Judgment is an apocalypse survival simulator that plays similarly to Rimworld and Prison Architect. It revolves around building a settlement and exploring the overworld map. It also has a good story.
There is a lot to like in this game. While you can enjoy the story, you don’t need to; it can be played in a sandbox. The story is there to guide you through the research trees and provide an endgame scenario, but you won’t miss much by skipping it.
The only thing that was an issue for me was the difficulty spikes. On anything other than casual, you’ll reach resource choke points where you need items to advance, but your weapons won’t be good enough to get the necessary resources. It can be frustrating, but that is part of the fun of games like this.
TLDR: Judgment is a Great Strategy game.
The story mode for Judgment is good. It is all about finding the source of the demonic invasion. While completing the missions, you’ll work your way through the different research trees.
You start by researching the origins of the demon invasion. This leads you to investigate a cult and the military origins of the invasion. This is interesting as it points to a cult tricking the military into causing the apocalypse.
I like how this is done. You’re building a base, rescuing survivors, and tracking down information about what happened. All this takes you to a Hell Gate, where the demons come from.
When you reach the end of the storyline, you have to attack the cultist’s base. It can be a hard fight depending on the weapons you’ve been able to get your hands on. There are two possible objectives.
No matter what you choose, the game turns into a sandbox at the end. You won’t get further missions, but you can keep playing. I like that they did this because the base game is very good, even without the story.
Judgment is a Strategy RPG that also has some Real Time Strategy included. I know the developers call it a simulation, but I don’t think that accurately describes it. It is a unique collection of ideas that all work well together.
When the game starts, you assemble a group of three characters. Each is unique and comes with strengths and weaknesses. I like to start with a team of an Engineer, a Survivalist, and a Fighter. Here is a list of the character classes:
Your characters perform many different actions on the base and world screens. They farm, research, and build on the base screen. On the world screen, you organize them into task forces to explore the world and gather resources.
There are two main screens that you play on. The first is the base screen. This is where you’ll build your base and where the missions will take place.
The world screen has a large number of locations on it. It is also broken up into different biomes. The locations are:
- Scavenge locations
- Other settlements
- Rescue survivors
- Demon scouting locations
- Mission objectives.
The scavenging locations change based on the biome they’re located in. Here is a list of the different biomes in the game:
- Deep Forest
- Mud Brown Land
These are the names I’ve given to them. You might know them as something different, or the developers might have given them names. I’m sorry if this causes any confusion.
Some resources can only be found in specific areas. The game does give you a way to locate them. On the world screen, you have a few options at the top of the screen. Here is a list of them and what they do:
- Base Inventory – This tells you what resources you have.
- Search – This will tell you where an item is.
- Create a Task Force -This is where you can create Task Forces from your existing pool of survivors.
- Toggle Resources – This is how you can see where specific resources are found (i.e., wood, arrows, and bloodstones).
- Base View – This is how you can get back to your base/settlement
There are five research trees in Judgment. You’ll need to work your way through each of them if you want to complete the story or if you want to get the weapons you need to survive. Here is a list and what each does:
- Base- This is where you research base and task force improvements
- Craft- Resource gathering, armor, and technology-based weapons are here.
- Weapons- This is where you’ll research guns and melee weapons
- Occult- Magical items, weapons, and armor are here. Both the holy and demonic equipment is here.
- Ritual – This is where you can research the different rituals that give your settlement different buffs.
Along the way, you’ll end up fighting several different demons. They will get tougher as the game goes on, and if you haven’t been keeping up with crafting better weapons, things will get nearly impossible. Here is a list of the demons and monsters you’ll face and a brief description of what they can do:
- Imp – The lowest-level demon. These are pretty weak.
- Fire Imp – An imp that shoots fire at you
- Minor Demon – A Stronger melee unit
- Reaper – A ranged attacking unit. A bit stronger than the Fire Imp.
- Werewolf – These can be a little nasty early on. They’re a fast melee attacker.
- Hellhound – These are dogs that aren’t too tough, but they’re fast.
- Ghost – Another ranged unit.
- Possessed – This is basically a zombie with a gun. I often confuse these with Ghosts.
- Demon – A stronger version of the Minor Demon.
- Succubus – A fairly strong melee attacker.
- Legion – This thing is a bullet sponge. It is a slow melee unit that packs a punch.
- Fallen Angel – I hate these. They have a long attack range and can be a major pain in the butt.
- Caorthannach – These are mid-range attackers that breathe fire. They can be annoying, but by the time you run into them, you should have some stronger guns.
- Jingshi – These are melee attackers. They blend in with the other melee units near the end of the game. I don’t have much to say.
- Shedam – These are similar to the Jingshi. I don’t remember much about them.
- Morax – This is a demon with a crossbow. They have a long-range attack and can be very annoying.
- Belial – These shoot fire arrows and have a similar attack range to the Morax.
- Demogorgan – These two-headed demons feel like a super version of the Demon.
- Cerberus – Three-headed hellhounds.
- Litch – These have a magical ranged attack. They’re a mid-range attacker.
- Cultists/Human Enemies – I’m going to lump all of these together. They are humans that have joined the demons, or they can be from settlements that don’t like you. They have all the weapons that you can get. They’ll be equipped with guns and swords.
- Archdemon – These act like end bosses. Once at the end and once when you need to get it’s eye for a ritual. I’ve only encountered them in the story mode.
As you progress through the game, the enemies will get stronger and more numerous. You’ll also come across other settlements. These will either be friendly, neutral, or hostile to you.
A hostile settlement might send raiders to your settlement, and a friendly settlement might send you resources. All of the settlements might ask you for help at some point. These missions include:
- Sending resources
- Defeating groups of demons
- Providing research and occult points.
These are all timed events. Refusing a request or letting it time out can hurt your relationship with that settlement.
I don’t have a specific strategy or formula for success here. I try to work my way through the weapons tree and get the biggest guns I can. The game does spike in difficulty rather fast, and you might end up at a choke point where the items you need to advance are too hard to get.
This is a beautiful game. It looks like it might be hand-drawn or even watercolor at different points. Some stages look like the apocalypse.
The fog-of-war on the battle screen is a nice touch. It is a good way to show that your characters have limited visibility. This is typically used in real-time strategy games, and it was a great idea to put it in Judgment.
The only issue with the visuals is that I don’t get to see them all that much. I wanted to zoom in to see the demons, but I also needed to see where the ranged units were. It creates this dilemma where I want to see how cool the sprites look, but I also don’t want my party to die.
Overall, the visuals are very good. This looks like a game from the late 90s, but it is sharper than possible back then. Judgment has a unique look, and I like it an awful lot.
9/10. The gameplay is great, the graphics are very good, and it has a good story. Strategy games like this are a ton of fun. It feels like what I wanted from X-COM: Apocalypse.
Judgment is one of those games that makes me feel like I’m back in the 90s era of PC gaming. It feels like it could have been one of the games trying to cash in on X-COM’s popularity.
Tactical and Strategy games are some of my favorites. I like how the developers work in some RPG mechanics, as it makes the game more fun. It also allows you to customize your characters.
This is one of the better indie games that I’ve played. There is a lot to the game, and having it turn into a sandbox is a great way to end the game. After the main story is complete, it lets the player create their own story for how things went down.
If you’re looking for a strategy game to play, Judgment is an excellent choice. It can provide hours of entertainment.