As the intro music plays in the background, I want to thank you all again for stopping by for the first two hours of the night. This is normally when I would choose a game completely random from my Steam library collection and play it blind for you guys since these titles usually have zero hours played. We'll critique it, review it, and have some fun in the process. At the end of the two hours, I'll give my overall thoughts - is it worth replaying? Absolute garbage? Just what I think after experiencing it.
Tonight, we're taking a look at American Fugitive. It's described as an indie action-adventure game with top-down overhead gameplay. You play Will Riley, who has been framed for his father's murder. The story follows your escape from prison and attempts to clear your name while evading the police.
Before starting, let's check out the options menu. I've already had a brief look around before, but nothing too extensive. As you can see, resolution is limited when not running in fullscreen mode, which is pretty common but still annoying. You also have control customization, audio options, and various game settings.
Alright, let's actually load into a new game and get this review underway! story intro text plays Right off the bat it's putting us in some tense situations. Looks like I have a choice to make here about waking my wife… let's try not to disturb her rest any further for now.
The gameplay shifts to a top-down perspective as we arrive at my father's house. Hmm, something seems off already though - that's not his car parked outside! breaks a window and finds a murder scene Welp, there goes the neighborhood! And just like that, I'm a wanted man.
After a sketchy trial, I find myself calling my contact from inside the prison. At least the back-and-forth had some humorous moments, like when he's antagonizing another inmate. And then plot hook - he's spotted the suspicious vehicle! Time to bust out of here and investigate.
Escaping the prison grounds was pretty amusing at first. I started by just roaming around until I came across a crowbar in order to escape via the storm drain. From there it was a lot of wandering around in just my tighty-whities trying to find something to cover up with. I picked up the first item I came across which happened to be a bright pink dress. The townsfolk must be loving the free show!
Eventually, I stumbled across a locked shed with - you guessed it - a crowbar inside. With that in hand, I was finally able to make some progress. The open world is very typical top-down small-town style, with houses, shops, garages, and more to explore. The graphics are decent for what they are going for.
Mechanically, it plays like the old GTA games so far. WASD to move, inventory system, basic actions mapped to keys. Driving and shooting would likely feel better with a controller too. Location-based objectives help guide you around the perimeter.
My contact Dwayne tipped me off to the whereabouts of that suspicious vehicle I saw at my father's death. Of course, by the time I arrive, it's already vanished again. More dead ends so far in trying to clear my name. I did get a new change of clothes though - that pink dress was not a good disguise!
From there, it was onto assisting Dwayne with various criminal side-missions to hopefully earn clues. Things like stealing valuables from houses to fence at the pawn shop, crushing abandoned cars for scrap, and delivering beatdowns to rival gang members. The latter understandably got the police vigorously pursuing me.
Evading the wanted levels provided some tense moments, with the sirens blaring as I desperately tried to outmaneuver roadblocks and patrol cars. It captured that fun risk/reward feeling of classic top-down crime games. Graphics held up well during the hectic chases too.
Around this time, I also started to appreciate some of the role-playing elements under the hood. Things like upgrading my character's carry weight and health through a skill tree with money earned from jobs. quietly sneaking into areas versus boldly barging in. It added meaningful progression beyond just the main story.
Those side activities helped flesh out the world beyond just being a tested fugitive. Learning more about the criminal underbelly through allied contacts, and the sociopolitical tensions fueling gang violence in this downtrodden town. It painted a believable setting for an unlikely everyman thrust into dangerous circles.
After laying low for a bit to let the heat die down, I rendezvoused with my mysterious benefactor at her home. She provided some intriguing insights into deeper forces at play behind my family's tragedy, hinting at corruption in high places. Her enigmatic nature kept me guessing as to ulterior motives too.
With the two-hour review period nearly up, I think American Fugitive shows promise for an indie title doing its take on the “wrong man on the run” genre. Mechanically it takes inspiration from classic top-down crime games of old while carving out its small-scale narrative and town to get lost in.
For around $20, fans of those older sandbox staples should find fun and replay value here - especially if played in shorter bursts versus marathon sessions. The police AI could stand to be less eager to frame you for every neighbor's demise though. Overall an enjoyable sleeper hit so far.
That wraps things up for tonight's first look at American Fugitive. As always, thanks for tuning in and joining me for these gaming expeditions into the unknown. Feel free to join the discord to continue chatting, and I'll be back again next week to review another mystery title from my catalog. Until then, later taters!
Title: American Fugitive
Developer: Fallen Tree Games
Release Date: May 21, 2019
Supported Platforms: Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Genre: Action, Adventure
Description: You play Will Riley, who was framed for the murder of his father. You must escape from prison and uncover the real killer while evading the police.
- Open-world top-down gameplay in a small American town
- Customize your character with upgrades like health, strength, etc.
- Steal cars, complete missions to earn money, and build your reputation
- Discover hidden areas, complete challenges like time trials
- Evade the police by outdriving or outwitting them
Craft weapons and use melee combat against enemies
Price: $19.99 USD
So in summary, it provides an open world top-down GTA-style experience where you escape prison and try to clear your name as a fugitive while upgrading your character and evading the police. Available on multiple platforms including Switch for around $20.