Anarcute mixes two things you would never usually associate with one another… Cuteness and riots. Anarteam’s new action game centres around an evil corporation who has taken over some of the worlds’ major cities. They control the media, brainwashing the police so they will enforce the corporation’s evil bidding. This is where you come in – or lots of yous, because when when you play Anarcute you don’t just play as a single character, you control an ever-growing crowd.
The gameplay in Anarcute is simple and easy to pick up. You start with a small group of rioters and eventually go on to collect more followers. This is accomplished by walking into sleeping buddies or, later in the game, rescuing friends from the cells in which they have been imprisoned.
The larger your crowd, the more powerful you become. Anarcute offers multiple missions spread throughout five different cities, each having its own art style and atmosphere. Missions themselves are pleasingly brief, each taking around five minutes or so – real pick-up-and-play gameplay. There’s real incentive, too, to replay missions to get the top ‘S’ rating n each, and make sure you collect any of the cute animals you may have missed the first time around.
Anarcute is undeniably fun. The learning curve is spot-on – just as you start to feel the game is too easy it introduces you to new enemy types and powers. For example, when your crowd grows to thirty members you can pull entire buildings down to the ground, opening up new gameplay opportunities.
It’s these parts of the game that are the most fun, because they require tactical thinking. If you see a cage full of furry friends you need to rescue, but the area is guarded by rooftop snipers, simply rip the building down and send the snipers tumbling to the ground.
As far as controlling the mob goes we were pleasantly surprised; as the game progresses we worried that – once the mob got to its highest population level – the crowd would be difficult to control. Our fears were unfounded. The camera angles ensure you always feel aware of what’s going on.
The control scheme is simple enough, too, to keep the mob in check The only difficulty you may come across is when you are trying to avoid explosions or lasers the mob is so large that the animals at the back struggle to move out the way in time. Even then, though, with the press of the ‘X’ button you can make the mob perform a dash move which may just help you avoid losing too many critters.
Visually, although not as detailed as some games, Anarcute is pleasantly easy on the eye. Each city has its own atmosphere which, along with the game’s cartoony art style, goes heavy on the cute. Characterisation is strong, with all the furry creatures looking the part – certain officers wearing big padded armour, and each animal having a unique look (our favourite is the cat with different coloured eyes… adorable).
Sonically, Anarcute performs well, setting the mood for the game nicely. Effects such as explosions, or the crowd of rioters cheering when they welcome new members, are nice little touches and add to the overall aesthetic. Each area features its own unique soundtrack; initially this helps differentiate one area from another, but after some time repetition sets in. A trip to the settings turns the volume down and restores a little sanity,
Anarcute has all the right stuff to create an addicting experience. Missions are nicely paced and add new elements along the way to keep you interested. Just as you are getting comfortable, the game throws you a tough boss battle to keep you on your toes. If you’re the type of player who likes to 100% a game then you’ll find Anarcute has replayability in spades.
Anarcute is available from the Xbox Store priced £11.99
The cutest riot simulator around, Anarcute offers buckets of fun.
Anarcute seems an unlikely success story when you look at all its elements individually, but developer Anarteam has put together a smart, funny and, above all, fun game. There’s nothing quite like it out there, and we definitely recommend taking a look.