Review: MachiaVillain (Steam)

Machiavillain is an evil mansion management and strategy game, inspired by Dungeon Keeper, Prison Architect, and all the horror movie clichés! Build your own manor, raise your monsters, set up your traps, and exterminate your victims. But to gain reputation you’ll have to slay by the horror movie rules!

Pros:

  • Dark hand-drawn graphics.
  • Steam achievements.
  • First time help pop-ups.
  • Strategy game. Build a mansion, Manage your minions and raise your reputation.
  • Has a strong Dungeon Keeper vibe.
  • Plays with mouse and keyboard.
  • Cheat sheet with pictures.
  • Basically, you please minions by building what they need in order to grow, You enlist more and more as you fit the criteria. You need to go out and kill humans in order to satisfy the hunger for some of the minions, You need to do this without breaking the rules but also without raising suspicion in the neighborhood.
  • Crafting-Huge crafting tables for everything including the kitchen sink.
  • Resources- Hack down trees, Smash rocks, Kill humans and harvest parts. You know the usual.
  • Kind of a mash of genres from survival to base building to man management.
  • A wide variety of enemies like monster hunters and Bigfoot!
  • Controls are streamlined and straightforward.
  • Unlock/earn classic monsters like Frankenstein, Dracula, and werewolves.
  • Total control of customization so no mansion is the same.
  • Twitch integration.
  • Save when you want.
  • Time setting- Can speed up, Slow down time.
  • Hover over info with the mouse pointer.
  • Humor throughout.
  • Trading cards.
  • 520MB Download size.
  • Rewarding gameplay.
  • Tons of replayability.
  • No game is the same.

Cons:

  • Lacks a proper tutorial.
  • First few hours are slow and tedious as you just barely survive at every opportunity.
  • Resources start to feel like a proper grind.
  • Broken moments like invincible monsters or doors not working.
  • Some text is hard to read.
  • A lot to take in.
  • No difficulty sliders.
  • Cannot rebind controls.
  • Bare minimum graphics options.
  • Very busy UI that intimidates more than it helps.

The Numbers:
  • 7/10
    Graphics - 7/10
  • 7/10
    Sound - 7/10
  • 6/10
    Accessability - 6/10
  • 7/10
    Length - 7/10
  • 7/10
    Fun Factor - 7/10
6.8/10

Summary

For me the game just needed a little bit more time in the oven, Maybe an Early access release? It plays well and has a lot of good ideas but it just has so many niggles and crinkles that need ironing out. A prime example is the difficulty is all over the place and can sporadically spiral out of control for no other reason than to be a dick. Its a game that can be good but for now you should wait until it all levels out a bit so wishlist it and keep an eye on it.

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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