Citizens of Earth is something of a marvel. A failed Kickstarter that got a happy ending and a pickup by Atlus to be published! Eden Industries brings to the table a game that is fun, quirky and beautiful. It’s kind of like a geeky girlfriend but no long term commitments to anything! Citizens of Earth is a scratch I didn’t know I needed to have itched and boy oh boy do I feel better.
You are the Vice President of Earth on vacation visiting your dear old mother after recently being elected into power. Your first task is to engage the protestors who are ruining your hometown. As the Vice President though, you don’t do battle. Oh no, you recruit the Citizens of Earth (see what I did there,) to fight for you through the game.
The battle system is standard turn-based in vein of older Dragon Quest games or Shin Megami games. The difference here is your main character doesn’t fight himself, he enlists others to fight and provides the orders for each person that can be recruited. The implementation of an energy system works well here and adds a layer to the simple combat. Attacks require energy and you acquire energy by making basic attacks. The basic attacks let you store energy to unleash bigger and more effective attacks, as well as better buffs, or healing.
A feature, that I took advantage of a few times was being able to restart a battle and swap my team for more effective people to help me achieve victory. This leaves a ton of room to experiment and help get out of a jam in an otherwise hopeless battle.
The issue with the battle system I experienced was just how many encounters I was forced to do battle with. The swarms of coffee bean monsters, or protestors or bees was infuriating to say the least. The window to breathe, after a battle, was miniscule and forced me to do battle again.
Recruiting people in Citizens of Earth is fun. Each person has their own unique world ability and a battle ability to take advantage of. The game takes inspiration from Suikoden in the character recruitment aspect. Each citizen also plays out differently in battle, for example, my favourite was the Baker who was my healer and saved me more times than I care to count. The way you set up your team, can give you a bonus to your stats, your mother and brother will get bonus points to their stats when fighting together for example.
What really shines in Citizens of Earth is the humour and the characters you will encounter in this colourful world. The strong writing is so far out there and quirky, which helps the parody of typical American culture hit home with oomph.
Sadly, my experience with Citizens of Earth I encountered very heavy screen tearing moving through menus and some sections of a dungeon to have the music cut out and leave me with silence while I finished up the current quest I was working on. It was eerily quiet while doing this.
In a day and age where a Kickstarter can make or break your goals, I’m glad that Atlus picked up Citizens of Earth. The love that went into this wacky adventure definitely shows and to see your baby mature and grow is rewarding.
Citizens of Earth is clever and easily accessible to those who dare step into the role of Vice President of Earth.