PS5 Review: Rough Justice ’84

Can you run the ultimate private security agency?

In this single-player board game-inspired strategy game, solve puzzles and use dice and cards to successfully run your private security agency. Advise your agents as they deal with security, fugitive recovery, repossession cases, and more. To root out the cancer gnawing at the city, use all the power and resources available to you: from your agents and era-accurate surveillance technology to friends in high places. But look out – behind the curtains of this struggle for justice, a much bigger story is playing out. A secret organization with grand ambitions spread its influence over Seneca City, and it has you in its crosshairs.

Rough Justice ’84 is a single player board-game where you hire agents to take on missions with limited resources. Each agent has their own energy and advantages/disadvantages to tasks, so a mission that requires a firm hand and a strong agent will give you an advantage when it comes to the dice roll. Success comes in the form of rolling a 4, 5 or 6 three times with whatever dice you have available.

Each task drains your agent’s energy which reduces how many dice they can use or what missions they can accept. Failing a mission will ruin your reputation with your handlers which you need to boost to progress the overall story. If money is tight, you can get a loan from the bank but you have a deadline to pay it off by and if you don’t, then it’s game over.

Besides the dice-based options, there are other events that get the job done in the form of mini-games. These vary from hotwiring a car, redacting articles, lockpicking and tuning an old-school TV to name a few. These vary in difficulty but there is a nice practice area if you want to fine tune those skills. The game gives you full control of the map and where to send your agents, whether it’s to missions or shops for equipment.

There is, however, a few issues with this. Sometimes selecting an agent is clunky and certain bugs occur where it will say your selected agent doesn’t have enough energy or menus will get stuck over each other. I hope it gets fixed because your decisions after sending an agent on a mission is time-based, so if you don’t get the right menu up at the right time then you end up failing the entire task…which is quite problematic as you can imagine.

The game reminds me of other dice-based games like Citizen Sleeper, which I really enjoyed. I can see the potential for the game once it’s been patched, but problems like I already mentioned have hindered the experience for me in it’s current state. I feel like it’s going well and I make progress, only for the bugs to pile up and I end up worse than when I started.

The visuals are basic with a simple map to explore, but it does have a nice 80s Miami vibe to it. Voice-acting isn’t too bad and I found the music to be a nice 80s throwback. The framerate is mostly consistent but can stutter as you move the map sometimes.

The Verdict

Rough Justice ’84 has a nice vibe and decent ideas, but glitches and performance issues hold it back from being the next big tabletop videogame. If it gets fixed, then it does have a lot of potential…

Score: 7.0