From the first second I laid my eyes on it I knew I needed to play Anarcute. An adorable game about cute animals going on a riot, Anarcute basically just hits all of the things I want to see. However, is this riot worth rioting over, or should the police take them away?
Anarcute's story has no words, but the basic idea involves a fascist police state occupying cities such as Tokyo, Paris, Miami. Adorable animals riot in the streets to defeat them and remove them from power. So, you help them in their riot, destroying statues, knocking over buildings, and beating up military people. It's a cute little story, and I enjoyed my time watching the animals of Anarcute riot.
Punching the Government
You'll start each level with only a couple of rioters, but you can find patches of them all over the city. Should you run into them, they'll join your numbers. Every time a police officer manages to hurt you, there's a chance you'll lose rioters. You want to keep as many rioters as you can, as the more you have the more special abilities you have access too. With enough rioters, I could do things like stomp on the ground to knock objects around or topple entire buildings. It also meant I could just hit harder since I had more little fists to beat fascists with.
Levels have you rolling through city streets, picking up throwable objects and avoiding traps. As the game advances, the amount of new items and abilities keeps growing in fun and unique ways. You can use coins to buy new powers. Later in the game, your rioters can utilize machine guns, lasers, and even rocket launchers to take out enemies. The game really hits some fun moments during the city ending boss fights. From throwing items at a weaponized shark to cutting the limbs off of a spider-bot, there's some really fun stuff.
At times, Anarcute can be a bit frustrating, as the game's controls seem to require something a little more precise than a blob of 20+ characters can actually provide. Dodging lasers or carefully avoiding enemies is occasionally a drag, thanks to rioters getting lost and wandering around elsewhere. I'll occasionally lose one of my crew because they got caught on a log and killed by a laser. Other times, I’ll see them step on mines after trying to lead them away from danger. This is worst during rare stealth levels, where I can get caught because a rioter gets bored and jumps a cop.
Punching the Police
However, I found it hard to hate them. Anarcute just oozes personality in such an absurd way. From the adorable graphics to a soundtrack that sounds like it's provided by the animals themselves, it's simply amazing. I especially love the boss fights or other intense levels, which feature the animal choir singing some impossibly dramatic tune that shouldn't fit the game’s tone at all. Somehow, it all manages to come together perfectly. One section saw literal comets strike the city, lava bubbling up and a sudden change to a chase scene accompanied by dramatic music and explosions. The fact that the game never once lost its personality is easily its most impressive feat.
Anarcute surprised me several times as I played it, and I’m constantly impressed by the game’s quality. It has a few downsides, like the not-so-great mandatory stealth levels and the wonky crowds, but there was so much to enjoy here that I loved every second of it. If you can put a few hours aside and feel the need to punch a fascist, then Anarcute is the game for you.
Anarcute was played on PC using a copy purchased by the player. The game is also available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.