The launch of Anithero is upon us. Built by Tim Conkling and published by the folks at Versus Evil, Antihero is probably best described as a cross between X-Com, Thief, and the Civilization games. It’s a fast turn-based strategy game where you play a thief trying to carve his or her own niche in a Victorian era underworld. You’ll recruit street urchins, hire thugs, ward off the law, and bribe, steal, and blackmail your way to supremacy. It’s all done with an exaggerated cartoon veneer, and quite frankly, it’s bloody brilliant. This is our Anithhero one hour review.
I was able to sneak in about three hours of Antihero’s campaign before the launch date, and I’ve loved just about every bit of it. It can be challenging without being frustrating because you’re often failing due to your own miscalculations. The CPU is smart and often thinks steps ahead, whereas I’m a dim-witted American and often only think about what kind of cheese I’m going to eat later. In other words, Antihero takes practice and patience.
There’s a main story campaign that’ll last you around 10 hours or so I’m told, but there’s also asynchronous multiplayer, and live turn-by-turn PVP matches. In-game leaderboards tell you who’s the most dominant thief, and while matches can take some time, they don’t take the many hours games of Civ do. You don’t need an entire evening to play Antihero to its fullest, but you might just want to set it aside anyway. Even without the super long games, Antihero has that “Just One More Turn” quality that’s missing from a lot of today’s strategy games.
If I had to pick a favorite part of Conkling’s game, it’s the creative way in which Antihero lets you carve a path to victory. There are many ways to win a match, from simply buying bribes (which isn’t as easy as it sounds) or taking out assassination targets, or blackmailing the opposition. Each of these sounds easy, but with the other team constantly waging war against your thieving empire, it often proves harder than it first seems.
I can plainly see that Antihero would make an excellent game on just about any system it touched – from the tablet and phone to the lovely new portable Switch and even the big boy home consoles. On PC, it’s brilliant, but I can’t help thinking I’d choose to play it more if it were with me on the go. Get on it, Versus Evil!
Overall, given my brief time with Antihero, I recommend it for fans of turn-based strategy looking for something new in a tried and true genre. It’s pretty great, my friends.
One Hour Review Score: 8/10
- Great style
- Quick matches
- Compelling multiplayer
- Highly replayable
- Seems best suited to mobile
- Forgettable soundtrack
Editor’s Note: Antihero was reviewed with a copy provided by Versus Evil. Our One Hour Reviews are a type of review we do here at GameSpace that tries to tell what a game is like within the first hour or two of play. We’re an Indie site, and we don’t have a large staff, so sometimes we get to spend less time than we’d like with reviews. But frankly, shouldn’t you know if a game is any good before that first sit down with it is over? That’s what we think, and that’s why we do these One Hour Reviews.