The Executive is a really neat idea of a beat them up/RPG where you play an office worker with martial arts powers fighting against werewolves, skeletons and other demons in a series of increasingly difficult levels while idly accumulating wealth from different divisions of your company that you upgrade alongside your stats and special abilities. Although I was disappointed by the endgame and some of the mechanics felt obtuse to me, I had a lot of fun with it!

The basic gameplay in The Executive is really simple; You have four spots where you can tap to do something. You can hold on your character’s upper/lower body to block, guarding against most attacks and taking little damage. You can tap on the enemy’s lower/upper body to hit them at this location - usually making sure that you’re not hitting them where they’re blocking - and you can do various swipes to activate special abilities, if available and if you have enough magic power. For instance, swiping from your upper body to the enemy’s lower body will do a fire punch and swiping from the enemy’s upper body to its lower body will do a silver strike - especially potent against werewolves. You use these mechanics alongside buffs and healing spells in order to fight foes that will gain new tricks and keep you on your toes.

At the end of each stage you are rated and given bonus money based on the level of your businesses, this gave me a great reason to re-do old levels and get an A+ rating. Upgrading your business will give you some money per second (it starts in very low amounts, like 0.00087$/s) and bonuses during gameplay. I’m a bit bummed that you can fully upgrade your businesses before you even get to the 2/3rds of the game. Each one has a maximum of ten levels, often less, and there is no endgame money sink so you’ll get at a point where money is useless. The player upgrades don’t mitigate that either because although it’s fun to upgrade your stats and unlock/upgrade spells and skills, you also unlock everything pretty quickly. I kinda wish you could’ve raised your stats and business levels forever even if it did get crazy costly.

During levels, between fights, you have to do stunts which consist of swiping the screen in a certain direction. Succeeding will give you some money and magic power, failing will reduce these alongside damaging you in some cases. The game can get very hard if you don’t know what you’re doing. There’s a bestiary with tips about what enemies do and how you can defeat them alongside their weaknesses and you can always grind a bit and unlock a new thing that might make things easier, but some foes are just really hard. Some of them have spiked armor that prevents you from attacking them except in certain situations. Others use spells and disappear, others will just attack relentlessly and require pitch-perfect blocking skills. It’s a lot of fun, usually. Whenever things got too tough, I just left the game to idle for a while and bought plenty of upgrades when I came back.

I really enjoyed The Executive! It’s a complete experience that works really well on iOS with fun mechanics and a simple and effective battle system. Maybe I wish there had been a bit more to unlock - and I also wished that you could skip these cutscenes that always played after certain levels which made things a bit annoying when you tried to get the A+ rank on them - but it’s an interesting game with interesting ideas and I recommend it!

AuthorJérémie Tessier