Get back to beat-em-up basics with Treachery in Beatdown City.
There’s enough retro goodness on the Nintendo Switch to go around when it comes to brawlers. Heck, the Double Dragon and Kunio-Kun collection has hours of fun in itself. But that didn’t stop the developers at Nuchallenger from trying something entirely new with Treachery in Beatdown City.
A New Approach
Rather than taking the usual fisticuffs route like other brawlers before it, Treachery leans more towards a turn-based strategy kind of play. You’ll choose from one of three different characters and engage in battles are you attempt to save President Blake Orama from the evil Ninja Dragons. It’s not as easy as it looks, as some enemies are more than ready to put up a fight.
The game features three characters in all, each with different techniques. My personal favorite is Lisa, a street champion that knows a thing or two about brute force. But there’s also wrestler Brad Steele, as well as kung fu master Bruce Maxwell, in case you’re in the mood for something different.
As you make your way through the city’s map, you’ll come across different battles. But you’ll also meet some bystanders that have some stories to tell you, along with a Farooq’s Damn Halal Cart, which doubles as a save point.
Buggy Fights Await
But then there are the battles themselves. With each move you pull off, you’ll use FP, or fight points, so you’ll need to balance them out carefully. This is nicely done with an action meter, which offers a decent amount of recharge so you stay in the battle. And you can unlock new moves along the way as well, helpful when it comes to tougher opponents which you’ll come across.
It’s a neat idea for a game, but its execution isn’t always the greatest. One of the bigger problems that exist in Treachery in Beatdown City is its technical gaffes. It shouldn’t be that hard to design an 8-bit style game. But still, there were moments that bugs popped up, and the game even froze up in some of the most crucial moments. Hopefully, there will be a fix incoming soon.
Not For Everyone, Sadly
As for the fun component, it really depends on your style of play. While the new moves and strategies can be enjoyable for some, I think I prefer the straight-up brawling that other games deliver. That’s because it can take forever to get through some of these battles; and even with the new moves, the general rhythm stays about the same. Not to mention that the game comes to an end all too soon anyway, without the satisfying conclusion that players deserve. (There is a new episode coming soon, free of charge, but you’d think that Nuchallenger would’ve just waited and released the complete game instead of leaving players hanging.)
There are moments of inspiration here, though. The story is very well done and has lots of good points when it comes to general social commentary, along with the right amount of humor. And the main characters are very likable, so you should be able to find a favorite with relative ease. But that’s if you can get past the technical setbacks and the somewhat repetitive gameplay.
A Fight That’s Tougher Than It Needs To Be
Treachery in Beatdown City has some imaginative design behind it, along with some good ideas put into its storyline and gameplay. But between repetitiveness, broken issues with the game and the fact it doesn’t reach a proper conclusion at this point in time, it has too many setbacks to give it a full recommendation. If you’re curious about a retro-style game and don’t mind the new approach, it might be worth $20 to you. But everyone else should wait until the complete experience arrives. Fortunately, you’ve got other games that you can play in the meantime…like Kunio-Kun.
A neat idea for an old-school tactical brawler, but not enough oomph.