REVIEW / Rough Justice: ’84 (PC)

Many years ago I used to play Yahtzee with my cousins, a simple, low-pressure dice game that would quickly become chaotic and competitive as we gained points and tried to come out on top. It’s one of those games that involves lots of luck but there is a surprising amount of strategy, similar to casino games. I’ve also heard of people that claim to know how to roll a six but I have yet to learn the proper technique of dice rolling to produce such an outcome. Whether you’re a high roller or not, dice are very much the focus of the day when it comes to Rough Justice ’84; the game we’ll be discussing here.

Gamma Minus UG, the developer behind the strategic board game-inspired Rough Justice: ’84 also includes a bit of luck-based gameplay with the game’s dice-rolling element. It’s the 1980s and you’re tasked with managing a team of freelance agents at a private security agency in the heart of Seneca City, a metropolis that has fallen victim to criminal behavior. You and your team are required to solve a variety of cases that lurk within this city. Despite the rampant darkness, both literally and figuratively speaking, there’s a vibrancy to this game thanks to the retro neon lights, diverse characters, and techno soundtrack that reminded me of another 80s-inspired videogame I played last year. Enough with the nostalgia. Let’s get into the actual story.

The first task I had was recruiting a group of agents and this is one of the easiest things to accomplish in Rough Justice: ’84, however, it’s not as simple as it seems. Each agent comes with unique stats and abilities, which determine the number of dice they can roll once they’re part of a mission. Reading the bio also offers a little more background on their strengths, weaknesses, and characteristics, though I decided not to spend too much energy reading up on each individual since I figured that solving missions and earning rewards would provide opportunities to upgrade my team and their skillset. One thing I appreciate about the characters is that they have their flaws but even with their flaws they feel human and balanced by the quality traits they come with, adding a layer of realism to this game. As much as I love a detective like Sherlock Holmes who always successfully solves a case or an undercover agent like James Bond who always seems to defy death, I was pleased to find that I wasn’t dealing with superhumans in this game.

After selecting my agents, the real fun began and I was finally able to jump into my first case, carefully reviewing the details to see who would be most qualified for the job. In Rough Justice: ’84 success hinges on strategic planning and identifying resources. Gear Cards, I quickly discovered, were powerful tools that could assist my agents during a mission, but would also expire and disappear from my inventory. Even if I failed, more cases awaited, and with each success, I’d be one step closer to adding new items to my arsenal. With a variety of shops offering gear such as firearms, cameras, flashlights, and other tools, I didn’t have too many concerns. One concern I did have is repetition with mechanics such as the dice rolling system. Thankfully there’s a range of mini-games from encrypted text challenges to mathematical puzzles thrown into the mix. These range from challenging to incredibly simple, and having that mix prevented my brain from having to work overtime.

Another feature that I loved about the cases in Rough Justice: ’84 is that there’s a whole storyline to each one which helps keep things fresh. Different scenarios can happen in the middle of a case, requiring more impulsive decision-making. Overall, the pace of the game is laid back and lacking in chaos, which to me would improve the atmosphere because, let’s be real, agents out on the job are going to face life-or-death situations at some point in their careers. As heartbreaking as it would be to lose an agent, I’d be more entertained if the fate of my agents rested solely on my decision-making…though with my way of wreaking havoc in games (I’m a big fan of The Sims which should tell you a lot) things could quickly turn into a bloodbath.

With an incredible cast of voice actors, a beautiful art style, and a feel-good 80s soundtrack, Rough Justice: ’84 hits most of the marks when it comes to being unique, replayable, and immersive. Getting started with the gameplay is a little rough simply because of the learning curve, but once I understood the basics it was easy to fully embrace the new environment. While certain elements of Rough Justice: ’84 can become mundane, having the option to choose different agents and buy upgrades keeps things engaging and opens the door for many customization possibilities.

You can find Rough Justice: ’84 on Steam. Do you have what it takes to pave the way for a team of vengeance-seeking agents and bring justice to Seneca City?

Rough Justice: ’84

  • Gameplay 7/10
  • Plot / Writing 8/10
  • Design / Visuals 9/10



Pros + Stunning retro-style visuals + Fun soundtrack to get into those 80s vibes + Variety of puzzles and strategy-based decisions

Cons – A little repetitive – Some confusion with initial learning of the gameplay

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