[Nintendo Switch] Despot’s Game Review

by EdEN, Owner

Despot’s Game from Konfa Games and tinyBuild brings us a roguelite tactical auto-battler on Nintendo Switch. Learn more in our Despot’s Game review!

Despot’s Game from Konfa Games and tinyBuild brings us a roguelite tactical auto-battler on Nintendo Switch. The indie studio previously gave us the dark management sim Despotism 3K – which I got a chance to review on PlayStation 4 a couple of years ago – and we’re now getting an experience in which you’ll get some humans to guide through a deadly labyrinth where everything is out to kill them. Fail, and the whole world will be randomly generated for your next run, so you won’t know what you’re going to face next.

Since this is an autobattler, you won’t be directly controlling the humans in your group. Select your team, set things up so that they feel just right – with what you have available to you – and hope for the best! There’s a lot of RNG in this one. For those of you who are not familiar with the term, RNG stands for random number generator, and it is how games calculate the odds for this or that element. This includes, for example, the layout of a room, items that spawn, the chance of landing a hit, how much damage is dealt, and so on.

Once you begin a run, you’ll have to place your available units within the designated area by grabbing them with the ZR button and moving them around to the right spot. Once you’re happy with your current setup, you can press the X button to let the carnage begin. Defeat all enemies and survive that room, and you can choose the room you’ll move into next. Move around and place your units and press the X button to do it all over again. You get the picture. Obtain tokens and spend them at the shop to get some items as well as add new humans to your party.

Speaking of which, tokens can – and should – also be used at the food shop to, you know, buy some food. Sure, our benevolent, wise, and all-mighty robotic overlords don’t need food to survive, but the puny humans that will explore the maze do need to eat, or else they’ll perish! The more humans you have in your party, the more food they’ll consume as they walk from door to door, trying to defeat anything that stands in their path.

There are tons of items and mutations to consider since they can pop during your many, many runs. They’re split into five different tiers, which are directly related to their effectiveness and stats. Grab yourself a Tower Shield to receive a good boost to attack, defense, and overall health, but it won’t be as good as what you can get from the Excellent Coffing, which will greatly boost the three aforementioned stats, making a huge difference. Items are available for the different classes, which means that some classes will get boosts to other stats that will favor their particular skills.

Despot's Game: Dystopian Army Builder Review - 2

As for mutations, they’re part of a long list with 150+ potential modifiers for your runs. There are a ton of them, so it would take a while to talk about all of them, but I can certainly go over some examples. You can have the Powerful Pill, which allows Healers to stack a bonus 40 to the target’s attack when healing. Grab Chain Lighting and Thunderbolt will be converted into a mighty Chain Lighting that will deal damage to 5 additional targets, which can make a big difference! To compensate for this, each strike will deal 50% of the damage of the previous hit.

Another one that can help you a lot is Sword Dance. Sword Dance will make Fencers spin every 14 seconds, dealing their basic attacks as magic damage over 7 seconds for 30 mana. A very important Mutation that can extend your run is Vampirism since it can make all class units heal themselves for 7% of the damage dealt, so the mightier the hits you land, the faster you’ll be able to heal a unit’s wounds. A big chunk of mutations will need to be unlocked by completing different objectives, such as defeating 100 zombie monsters or destroying 99 scorpotaur monsters. Other mutations will unlock by completing quests.

Despot's Game: Dystopian Army Builder Review - 3

If you’re the type of gamer who likes to 100% games, then you’ll be playing this one for a while. There’s an in-game achievement system to consider, which will mimic the trophy list for the game on PlayStation. There are achievements for completing each of the biomes as well as for making it to the end of the campaign. One that you’ll be working on non-stop is for unlocking all mutations in the game. Some are a bit more specific, such as helping the talking sword get vengeance. Are you up to the challenge?

Despot’s Game is a cruel roguelite tactical auto-battler in which humans are put through a maze to see if they have what it takes to survive… kinda like lab rats! The more you play, the better you’ll get at planning things so that you can extend your runs. There are many items to unlock and add to your party, as well as a ton of mutators that will spice things up. Despot’s Game is available on Nintendo Switch with a $19.99 price tag. There’s also a Challenges DLC available for $3.99, which adds 20 missions set on a lunar test site where there are no random elements, which means you can quickly learn from your mistakes to boost your performance. You can also get the Despot’s Game Collector’s Edition for $22.99, saving you a buck in the process.

Despot's Game: Dystopian Army Builder Review - 4

This Despot’s Game review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by tinyBuild.

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