I have always loved dice based board games. I like the games where the unknown of the dice is involved rather than the games where you can get stronger and beat the ones in front of you.
Being defeated by your opponent defending with a single dice in an area where you dive with three dice and a strong army in Hidden Target, getting the knight’s ax on your head because of the mischief of the dice while you are ahead in the Haunted Mansion, and finding yourself in jail by throwing doubles three times in Monopoly… That’s it. I also like the way logic is fed into video games, and Rough Justice: ’84 did it very well.
Let me introduce you to Jim Baylor. So with yourself. The year is 1984, we are in Seneca City. As the once famous detective Jim Baylor, we are released from the prison where we were wrongfully accused. While we were inside, criminal organizations raged and Seneca City turned into Gotham. When we go out, an old friend greets us and we agree to help his security company.
Our mission is simple, we will hire agents to work for us, intervene in crimes all over the city and get our money. In the depths, things are more complicated, do you say conspiracies involving intelligence agencies, or a network of corruption that permeates every inch of the city? Actually, our mission was not simple, because Seneca City needs saving.
I can say that Rough Justice: ’84 is a completely desktop game played on the computer. The outcome of everything you do is determined by cards and dice. To summarize briefly, we have a budget, we hire agents using this budget. Each agent has a certain number of action points, which they work for us until they run out and we send them home.
When we receive a case file from the officers working in the team, the tasks included in that file are marked on the city map. For example, in repossession missions, the location of the cars that we need to seize for various reasons (may be debt, may be involved in a crime) appears on the map.
When you read the description of each mission, we see which skills are important in that mission. For example, some want a strong or perceptive agent, some want someone with high empathy. In this part of the game, which I can call micromanagement, we need to take care that the agents we hire from the agent pool have the features required by the tasks, because this determines the number of dice we will roll.
When we go to a mission, we see the dice roll screen. We have a number of dice depending on the level of our character’s prominent feature, we can also buy extra dice by spending extra action points. For example, in order to be successful in some missions, it is necessary to inflict more than 3 damage. Let’s say we have 2 dice coming from perception ability, and we used an action point, 3 dice. We roll these three dice, if there is a 4,5,6 between them, we use them on the task. Let’s say 6 comes in and we use that, we have two dice left to roll. If we want, we can buy more dice by spending action points or using equipment cards, or we can try our luck with a small number of dice. If we can use three dice larger than 4 on the task as a result of three dice rolls, that task is successful, otherwise it fails.
Of course, it’s nice to be successful in the game, but failing doesn’t do any harm other than loss of reputation and money. Nobody expects you to be successful in all hundreds of missions anyway, so even when you score 1:1 and fail critically, you approach the event with a complete board game logic, say “damn it dude” and continue.
There’s a wide variety of crime boards we can get the case from, including security, smuggling. In order to progress through the missions in the main story of the game, you need to take your relationship with the relevant officer to the next level by completing these side missions. The balance between the main missions and the side missions is very well established, so the pace of the game progresses without boring you.
Rough Justice: From the ’84 graphics to the fonts, it smells of the era, and I think the first names that will come to your mind are probably Miami Vice and Blue Moon. The most important part of the game is the agents, and there is an incredibly large pool here. Moreover, the drawings, biographies and one-sentence slogans of the agents are also very enjoyable. In fact, I think one of the most fun aspects of the game is finding out who they are inspired by in the new agents that come to the agent pool 🙂 Among them is Michael Caine and Whitney Houston. For now, my favorite is the Caine-inspired Maurice J. Sugar.
If you think that the game is just that, you are wrong, and it also has the most comprehensive minigame archive I have ever seen in this type of game. There are exactly 21 mini-games related to policing in the game. The missions you receive from the 24/7 table are entirely mini-game-oriented, but apart from that, it may be necessary to choose between rolling dice and playing mini-games in various missions. For example, if you need to miss a car, you can choose to have a direct contact. Or you may need to match the ID to the criminal record photo to pack the criminal in another mission.
Plain contact, X-Ray machine, pick lock, VHS recording correction, safe code locator, polygraph, triangulation location, voltage adjustment, robot image merging, merging shredded papers, switch download, morse code, footprints, proofreading, decryption , radio wave mapping, identification, fingerprint, tampering, bypass, password stringing. Here are all mini-games that are completely different from each other and directly related to the theme. In these mini-games, in which we race against time in all, for example, while making Flat Contact, you have to insert various numbers of cables in the right places (such as cable 1 to 8, cable no. 3 to 4), detecting the cutting and explosive materials in the bags passing through the X-Ray device, Safe While trying to find the password, you have to solve equations with many unknowns and try to match the fingerprint on your hand with the one you see in the picture during Fingerprint detection.
Some of these are very easy (for example, I had no trouble with the flat contact parts), some of them, such as editing the VHS recording, are the kind that make you sweat. All of them are completely different from each other, which brings a very nice variety to the game. Moreover, when you solve a puzzle in these categories, your solving time is recorded in the game as a record, so you can see how fast you can solve a code and brag about it.
There are two more features of this ‘desktop game’ that I would like to mention. Out of nowhere, moral and tough choices can come your way. In some of these, you may have to choose between two good ones, and in others, you may have to choose between two bad ones. I likened them to the Bewilderment cards in Monopoly, in which the card we drew would sometimes make us rich, sometimes bad things would happen to us. In this, for example, you may come across difficult questions such as “Should the agent rental fees increase or should the action points of all agents decrease by 5?” Again, these selections, which are selected from a very large pool and presented to you, are an element that increases the unpredictability of the game.
Another feature is the equipment. The items you can buy from the many shops in the game allow you to earn bonuses for certain abilities of your agent for a few times. Each agent has a maximum of three item slots, when you come to a dice roll scene, for example, you can increase the number of dice you can throw by 2, by using the item card that gives +2 to your empathy. But as the game says, there was no rush cargo service in those years, you have to take your agent to the shop and buy the goods you want in person.
Rough Justice: In ’84, the pace doesn’t slow down for a second because everything is in a race against time. You have three agents on the screen and you sent all three of them on a different mission? For example, if agent A goes to the scene, if you dive to another part of the map and forget to give him the command to start the mission, the mission fails. Likewise, the case files you receive have certain deadlines, and when these periods expire, other officers present you with other files. As I said at the beginning, this is not a game where failure feels like ‘I must load the previous save immediately’. If you don’t go to an informant in time and miss him, you say ‘shit’ and continue on your way.
I know I’m going a little too long, but I wanted to be able to explain the mechanics of the game well. You know, if you hear it from the outside, it may not be of interest to you, but the game offers such a nice variety, so many missions, so many agents that it is really a game that can be buried for hours for players who like this type of strategy / board game logic Rough Justice: ’84 . Moreover, there are 71 achievements in the game, I can say that it offers a great challenge for those who love success.