Will Fight for Food: Super Actual Sellout: Game of the Hour Review - It's Luchador Time!
There have only been a handful of times where I have looked at a game title and thought "Good god, what pithy, witty, and most importantly short tagline can I squeeze into this exceptionally long post title?" (Tales from the Borderlands Episode 2: Atlas Mugged, I'm looking at you.)
Will Fight for Food's full title is the first and only time I have ever taken a look at the character count and thought "There goes half a Twitter update."
Of course, the wordiness of this particular title fits in well with the game mechanics it delivers: a complicated, cumbersome dialogue system that unfortunately doesn't do the game writing justice.
Not that you can say you weren't warned. From the official description:
"Kill, steal, and tread the tender fields of diplomacy in this RPG Brawler with a ridiculously complicated conversation system - or you can just beat up everyone you meet, you psycho."
Will Fight for Food by Pyrodactyl follows the story of Jared, a washed-up wrestler whose career tanks after a fight in the ring goes off-script and he loses the biggest match of his life.
Flash forward into the future and you find Jared on a quest for closure after that single drunken night. Faced with a city full of familiar faces from the past (some as washed-up as you are, some leading high-powered, influential lives) it's up to you to cull friend from foe in the sea of random NPCs.
Conversation doesn't come easily to Jared of course (why else, such a clunky dialogue system?) so it is up to you whether Jared tries his hand at social engineering, or he simply dons his mask to chase them down and punch them in the face.
The end result is a throwback to Flash games in the early 2000s - those golden days when the internet was still impressed by animated stick figures and planets drawn in Paint.
Like the Flash games of yore, Will Fight for Food runs on its self-aware, wacky, and utterly irreverent mix of dialogue-driven humor - which makes it a hard thing to capture in a game like this because the humor is not universal. Some jokes you get, some you probably won't; you'll like it or you won't.
If all else fails, punch them in the face.
The randoms Jared meets (there are about 8 different locations throughout the game) run the gamut from super villains to Secret Service agents, cosplayers to creatures from another dimensions, and it's these random conversations that bear the bulk of the game's funny.
It can feel like a lot of work to get there though: there will be situations that you'll have some convincing to do, and it's up to you to find the right combination of aggression/friendliness.
There are about 1-2 quests per map, and while the game touts a player-driven sense of freedom, the graphics are super simple with liberally reused assets much like any other classic, linear beat 'em up.
More's the pity if you decide to pitch the dialogue system altogether and devote yourself entirely to systematically beating up every face you see. This will shorten all gameplay to roughly half an hour, and, unfortunately the fight mechanics are not nearly as developed as conversation. With only three different moves you can possibly make and super-simple graphics, gunning through will turn into half an hour's worth of buttonmashing with some, but not a lot of, changing animation when you string a number of different attacks into a combo.
It's also important to note that while this game may pitch the luchador title, mask aside, the combat doesn't particularly feel like there's much wrestling influence, and the AI can get pretty wonky. If you're not a fan of the outfit, well... tough. Aside from the cosmetic changes offered in the very beginning, you will be able to find other equippable items in-game that will change your stats, but they won't affect your appearance.
In the end, Will Fight for Food offers an interesting premise, upbeat, catchy music, and the power to punch everyone in the face. The end result feels over-complicated in some areas and almost unfinished in others. I would highly suggest checking out the trailers on the game's Steam page to see if the humor strikes your fancy as it will likely be the best indicator as to whether or not you'll enjoy this particular title.
Feel like you may have seen this game before?
That may be because you really have! Despite the April 2015 release date listed on Steam, Will Fight for Food has been on sale for a few years now and was originally released for PC and Linux in 2012. It's a staple title for digital distributors like Desura and ShinyLoot, which both regularly stock indie game titles that would otherwise fall under the radar.
I haven't personally played the 2012 version but the Steam release is supposed to have included some updates and improvements in comparison according to the original Greenlight page. Everyone who originally bought one of these keys (or buys one in the future) will receive a Steam key version of the game as well.
Will Fight for Food is currently on Steam Summer sale for 35% off the original price of $6.49 CAD (or equivalent regional currency).