In the near future, every house will be automated. From the curtains and air conditioning, to the the vacuum. Every aspect of your life will be automated and controlled from your phone. Wait, is that now? I can lay in bed and turn down the AC unit already, and I can definitely make sure the house is being vacuumed. The one thing my vacuum can’t do? Defend my household with murderous intent.
Samurai Punk, creators of the hit Roombo: First Blood and a previously reviewed game, Feather, bring back the bloodthirsty vacuum in “Justice Sucks: Tactical Vacuum Action”. This stealth based top down comedy indie game puts you in control of Dusty McClean, a darling robot vacuum. Dusty is owned by an incredibly loving family, that treats him more like a pet than an appliance. The tutorial is pretty amazing, as it puts you in control of finding items for the family, beeping your little horn and turning on TVs. All of these aspects play a predominant role in the main game, even if you forget about them (I ALWAYS forgot about the horn). After the initial tutorial, you then have to defend your home from home invaders. You do this by springing traps on the enemies. This could be as simple as triggering a freezer to put the enemy in a block of ice, or triggering a sink to spray water all over the floor. You can aslo string together some of the traps, like spraying the water, and then triggering a tv to explode, electrifying the puddle and shocking all the enemies in the area.
I’ll preface this by saying I usually HATE stealth in games. In most games I prefer going in guns blazing, mowing down enemies at the drop of a hat. I’ve never been great at sneaking around and hiding from enemies in a game like “Outlast” absolutely drove me crazy, not being able to attack drove me nuts. This is not that, at all, the stealth is thoroughly enjoyable. The controls are spectacular, Dusty goes where you want him to, when you want him to. The game moves forward when the company behind Dusty, is also behind a new home protection appliance, and they have been paying criminals to break into peoples houses. When you kill, dismember and eat these criminals, the head of the corporation loses it and sends thugs to kill you and abduct your family. During this, the thugs toss you into the TV, seemingly killing you.
You awake IN the TV and you meet your alter ego, Sexy McClean, a robot vacuum with an adonis body, adorning boxers. Together you work your way through some simulation levels with the skills you’ve learned, while also gaining different powers throughout. Aside from just the regular stealth mission, there are also missions having you disarming bombs, cleaning up messes, delivering packages and taking your kidnapped family to an exit spot. Personally the murder is my favorite part, something about sucking up the dead bodies to fill your blood meter to use your extra skills, was incredibly fulfilling. Some of these aforementioned skills include dashing at enemies and taking them out, having dusty summon Sexy McClean and him doing a diving punch, clearing an area of enemies or even Sexy McClean doing a little dancy dance and sucking all the enemies in.
The game is a great length, and worth the $20 price tag on Xbox. The sound design and music is catchy, with an original song by Monster Mansion opening the game. The level designs are spectacular, with each one having more interesting ways to take out your enemies, or have a cat ride around you for the entire level. The murderous combinations are endless, and one playthrough is not enough. I already plan on revisiting and unlocking the rest of the powers as well as getting the highest rating I can on each level. There will be cross platform leaderboards, so it is a speedrunners dream. There are even settings to change the blood and gore into rainbows and candy.
Gameplay- 10/10: It’s a murderous robot vacuum, sucking up dead bodies, eating their bones and saving his family. What is ont to like?
Graphics- 8/10: The graphics are great, with emphasis on overly exaggerated body design. Enemy design is interesting and each level has a different roster of enemies.
Sound Design- 8/10: The soundtrack is catchy, the sound of vacuuming and the body parts crunching are very satisfying.
Control- 9/10: Dusty goes where you want him to, and the one gripe being that sometimes when you are trying to hack an item and there are
Overall Grade-8.75/10: Justice Sucks: Tactical Vacuum Action is a fun, quirky indie darling that you NEED to play. It’s out now on all major platforms