Game Info: (Box Display)
- System: PC, Android, iOS, MAC
- Publisher: ARTE France
- Developer: Cosmografik, Novelab, Ex Nihilo
- Release Date: Apr 12, 2018
- Rating: E for Everyone
- Genre: Strategy, Stealth, Adventure
- Players: 1
- Official Website: http://vandals.arte.tv/en/
Who it Caters to
What to Expect
Now first and foremost, let us explain what Vandals asks of its players. In Vandals, players assume the role of a no named graffiti artist—though you can name him whatever you want—as they aim to spread their artform all across the world during different eras. Players will start in the mid-1900s and then work their way up to more modern times all while hitting different locations like Berlin and New York. The goal in Vandals is rather simple. Tag an area with graffiti and get out. However, Vandals has a rather unique idea of how to make this simple theme work well in a game format.
Vandals is akin to a stealth game melded with a turn-based strategy game. Every map you’re on has dot points that you can move to which act as a turn. Meanwhile, police—the main enemies of Vandals—are spread out on the map as well and will move according to their own programing and or if they hear noise. You must move about the various locations avoiding being cornered by cops who will arrest you if they move within one space of your character. Luckily for you, there are numerous ways to avoid being caught by the cops and perform the tag before escaping.
Players can utilize points on the map in varying ways as they play Vandals. For example, players can find bottles to throw to some specific point and cause police to go investigate, giving them a chance at moving around the police. Players can also use things like broken fences and sewer grates to move across the maps where police can’t traverse themselves. The point of making the best out of every available action on a map is that you are given stars—like Angry Birds—for every successful action you complete. Stay invisible, find the collectible on the map and beat the map in a specific number of turns all offer one star and obtaining all three per location will take some serious planning and smart movement on the player. You’ll also want to obtain three stars as some locations are locked behind stars obtained in total. If you’re a completionist, be prepared for some planning, folks.
Aside from clearing maps, the other big element to Vandals is the actual graffiti itself. When you go to a point to initiate the tag, you can literally draw whatever you want and even use stamps to have your name etched onto that wall. Vandals even keeps a Black Book available showing the tags you did in the various levels so you can show friends or just laugh about how cool your in-game art looks. We do wish there was a bit more tag varieties available in Vandals, but equally, there are still a lot of ways you can create your art in a level. What’s also cool is your Black Book will show you the various collectibles you find in Vandals 60+ maps which are history lessons about graffiti and how different areas/artists went about making it unique. We really appreciated how Vandals gives players a bit of history in this rather stylish art style.
Visually and sound wise, Vandals is pretty cool if not a bit simple. Characters look rather bland but it’s done as a way to just take the focus off staring at them and paying attention to the map itself. In terms of the environment, we liked Vandals use of adhering to the varying time periods you’re going through and the representation of the country or city you’re in. The music of Vandals also works well to keep the game’s flow solid and smooth. Vandals won’t blow you away in either category but we never felt this was an issue. At the cost of only $4.99, Vandals looks sharp, sounds solid and overall is just pleasing for what you’re paying for.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
- Fun turn-based stealth mechanics
- Tons of levels with simple but pleasing graphics
- Impressive music
- 60+ levels with varying difficulties
- Drawing graffiti is a ton of fun (in Vandals)
- Nice idea of having collectibles that show the history of graffiti throughout the years
- Can be quite frustrating if you’re going for 100%
- Doesn’t have enough forms of graffiti styles to use