Devil’s Attorney (universal) by 1337 Game Design AB is a turn-based strategy game – but instead of the gun toting and alien fighting typical of the genre, it’s about witty phrases and battling prosecutors in a local courtroom. And thanks to the game’s awesome sense of humor and light hearted personality, it’s one of the most enjoyable game experiences I’ve had in awhile.
Players litigate as Max McMann, a 1980′s defense attorney who has all the confidence and sarcasm of Breaking Bad‘s Saul Goodman, albeit with much less dangerous clientele. While in his office, Max will receive different cases from various clients, each of which come with amusing descriptions and the reward for winning in court. After selecting one of these cases, it’s off to court to battle one of the many local prosecutors in front of a judge – but not before some hilarious voice overs of Max and his opponent trading verbal spars before each battle.
In the courtroom is where the game introduces its strategy. Max has a number of different abilities he can use during each case – like ‘tampering with evidence’, ‘interrogate’, or ‘patronize’ – which are used like attacks on the prosecutor, evidence and witnesses, each of which have their own ‘credibility’, the game’s equivalent of HP points. Of course, different witnesses will provide bonuses to the other objects in the case, which in turn can damage Max and the important Guilty/Non-Guilty scale.
The two sides take turns back and forth – using a limited number of action points in each turn – until either the prosecution has proven their case, or Max has eliminated everything on the defense’s side. With a variety of tactics to learn and use throughout the game’s 58 increasingly difficult cases, most cases provide a lot of freedom in working towards a victory. In other words, non-strategy fans can jump right into the game, and not feel lost from the get-go – a rare quality for a game of its type.
After each case, funny newspaper headlines will describe a player’s victory – or failure – and then it’s off to spend the winnings on updates to Max’s apartment. Of course, every upgrade is hideous in that infamous 1980′s way, but they also act as upgrades to Max’s tactics, opening new abilities and bonuses along the way. It gives the game a great sense of progression, and another excuse for more funny bits of text, something the game has in an abundance.
It didn’t take me long to get addicted to Devil’s Attorney: the crisp animation and art drew me in from the start, and its personality and gameplay keeps me coming back for more. Anyone looking for a fun, engaging game that can also make them laugh shouldn’t hesistate to grab a copy of Devil’s Attorney, one of the most unique titles I’ve played all year.