Capitalism sucks. It is a brutal economic system that is the source of poverty, war, famine, and the other two riders of the statement. A new call on Steam, Xbox, PS4, and Switch as it is called Submissive It captures all the non-lethal and boring pieces of our current taste of the late stages of capitalism, softens it with bright colors and clever jokes, then wraps it up in an addictive, little dungeon crawler that I enjoy spend time.
Before I say all the reasons why you should play Submissive, let me say you should play it purely on the strength of the name and logo of the developer Aggro Crab. I would always like to play any game made by people who represent themselves as an angry crustacean with a bowie knife.
Sa Submissive you play as Jackie, the latest marketing intern for carbon-drink start-up meal replacement, Fizzle. On his first day, instead of doing the job he was hired to do, his boss sent him downstairs to clean up hordes of demons, goblins, skeletons, and more. As Jackie navigates a changing labyrinth of basements and sub-basements, she gathers weapons to defeat her enemies, sometimes replacing everyday office items like paper reams and trash baskets in the single thing that separates him from destiny.
Jackie is not alone in trials. She supports her mentors, offering perks that make it easier to fight zombies crypto-bros and succubi as girls boss. His phone is full of apps that can stare at enemies or summon a TaskRabbit-like minion. He can deploy basic drinks in exchange for Fizzle’s food such as bombs that shock or freeze his enemies. He even has an educator who, when equipped, increases the amount of money earned from killing the monster — a small increase in living expenses that will take him from something like $ 1 per monster to $ 1.05.
Small jokes like that make Submissive attractive despite its bad material subject. Loading screens display nonsense phrases such as “scaling up” and “delivery deliveries” that are common in meetings that may be an email. The characters are all cleverly written cartoons of millennial culture; the CEO of bootstrap-espousing who only has one business because his parents gave him millions of dollars, the self-important manager in the middle of nowhere, the overworked, low-paying, fun female maid who really should run the company and then you have, the overworked, paid intern experience not really getting any of the experience he signed. Submissive makes many jokes and references to the current state of the millennial generation — from the lack of health care, to the avocado toast as the sole barrier to home ownership, to the cognitive incompatibility associated with hatred of megacorporation that will eventually own every part of our lives while wanting to work for them because of the empowerment it will give to your career. Although the game was really funny, when I laughed, it was less of a “funny” feeling and more of a “I laugh stop crying”.
The battle and development is simple. Choose an achievement you earn, an educator who offers unique benefits, and a dungeon and you work. Submissive Assume you have enough intuition to know what you are being asked to do. While I appreciate the lack of handling of the game and sometimes I find it useful, it can be confusing. For example, I was given an adventure to consume a toasted sandwich. Sandwiches are often bought in dungeon shops or dropped from defeated enemies. There are no special toasted sandwiches but there is often an open fire in the dungeon. So I threw a sandwich over a fire and happily rewarded me with a complete adventure. However, after I later cleaned up the dungeon-themed gig-worker, I was assigned to break up the dungeon union. I thought it meant clearing the dungeon again and maybe facing another or reinforced version of the boss I had already defeated. But after a second of clearing, no adventure notification appeared. I still haven’t finished that adventure, and so far haven’t found any in-game hints on how I can do it.
On another occasion I was assigned later “going on a successful date”. Dates are dungeons where you have the option to continue without fighting or swiping right at a demon you choose to thrive in a fight. The game did not explain what a “successful date” required, and I thought it only meant fighting and losing in one of those “date” rooms. After successfully completing multiple date rooms without getting a complete adventure notification, I realize that a “successful” date means one where I get a hit or less. Even though I later found out, it was frustrating to try to tempt the meaning without unexplained adventures.
Like any rogue-lite, dungeons are formed by technique and are full of traps, weapons, and boss fights. Dungeons are also stuffed with jokes and references hidden in small details such as on a white board or poster. The soundtrack is great too.
SubmissiveFun and funny writing translated into clever moments of gameplay. Some of Jackie’s mentors really care about her. The chief scientist who designs all of Fizzle’s flavors wraps him lunch, because he can’t afford to eat. That lunch became a weapon he could use in the dungeon, where defeating enemies would release food that Jackie could eat to regain health. There is a dog in the office (well, I’m happy to report that you can be a pet!). You can take the dog for a walk in the dungeons, even if you slow down but you bark when you miss items. The perks you can get are fun and varied. One of my favorites – “Pickup Artist” – gives you the opportunity to potion an enemy to fight for you in a critical hit. It also changes your look, giving you Fedora panty-dropping to wear. My current build features a liveliness that gives me a chance to fire enemies when I lock them.
Protip: you want to lock in. Many.
Playing Submissive made me make the connection that life is like a roguelike. We work every day we can (and even we can’t), because, otherwise, we are not paid, do not eat, and die. Everyday. Forever Like Jackie going to the dungeons killing the same demons in different ways every day. Forever Until he dies. Even though I am fortunate enough to be as hard working as I am right now, I understand that in my life I will do the same things every day to keep my dog and my flesh alive. My mother used to have a saying that she would use whenever I told her she “had to” do something: “I have no choice but to stay Black, pay taxes, and die.” – an African-American Vernacular English version of the popular idiom that “nothing can be said for sure, except death and taxes.” That is all life – death and taxes. Or just death if you are the current president of America.