Developer Königsborgs • Publisher Ravenage Games • Release TBA • Platforms PC
My father is dead and it’s time to take over the family business. So, I need to buy an oven.
Don Duality places me at the head of a mobster family running a restaurant as a front for its more unsavory work. My task in the roguelite deckbuilding management sim is to keep the dirty money flowing in and the police off my back.
But you have to spend money to make money. Outfitting the eatery with kitchenware, tables, and staff eats into the clean money budget. Meanwhile, hiring family members I can trust to get things done and acquiring the tools to help finish the job demand change from under the table.
This is where the duality in Don Duality comes in. I have to split my time managing an above-board establishment while simultaneously ensuring my mobster’s success. The dirty money goes in the oven, and pizza comes out. Each enterprise has its own particular currency which I can only spend for that currency’s purpose.
Unlaundered wealth goes to funding mob jobs and the clean cash pays for my waiters and cooks. Running out of either type means losing staff — who will quit if not paid every day — or going out of business. The daily routines run side-by-side, which forces me to deal constantly with both sides of the coin, and the clock is always ticking.
At the start of a day, I’m dealt five cards that represent my actions. I can discard one if it isn’t useful and get a new card from the deck but I never know what will appear in my hand next. Will I get a chance to hire much-needed cooks? Will I have the opportunity to pull of an art heist, raking in the big bucks? Or will I draw a red card.
These scarlet-marked actions threaten to visit some disaster on my enterprise. This could be anything from an unwanted fire inspector I have to bribe for a high price to a police-alerting skirmish in the streets. Every card marked with a bell that appears after a red card pushes it closer to triggering. So, drawing new actions can be nail-biting.
Unwanted action cards aren’t the only thing to worry about, though. At the top of the screen I find a meter marked with a police car. The vehicle starts in the green but as my empire grows, it steadily moves towards red. Filling up this particular meter results in the end of a run with me in jail.
But I get to keep some of the profits to buy powerful gold cards after a failed attempt. These do things like drop the police meter down significantly, entice high-paying customers into the restaurant, and motivate the wait staff to move with lightning speed.
Starting again with one small table and a few thugs, I have my purchased cards up my sleeve to help bring in the dough for a little bit longer. And though I ultimately crash before the week is out, the gold cards net me an income increase, affording me the chance buy more gilded actions.
While the game has no official release date, players won’t have to wait to check out Don Duality. The game is dropping a free demo today featuring the prologue. Good luck keeping the twofold business afloat.
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