City of Brass (PC) Review

Developer/Publisher: Uppercut Games || Overall: 8.5/10

Welcome to Brass City.  Please, take our shit.  We don’t need it anymore.  WE’RE ALL DEAD!  Actually, that poodle statue is mine — don’t touch it, you asshole!

City of Brass is a roguelike that puts you in the first person perspective of some dude who has found a long lost city, rumored to have riches beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.  While slicing your way through cuddly and adorable undead skeletons, you’ll loot lots of what I guess is brass, and maybe some gold.  There must be some sort of recycling plant nearby that will buy your brass for top dollar.  Really, though, you don’t even want to keep the money you find.  You want to give it to genies who will give you equipment and blessings — thus the roguelike experience comes alive.

As you trek through Brass City, humming a parody version of Tyga’s Rack City (“BRASS CITY BITCH BRASS BRASS BRASS CITY BITCH”), you’ll use your trusty whip and sword to smack and cut down enemies that come before you.  The undead citizens of Brass City are protecting their chests full of riches, as well as statues of the phenomenally popular “man,” “horse,” “box,” and “ash tray.”  As the theme of the game is based on the “Arabian Nights,” you’ll see a lot of decorative items you notice from your local hookah bars, such as abandoned hookahs, heat lamps, and large plastic pots.  Other features from your local hookah bars that show up are trap doors, secret rooms, and large spike traps.

The maps are procedurally generated, so you’ll never see the same map more than once.  The procedural generation is pretty good in this instance and keeps the game relatively fresh despite replaying the early levels over and over, as what typically happens in a roguelike.  The whip is a very unique tool in this game, as it is used as a ranged weapon and grabs items from far away.  The whip can be used to stun, blind, disarm, or drag your enemies over traps.  There is also a mobility use, in which you can grab onto rings that are floating in the air, and move quickly across the room.  The whip is so much fun that I actually would have rather just used the whip the whole time instead of other melee weapons, but there are some cool melee weapons that do a variety of things.

As you progress through the game, you’ll notice it is segmented into different sub-themes within the city.  At first you’ll be in the Outskirts, make your way into the Marketplace, then you’ll be in the Garden, and so forth.  As you make your way into the center of the city, presumably where the biggest payload of recyclable brass will be (good thing you brought your friend’s pickup truck), you’ll see different enemies, different fauna, and different traps.  Every third level, there will be a boss character to defeat that will unlock the next level, adding a unique challenge to your progress.  To prepare, you’ll want to collect as many buffs as you can manage to afford by collecting items and opening chests for currency.  Once you eat the sand, you’ll start over again from scratch.

City of Brass is also pretty liberal in how it allows you to play the game.  There are a number of modifiers, called Burdens & Blessings, that can make the game either more difficult or easier.  There are specific things like, “more loot,” “more health,” “respawn enemies,” “more enemy health,” etc.  There are 8 Burdens and 8 Blessings, and some are unlocked through particular tasks done in-game.  There is also a daily challenge that has everyone playing on the same map and ranking on leaderboards.  You only have one attempt at the Daily Challenge, however.

The graphics and sound are pretty high quality, as well.  I wouldn’t say there’s anything that is particularly pretty, as you’ll see a lot of the same assets used over and over.  There’s probably an overuse of falling streams of sand coming off roofs, like there’s an infinite amount of sand on top of these buildings.  The art style definitely gives you the “Arabian Nights” feeling, down to the skeletons wearing fezzes and other obviously Middle Eastern clothing.  Some skeletons just run around naked and yell, which I guess is also a Middle Eastern thing?  The only downfall of the procedural generation in regards to how the art works, is that most of the rooms don’t feel like things that would have been designed for a practical use, so they retain a “fake” game design feel to them.  There probably isn’t a use for several warehouse-sized rooms in the middle of the city that are full of nothing but bookshelves.  This hardly takes anything away from the game proper, but sort of downgrades the idea that you are visiting an actual city.

City of Brass is pretty enjoyable if you get really into the weeds of learning every aspect of the gear you find.  While its not a particularly complex game on its surface, there is a lot of challenge to be had and having the inclination to learn the most efficient way of progressing through levels is a reward in itself.  Allowing for an experience that is custom to the player allows for a lot less frustration if you just want to have a nice time smacking skellies in the head, or if you find yourself wanting a bit more of a challenge, letting the skellies bonk you on the head instead.  Look for City of Brass on Steam, or perhaps your local Hookah bar.

