State of Anarchy

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State of Anarchy on Steam

MSRP: $0.99

Platforms: Win, Mac

Release: 4/27/16


There’s two things you should know about the game publisher, New Reality Studios.  The first thing is that they apparently have no quality control – they publish things like Guardians of Victoria, a game that pretty much everyone seems to hate, but that I can’t even make run correctly.  Then they publish things like State of Anarchy, which look like they might be the very bottom of the shovelware pile, and are actually quite charming, especially for the price.

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This is not a game I ever would have bought, if we’re being honest. But the other thing you should know about New Reality Studios is that they frequent run bargain basement deals on The New Reality Games Studio Pack.  Currently, for only $4.99, you get access to all the games and DLC on Steam that New Reality Games has published, as well as all future games when they’re released. If you hate clutter in your Steam library, skip it because there are some stinkers in there.  But every now and then, something new shows up in my library, and it’s like getting a gift, of sorts.

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State of Anarchy is a chaotic top-down shooter. On normal, your progress is saved after each level, and on hardcore, when you die it’s game over.  Every so often, you’re granted a level up bonus, and you can choose to spend it on one of a handful of upgrades.  It’s short, with only 20 levels, but it’s also only a dollar, even at full price, and the from what I’ve seen, each level appears to be either randomized or procedurally generated, so there’s some replay value.

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But really, it’s the style of the game that make it stand out – the entire thing looks like it’s been hand drawn screen by screen in crayon by a passably decent young artist. The contrast of the backgrounds with the mayhem of a shoot’em up is delicious. It’s probably safe to say that you haven’t played anything quite like State of Anarchy, which is, in itself, a reason to give it a whirl.

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An earlier version of the game (called Crisis at the time) was created during the 2015 Global Game Jam, and even though the game has changed since then for publication, it’s impressive to know that the whole concept and basic execution was put together in just 48 hours.  Any story there might have been has gotten lost in the translation, but this kind of game doesn’t need much in the way of exposition. Also, have I mentioned it’s a dollar? If you like top-down shooters, pick it up, or splurge on the New Reality Studio pack instead. Some of what you find might surprise you.

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