Pedigree Tactics

I’ve been trying to write about Pedigree Tactics for a while. I wrote a few initial drafts, but they all sucked. Perhaps the difficulty is in the fact that I already wrote my review here on Steam. It was fairly critical, noted a variety of difficulties and bugs, and asked the dev to reach out to me.

And then they did! We had a good chat, I repo’d a variety of bugs in a one hour video I made, and now I’m here. Trying to write a honest and fair review about a single-person passion project.

Pedigree Tactics is single player tactics game in the vein of Disgaea. It’s fairly short, and the main reason to play it is to engage with the unique monster fusion mechanic.

The standard start of a battle.

The game consists of levels with 3v3 monster battles, and the goal is to knock out all opposing monsters. There are 23 levels, and beating the whole game took me about 3 hours each time I played through it.

Let’s just get the rough bits out of the way. The art is jarring; it mostly suffers from dissonance between the crayon-drawn monsters, video game maps, and attack effects. The sound effects and music exist. I’ve seen more tonally consistent sexy calendars than this game’s story.

The family tree of the glorious hustling Melonator.

That said, it does have an interesting core mechanic in its monster fusion system. Briefly into the game, you unlock the ability to fuse any two monsters together. This mutates them into a new monster, and gives the resulting monster access to the move pools of both the result, and the “parents.”

It’s interesting to try to puzzle out some of the monster combos. But the fun mostly comes in making incredibly busted monsters. My personal favorite trick was to have one monster spam stacking self buffs. Then I’d have another monster use its action to give the first monster extra turns. And after that, I’d have the first monster spam map clearing AOEs.

This fusion system and the fun you can have with it, giving abilities to units that really shouldn’t have them, is the heart of the game’s fun for me. It is somewhat unfortunate though that the rest of the game isn’t as appealing.

If you’re curious about Pedigree Tactics, you can find it on Steam here. I don’t exactly recommend it, but it’s weird and unique. And that made it worth experiencing for me.

Editor’s note: I don’t know what this cursed drawing is doing here, but I enjoy it.