Fuhrer in LA
Developer: Ankaar Productions
Publisher: Ankaar Productions
Genre: Action, Adventure, Casual
Age Rating: Mature
Release Date: 26/08/2020
A code was provided for review purposes.
I like to consider myself an experienced gamer. I’ve played almost anything, whether that be a grand strategy sim or an expansive RPG. Yet in all my years of gaming, no game has left a lasting impression on me the way Fuhrer in LA has.
Return of the Fuhrer
Fuhrer in LA is built upon a simple premise: that Adolf Hitler, the notorious leader of the Nazis in WW2, did not in fact die in his bunker, but was covertly sent away to live out the rest of his days in Brazil. Unfortunately for the Fuhrer, his subordinates in charge of getting him there made an error, resulting in Hitler being sent to a museum in Los Angeles. After two years in the Museum, Hitler finally awakes from his hibernation pod and promptly causes havoc in the streets of LA.
For a plot so simple, its amazing how many questions it raises. Most notably, why does it exist? But as you make your way through the game’s action-packed levels and ‘unique’ narrative, you’ll find everything comes together and falls into place rather nicely, answering most, if not all, of your burning questions about this perplexing title.
The Strangest of Things
When I say this game has left me speechless I truly mean it. Playing through its bizarre narrative and wacky levels felt like I was experiencing some surreal fever dream or acid trip. After all, I was, for whatever reason, playing as the evil leader of the Third Reich, fighting my way through American law enforcement and the military. It’s absolutely bonkers and still doesn’t feel real hours after completing it. In some ways, it even scares me. However, that being said, as strange and potentially offensive as the premise may be, it’s not even that bad. In fact… it’s actually pretty okay.
Fuhrer in LA plays like a top-down action game, not unlike old browser games of the same kind. It even feels like it’s a browser game, only demanding that you use your space bar, arrow keys, and A key throughout the entirety of its 30 minutes of game time. This is because all you’ll need to do is move around, hitting the space bar every so often to attack combatants, and pressing A to interact with objects. It even appears that Hitler was a fan of Hershey’s chocolate bars, as they are littered around levels as a source of healing for the angry Fuhrer. His love of chocolate does seem to ease his frustration, as consuming a chocolate bar always guarantees a charming smile on his face.
While it is incredibly simple, I did find some levels more challenging than others, not only because enemies hit like a truck, but because a lot of the controls felt awfully clunky. Movement felt rigid and more often than not there’s be an invisible wall blocking me from walking down a clearly open hallway. Even when fighting you can hit a target who’s too far away to hit you back. Based on this, it doesn’t sound like much, but its beauty lies not in its gameplay, but in the memorable experience it creates.
A Satirical Retelling of Modern History
The game prides itself on its dark humour, claiming that it tells the “true” story about what happened to Hitler. Does it accomplish its task of being a funny piece of dark satire? Yes, yes it does. Within the first few minutes, I was laughing my head off. The game opens not only with a cheesy action movie voiceover, but also involves a flashback scene to Hitler’s youth, as you build a sandcastle and play with toys, only for a group of other children to destroy all your hard work. It is utterly absurd, and absolutely hilarious. Not only that, but the game supposedly reveals the truth about the Fuhrer, and so it does.
It makes it evident that Hitler ended up in LA sure, but it also shows that Hitler was, what appears to be, an unstoppable killing machine. Armed only with an umbrella, you easily cleave through waves of armed guards and police. Even the all-singing, all-American hero himself, Captain America barely stands a chance against you. On Hitler’s mission out of LA, you’ll even find yourself driving a German Panzer tank down LA’s populated streets, taking on defecating hobos, and fighting with mystical karate men screaming “hwaaah” every two seconds. It feels like one big piece of mock Nazi propaganda, while simultaneously having the same vibes as a late-night documentary on the History Channel.
Even the dialogue is hilarious, as security guards casually ask “Oh my god, is that Hitler?” and “What’s Hitler doing here?” right before you throw a steel pipe through their chest. It still retains some element of realism though, as all of Hitler’s voice lines are in german, and, from what I can assume, are sampled from his actual speeches.
Its sheer absurdity makes this an unforgettable experience that will have you laughing out loud throughout, and for that, the devs deserve applause.
Time Well Spent?
Where Fuhrer in LA‘s biggest flaw lies is in its length. As I stated before, this game can be completed within 30 minutes, featuring only nine levels. It’s an incredibly short experience that makes you wonder if it’s worth 30 mins of your life and the cash in your account. You see, if this game charged you £5 to play, I wouldn’t even consider it. But fortunately, it’s only £2. This fact alone isn’t just one of the games biggest strengths, but also it’s saving grace.
So, what do I think about Fuhrer in LA? I think its unique brand of humour and overly bizarre premise overshadow its simple gameplay and short length, making this a laugh out loud experience that’s well worth the £2 price tag.