I’ve been trying my hand at a few games lately that I may not have taken too seriously in the past. One such game that falls into that category, is the cutesy riot simulator called Anarcute. Anarcute is a game that originally started out as a school project, devised by five students from the French school Supinfogame. After it received numerous accolades and awards, the company, and the game, kept growing until it received a full console and PC release.
Anarcute is probably one of the cutest games I’ve played in a while. Even though you’re playing as an angry mob, each individual of that mob is adorable. Almost every animal in the animal kingdom is represented in the gangs that create cutesy chaos throughout the various areas. There’s something very enjoyable about having a panda take to the streets to lob a car at a cop. It’s even more fun when you have a massive group of diverse critters destroying everything in sight. The only things that manage to stay standing are the buildings, as just wandering through the streets your massive mob will smash through everything else. They’ll even pick up various items and start tossing them at things on your command.
The other really excellent part of Anarcute is the soundtrack. A number of fantastic songs that complement the gameplay and cutesy aesthetic perfectly. The game could certainly have gone a different route, it could have been a more serious game, but the soundtrack makes it what it is. Instead of serious revolutionary acts, your mini-animals are trying to overcome the brainwashed bobbies by any means necessary. Not just overcoming them, but doing it while set to a lovely, jovial soundtrack that will get stuck in your head for days.
Cuteness can’t cover everything
Although Anarcute is extremely cute, there are a couple of cracks in the game’s makeup. The most major issue that can be found in the game is the shallowness of gameplay. It’s fun, that’s no question. Lobbing cars and other objects at brainwashed cops and creating chaos is wonderful. The issue is, once you’ve progressed passed a certain point in the game, it’s fairly repetitive. Games can’t continually throw curve balls at you, but blowing all of their content load on you within five or so stages is pretty bad. I started getting closer to the end of the game and realised that I had been employing identical tactics for the last five or so stages.
There’s also the fairly questionable mechanics on show. For whatever reason, there are three buttons to throw objects. One of which is solely for cars, one of which is if you want to lob items at a cop and the other is if you just want to discard the item. I can kind of understand the reasoning behind it, but genuinely found it frustrating hitting random buttons just to hurl an object. It’s also got some really shocking camera controls. It doesn’t auto-centre after you turn, which kind of makes sense, but having to manually spin the camera is a bit of a ballache. What makes it worse is that the camera spins far too quickly. Oftentimes you’ll spin the camera too far beyond an ideal viewpoint and have to keep trying to get it right. Or give up and take your chances on not being able to see what lurks around the corner.
The Final Word
What can I say about Anarcute? It’s cute, quite fun to play and has a phenomenal soundtrack. I’ve never played a riot simulator, and there truly isn’t another game that compares to the fun of this one. It could certainly be improved, but when you consider it was initially done as a school project, the game is magnificent. It does come at a fairly hefty price, and the shallowness of the gameplay does make it a little difficult to recommend, but it is definitely good fun.