 

Joke #24792

There were three blondes on an island and they didn’t know how to go home.  A genie came along and granted each of them a wish.

The first blonde said: “I want to be smart enough to get off the island.” So she swam back home.

The second blonde said: “I want to be smarter than the first blonde!” So she built a boat and went home.

Then, when the genie asked what the third blonde wanted, she said: “I want to be smarter than all of them!”

So she walked across the bridge!

 

The Triumphant Lion and the Arrogant Jy-Raffs

Once there was a rap group in the Sahara Desert called the Jy-Raffs.  It was a group of giraffes that loved to sing and rap.  They sang about eating leaves off trees and making sexual innuendos about those sexy giraffe bitches drinking from the watering holes.

One day an exuberantly manly lion named ReggIster Stupenstein published his first reggae/rap album.  He sang songs about legitimate love with his lioness pride without any baby killing beforehand.  He sang of lounging in the shade and eating yesterday’s zebra carcass with no hassle form the vulture community.

In essence, it was everything the Jy-Raffs were not and all the random lifeforms living in the Sahara Desert raved about the album.  This made the Jy-Raffs so jealous because deep down inside they were depressed that they were forced to sing about partying and smoking trees and looking at giraffe buttholes all day.  Most of them didn’t even like buttholes — they were mostly all about that tongue-action.

The Jy-Raffs decided to kill ReggIster Stupenstein because there was only enough room in the “politically correct reggae rap” niche for one successful artist.

Little did they know, this would be their demise.  As they were plotting their revenge in the cramped corridors of a secret underground cave, a genie’s lamp accidentally fell out of an encased tomb of sap that could only be unlocked by uttering the words “lion,” “reggae,” “kill,” “masturbate,” and “grind his liver between three calculus books” in the predicate of a 356-word-long run-on sentence with no correct punctuation.  They were rappers, after all…!

Anyhow, the genie, named Jardan Maura, didn’t come out of his lamp and grant the giraffes three wishes like you would expect.

Instead, the genie was a rebel genie who banished his victims to do irregular to insane monotonous tasks in a sweat shop in China that he owns.

The Jy-Raffs were fucked.  Instead of having to decide four different jobs for the giraffes to do, he combined them into one super giraffe — a four-headed, 16-legged monstrosity of a giraffe, doomed to forever lick closed 0% APR credit card applications sent to random people for the rest of their unnatural lives.

Moral of the story:  Appreciate the hard work that goes into mass-produced junk mail!

 

Joke #9174

A sales rep, an administration clerk and the manager are walking to lunch when they find an antique oil lamp. They rub it and a Genie comes out in a puff of smoke. The Genie says, “I usually only grant three wishes, so I’ll give each of you just one.”

“Me first! Me first!” says the admin clerk.”I want to be in the Bahamas, driving a speedboat, without a care in the world.” Poof! She’s gone.

In astonishment, “Me next! Me next!” says the sales rep. “I want to be in Hawaii, relaxing on the beach with my personal masseuse, an endless supply of pina coladas and the love of my life.” Poof! He’s gone.

“OK, you’re up,” the Genie says to the manager.

The manager says, “I want those two back in the office after lunch.”

MORAL OF THE STORY: always let your boss have the first say.

 

Joke #5323

Three blonde dudes were walking through the woods when they got to a river.

Looking for a way to cross it, one dude found a magic lamp then a genie came out of it and said he would grant each dude one wish.

The first dude said “I wanna get accross this river.”  So the genie granted him the power to swim and he swam to the other side.

Then the second dude said “I wanna get accross this river without getting my hair wet.” So the genie gave him a raft and he rode the raft to the other side.

Then the third dude said “I wanna get accross this river without getting my hair wet or touching the raft.” Then the genie was getting annoyed, so he turned him into a brunette woman then she simply walked across the bridge that was next to them the whole time.

 

Joke #5302

There were three woman stuck on an island, a blonde, redhead, and a brunette.

They find a magic lamp and get 1 wish each from the genie inside.

The redhead wishes to be back home with her family.

The brunette wishes to be richer and off the island (which is actualy two wishes, but the genie grants them anyway).

And the blonde says “Well, I’m kind of lonely. I wish my friends were back!”