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Fat City review

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Brought to us by Heavy Iron Studios, Fat City is a tactical puzzle game that sees you robbing banks, avoiding patrolling police and getting diamonds to fuel your progression. Filled with interesting challenges, a classic game layout with simplistic easy to grasp gameplay mechanics.

The game begins with the protagonist ‘Chris Knox’ who previously spent time serving as a US Navy Seal and has a set of skills that has caught the attention of some gangsters, Knox had received a threatening letter about his sister being taken captive by an unknown group. Knox has to carry out the jobs that his sister once did to ensure the safety and return of his sibling. You start out in the borough of Brooklyn where the unknown source will be providing you with information about heists, easy starter jobs to get you acquainted with procedures and the necessary equipment needed to carry them out in most cases. Each job you do has a set of three challenges attached to them, doing these grants you a diamond which in turn unlocks new boroughs to explore and rob, for the first diamond you will need to simply complete the level, to earn the second you will have to finish the level within the time parameters set and the final diamond is the danger diamond which is located in a certain place dependent on the level you are playing. Once abilities are unlocked it is possible to purchase and stock up to make later levels easier, there is no limit to how many you can hold.

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Fat City’s layout and style pays homage to Pac-Man brought into its own world with a unique twist. As the level begins you are able to plan your route and stops along the way to your safe house and watch as it all unfolds in real-time. Police are patrolling the area so a well-timed and plotted route will lead to a successful looting.

With each mission you collect your cut of the bounty to spend on a variety of abilities to aid you in your heist, which include abilities to speed up how long it takes Knox to open the vault and escape the scene, grab a facial ID scrambler to keep yourself safe in the line of sight of Police or use the Sneak Sprint which allows you to either hold off the acceleration to let patrolling officers continue their routes at normal pace or put the pedal to the metal to dash past. You also have your trusty heist planner, this initially gives you three free route plans to use whenever you want throughout the game on any level – future use comes at a price – probably best to save these for the later levels.

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Later in the game Knox will be able to recruit some skillful hands to help him on his endeavours, a Hacker, a Driver and a Demolitions expert. Each coming with their own ability list that you will need to unlock. Their abilities range from disabling alarms and being able to buy you extra time to destroying walls,  faster driving and littering the roads with spikes to stop police from chasing you. Up to four members can be used in the same mission and are used simultaneously to complete missions and earn that loot. New types of strategies will need to be applied here as things will start to get hairy.

At first it’s a bit daunting to use that many characters, switch between them and not get caught but the satisfaction when you pull it off and your planning goes down without a hitch is great! Although fun, the extra man power does not play a major role in the game and you do not require them outside of the levels that they are focused on.

A clean visually pleasing Pac-Man inspired style which is very easy to focus on with a nice wire framed 3D environment, although this does mean that there is not much else going on graphically. Your players are little counters on the board with a picture on it and the character designs are silhouettes which are basic. There’s some interesting sound effects to suit the mood and setting and the music is an electronic mix but it doesn’t stand out or entice you to want to hear more.

As much as I like the Pac-Man but with police style of Fat City there was not enough of a story to hook me, the uncapped abilities were fun at first but can easily be served as easy win buttons to pose no real challenge or will me to go further – nor was there any inclusion of a leaderboard to challenge friends times.

Thanks to Heavy Iron Studios for supplying TiX with a download code

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