absurd situations. It brims with nonsensical scenarios that can be outright hilarious. I fought a cannibalistic cupcake holding seminars for people who wanted to become cannibals themselves. I also went looking for a cyclops’ other eye which quickly devolved into a gladiatorial battle against a giant foe, and often when battles slowed down, or took too long, one of the characters would blurt out lines that made me chuckle. I was always curious to see how outrageous the situations would get before being resolved and The Behemoth have both expertly written and paced their dialogue in this sense, mixing silliness with wit. There’s humor even in the names, from the aforementioned troll named Butt, to Snif Yahleta II, a pharaoh that must be escorted to his own burial in one quest. If the thought of a possibly deranged-looking giraffe staring into your soul while telling you how its “big butt makes big poops” makes you chuckle, you’re probably going to find Pit People to be quite a riot.

Pit People’s main story is fairly short, seeing Horatio & co. going through a couple of different arenas, while spicing things up with objectives other than “kill everything and maybe capture that one guy”. The problem is that some of these missions also drag on for a little too long and the ending pops up quite suddenly. Aside from it, there are multi-stage side quests and area quests which are more contained but present in larger numbers. Some side quests are framed as a fairy tales being narrated, or a noir mystery where you help Detective Hardboil, the hairy troll, go after his nemesis. These add a good amount of humorous situations, but, unfortunately, they don’t vary the fights enough, aside from throwing different combinations or higher numbers of foes at you. There’s also the possibility of 2-player co-op, both local and online, and taking a friend along for the ride is quite a good idea, as it adds a certain degree of coordination to the fights, while possibly fending tedium off when an argument over whose bagpipe-toting penguin has the cutest hat ensues. There’s also a wave-based challenge and online PvP, as well as an Insane mode which ramps up the difficulty.

Pit People, PC, Review, Screenshot

Despite its combat’s limitations, I adored Pit People’s lively world with all its crazy characters and absurd situations. There are tons of items to get, fighters to capture and quests to complete in its delightfully rendered areas, but it’s mainly The Behemoth’s approach to humor, both in a visual and written sense, that makes me look back at my time with the game and smile.

Bogdan Robert, NoobFeed
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General Information

Pit People

78/100

Platform(s): Xbox One, PC
Publisher(s): The Behemoth
Developer(s): The Behemoth
Genres: Action
Themes: Action
Release Date: 2018-03-02

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