The first guard is a big guy. He’s standing next to a porthole in the cruise ship’s dining room, which I slam down to knock him over. Then I hit him with a wet floor sign nearby while he’s lying on the ground for good measure, and hide under a table before the dazed thug can get up and spot me.
Meanwhile, another guard begins to approach from the kitchen. I quickly go into hack mode, ping the oven remotely to pull it towards it, then overload it to set it on fire. At the same time, I hack a turntable on a dining room table – one of those turntables for food plates – spinning it at a dangerous speed before throwing it into the burly dude’s head just as he recovers. Both guards are treated.
The next step is to clean the blood from the floor, which I do by sucking it up since I’m a robot vacuum.
Justice Sucks takes the stealth assassinations of a game like Hitman and looks at how stupid they are. My recourse in recent Hitman games is usually to slip emetic poison into someone’s drink, wait for them to rush into the bathroom to vomit, then drown them in the toilet. Which is pretty dark, to be honest. In the cartoonish world of Justice Sucks, I’m more likely to open a refrigerator to freeze a solid, then drop a ceiling fan to smash it.
Or, since I’m a roomba, I could convince a cat to come up on me like they do on those cute internet videos before throwing said cat at someone in a cloud of claw dust and mewing. Or I could suck up an entire cactus and then throw it away, or hack an automatic door to slam it shut while someone walks through it. I have many options.
Justice Sucks started out as an experimental game called Roombo: First Blood, which is still available on Steam (opens in a new tab) and itch.io (opens in a new tab). In this, you dealt with a team of burglars by triggering various smart home appliances to kill them in a mess, then you cleaned up the mess before your owners got home. There was a sort of Home Alone vibe, if the traps set off by Macaulay Culkin reduced the Wet Bandits to streaks of red rather than just causing them permanent brain damage.
There’s a more conceptual story in Justice Sucks, where an evil home security company that sends thieves to trick people into paying more for their gadgets has kidnapped your landlords. Most of the levels actually take place in some sort of action movie and TV show themed vision quest fever dream where you – a sentient robotic cleaning device in case you forgot – learn how to become the perfect killer. You achieve this with the help of a muscular dancing avatar of hygiene and righteousness named Sexy McClean.
Wackadoo as it sounds, this storyline justifies the bonuses you earn from completing levels and challenges. Soon I’ll be able to leak flammable oil, drop proximity mines, ram enemies, and summon Sexy McClean to send baddies into orbit. To use these abilities, I need blood, sucking it in as I smash thugs into spots. Luckily, regardless of heavy props, I’m filled with well-chewed corpses, turning human bodies into chunks of meat and bone like something you’d feed a cartoon dog.
After you’ve electrocuted, immolated, and decapitated everyone in a level, it’s time to clean up. As the clock ticks, I wander all over the nightclub, airport, or office building, cleaning up spills and restoring potted plants I’ve knocked over. A minute is plenty of time to get these bite-sized levels sparkling for the most part, and a weirdly nice way to say goodbye to them. Goodbye, cruise ship. I will always remember the time I broke a urinal to spill water on the floor, then electrocuted two bozos as they stood in it.