Crush Your Enemies is a strategy game with a hint of Tower-Defence developed by Vile Monarch, focusing on a barbarian themed war of attrition. Controlling your horde of barbarians you will take over tents, land and towers to fight against Knights, other barbarians and monsters. A quick little indie game to play for minutes at a time, similar to games like Brütal Legend’s war mode or a slight take on older games in the tactical genre.
You follow Brog the Barbarian as he leads his group of drunk, hulking masses of meat Barbarians into battle. Looting and killing the group will make their way across all the Generia lands, taking the beer and women for themselves. What starts off with simple pillaging soon plunges into a fight for survival as Knights are sent after the barbarians and the mention of gods’ power being controlled.
The campaign is split into 2 parts, the first with Brog as the main character and the second with Fuzgot his son as the protagonist. Both have basically the same premise, though Fuzgot’s side has a slight graphical upgrade and change in mechanics with the addition of wood and food.
To complete the game, without caring too much for 100%, will take around 4-5 hours. The 2 chapters are about 2 hours each, but with 72 heads (stars) in the first chapter and 51 in the second you have quite a bit to collect along the way.
If you’ve played a strategy game before, you’ll know how this all works. Select units with the left mouse button, move them by dragging a path and selecting how many of that unit to move. You can take over squares to slow down enemies, capture buildings to recruit new units or use specific buildings to change their class. The end goal of every mission is to defeat the opposing force, though some do allow for survival times for victory.
The game is set on a map, with villages being your means of gaining beer and cities being the main missions of the campaign. Each mission has 3 heads to collect, either through completing the mission in a time limit, not using items or killing all enemies without making new units. Completing missions will net you beer from the villages which can be spent on items to use in any mission, from decoy dummies to explosive mines.
As you progress through the game you will unlock new classes, items and types of terrain to overcome, adding in a nice progression of difficulty and mechanics to the game. With all the new features getting added in the game can become quite stale after a while, maps tend to repeat with a few changes in tile layout and the dialogue becomes rather repetitive. When new things are added it brings back the flair of the beginning, but it doesn’t really hold up after a few missions.
Besides the main story there is a multiplayer system setup, to fight other players on random maps, featuring the normal mechanics of the first chapter with a few maps for the wood and food. These are rather quick skirmishes and feel several leagues different than normal play, since the enemy can use items as well. Connection seems solid and it’s rather easy to get into a game and set up rematches. It would be nice to have a sort of scoring system but with a game like this it would be hard to tell.
Overall Thoughts and Feelings
The music in Crush Your Enemies is spot on for the genre and setting, having a heavy Hercules sound to it, with medieval inspired tones. Battles have some great tracks to listen to, but with the repetitive nature of the game itself you will find yourself hearing the same track over and over. Some more variety in songs or possibly adding in your own would have made the selection so much better.
For some reason, this old style of strategy game isn’t often seen nowadays even though it can hold its own in the industry. However this game in particular feels a bit too old school to find its home on PC, catering more to a handheld audience with its minimalist style and graphical design. The lack of any real voice acting really pulls the game back, as well as the almost pixel art style that is very prevalent in the Indie scene.
Overall Crush Your Enemies gets a 7/10, it’s quite a fun game with some good progression throughout. Though it can feel dull quite quickly, with repetitive maps and gameplay becoming a curse when you need to retry missions to get all the heads. Its style is almost as outdated as the genre itself, fitting more on a lower-powered device, feeling too out of place on steam with the menagerie of titles. It lacks substance but can be a great game to put a few hours into.