As a keen follower and admirer of the gaming development pursuits within my home country of Northern Ireland. You can only imagine what level of joy it brings to be able to shine a spotlight on work done here in the emerald isle. It’s a country that has offered limited success within the industry and is begging for a breakout star to lead the charge. So now as a collective, we turn our attention towards the next best hope of a smash hit. This is a wacky and zany card-based combat title with an OAP ‘old age pensioner’ twist. This is Daft Disputes.
This title is still very much in development and what we got our hands-on to review was a vertical slice. For those unaware, this is a small portion of what you can expect from the full title, acting somewhat like a TV show during pilot season. It offers the core concept, the proposed art style and themes we are likely to see within the full release. So we took the time to test it out and see what all the fuss is about. Here is our early review of Daft Disputes.
You’re Only as Old as you Feel
Let’s kick things off with how this game came to be. After a quick chat with the developer, we garnered that this game snowballed from one simple idea. That idea being ‘what if an old person just started fighting everyone’. Admittedly a rather bare bones concept but what was born from following this path is far from lacklustre. The game has you take control of an OAP which you will have to guide around a map in a point and click fashion. Then as you meet blokes in the road which are namely young guns trying to spoil your fun, you have to teach them to respect their elders.
This is when we begin to realise what the main bulk of the game will look like. The action turns into a card game akin to the likes of Gwent which we seen in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (Get The Witcher 3 GOTY Edition for only $12!! here). We admit, it doesn’t have the same tactical depth that Gwent has but what it lacks in complexity, it more than makes up for in charm and humour. Each card offers it’s own brand of cartoonish comedy, the powerups are great and you can even stack your OAP army to make more powerful fighters. It’s like Pokemon but instead of colourful monsters, you collect pensioners with a score to settle and we are here for it.
Like we said, it’s clearly a work in progress and merely teases the fundamentals of the card based combat. However, even through this short snippet, we can see real scope for improvement.
Hip (Replacement) and Trendy
Moving onto how this game looks. As indies have become a much more saturated and recognised field of gaming than say ten years ago for example. It can be rather easy to make a game that follows artistic direction from its predecessors within the genre. However, this game does nothing of the sort. As far as comparisons go, the art style is quite like South Park: The Stick of Truth, meets the Beano, meets popular Nickelodeon show Rugrats. It’s unlike anything we’ve seen within the gaming landscape and truthfully, that is this game’s strongest asset.
The presentation and lighthearted humour are what makes this game stand out from the pack. It would be very easy to make a card game work functionally. It would also be very easy to make a competent point and click adventure. However, what is not easy is to captivate an audience within a twenty-minute slice of a game and make them fully invest in your idea. We have to say, we have fallen head over heels for this title based on first impressions and we just want to see more.
It’s hard to put a score on something that is so early in its development process. However, we have given it a go and despite the short nature of what’s on offer, it fully justifies the score given. From start to end, the game is packed with charm, humour, wacky cutout animation and solid gameplay. All of which culminate to give an experience that will only leave you hungry for more.
As mentioned, the combat system will need more depth to keep players invested for a full campaign. Plus, the game will likely benefit from a core narrative to drive the player forward. However, we assume that this will come with time. For now, we recommended that you give this one a try, see how you like it and if you do enjoy it, be sure to keep it on your radar.
That’s our rundown on the new and exciting game in development from Soft Leaf Studios. Will you be checking this one out? What are your thoughts on the game? Does it remind you of anything out there at the moment? Let us know in the comments section below. Also if you liked this title, why not check out our review of Fifa 21 on PS5. Or alternatively, our review of Overcooked: All You Can Eat.
Also, the snippet in question is available now on PC. So if you want to try this one out, head over to Itch and download it for free!
Summary: Is a delightful silly little game where a sweet old lady and her gang of pensioners fight hoodlums in the park as they try to make it back to their retirement home before their bedtime.
Genres: Card Game, Adventure, Puzzle.
Platforms: Windows (Review Version), macOS
Initial release date: 20th November 2020 (Prototype)