I haven’t heard anybody talking about this game, but my partner and I are loving it. If you’re unfamiliar, it’s from The Behemoth (makers of Alien Hominid, Castle Crashers and BattleBlock Theater). It’s a turn-based tactics game played on a hex board and—like all Behemoth games—has a strong leaning towards local co-op. Also like all Behemoth games, it has a hand-drawn art style, a healthy dose of bathroom humour, and hilarious voice acting by Will Stamper (well, I don’t think Stamper worked on Alien Hominid).
I don’t think The Behemoth get enough props for how good their games are at local co-op. Personally, that’s my favorite way to play a game—it’s the closest video games get to recreating the fun I had playing D&D as a kid. The local co-op experience is so well designed in Pit People.
Take Diablo 3, which had great moment-to-moment co-op, but was not able to carry that through to the inventory management side of the game. After every run, each of us would take our turn for five or so minutes to sort through our loot and level up. The menu for each person takes up the whole screen, so you spend a lot of time twiddling your thumbs while you wait. In contrast, Pit People does a great job of streamlining this by giving each player a half of the screen during the moments in town. By the time you’ve chosen your loadout, so has your couch buddy.
Pit People also hits that Pokemon-like, collecting endless party members feeling. Pit People has a much smaller roster (standard humans, and a dozen or so special units, like huge momma trolls that spawn furry babies, rainbow-farting, artillery-horn unicorns, and the always necessary cupcake, who heals your other units by feeding them his own frosting), but achieves a lot of variety through the inventive gear and customization. Most importantly, the names. The random name pool in Pit People is deep, and a name can’t be changed, so if you see a bandit with the name Skelontonius or a troll named Thorp McBlasto, it’s pretty enticing to try to recruit them to your squad. My personal favorites are my twin Kobolds, Tree Lawn and Chad.
Danielle was talking about her burgeoning interest in strategy and Pit People is a really great but approachable tactics game. If anybody out there is looking for solid co-op experience, or a single-player grind fest (there are so many unlockable hats), I highly recommend this.