Sawbuck Gamer

Caesar's Day Off

Roman Holiday

Caesar’s Day Off tells the story Edward Gibbon did not.

By Drew Toal • February 27, 2013

Sawbuck Gamer is our daily review of a free or cheap game ($10 or less).

“Are you not entertained?” Thus bellowed eventual Oscar winner Russell Crowe in the 2000 film Gladiator. He plays a former Roman general exiled to gladiatorial arenas on the hinterlands of the empire. Fed up with chopping off heads and arms without getting a cut of the proceeds, Crowe sought to shame the insatiably bloodthirsty crowd for their insatiable bloodthirst. It didn’t work. These screaming pre-Christian soccer hooligans often held the power of life and death, determining a defeated gladiator’s fate by the strength of their hoots. (I shudder to think what would happen in certain major sports markets today if this were still the custom.) The emperor, ever the populist, would gauge the multitude and act accordingly.

Caesar’s Day Off considers the Roman leader’s off-duty hours, but the same principle applies—thumbs up for life, thumbs down for death by lion. Whether it’s grocery shopping, doing his laundry, or going to the movies, Caesar must constantly dispense the ultimate Yelp review. Mercy is not always the optimal response. (When Brutus reaches out to you on Facebook, for instance, history teaches us that it may not be a good idea to hit the “Like” button.) The game is breezy as a toga. It doesn’t take more than a few minutes to play through all of the possibilities, but it does answer Crowe’s (rhetorical?) question—in the affirmative.

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23 Responses to “Roman Holiday”

  1. Fluka says:

    This is way more entertaining than it has any right to be.

    *Spares Drew Toal from death by lion.*

    • PaganPoet says:

      Good choice. I bet he’ll bring whisky to your party…or at the very least, a microbrew.

    • Effigy_Power says:

      Every time I read Fluka’s comments, I lament the fact that she’s never in our Steam chat, reducing the sausage quota a bit. And to be hit on by me, naturally.

      • Sleverin says:

         Wait whoa, e have Steam chats now?  Why do I feel like the red headed stepchild who never knew about something called “dinner”?

      • Fluka says:

        Dawwwww, that is sweet.  *Nonetheless, reenables cloaking system and runs swiftly away!*  Real-time human interaction, my greatest fear!

        • Chum Joely says:

          Have you heard the good news about alcohol? Rejoice! For salvation from social anxiety disorder is near!

  2. duwease says:

    Getting all the endings is indeed a blast.  My memory may be fuzzy since it’s been awhile since I played it, but I believe my favorite one was (SPOILER):  Sitting alone at my boring party because all of the guests were in a lion.

  3. Mike Podgor says:

    That was unexpectedly amazing, especially the music.

  4. PaganPoet says:

    I got eaten by my own lion, bro. :(

  5. Hey, how about that! A Sawbuck Game I’ve played already. This is good everybody. Like wicked good. Worth it for the lion alone.

  6. Cloks says:

    I absolutely adore this game. It’s so simplistic yet it works because there’s nothing superfluous about it. The Assassin’s Creed people could learn from this game.

    • Chum Joely says:

      Ironically there was a little dust-up yesterday about three people from different Ubisoft offices who updated their online résumés to mention Assassin’s Creed 4 (gasp! there might be another AC game this year! Perhaps around November!) and the fact that it is just lions eating motherfuckers in various situations for 40 hours.

  7. Chum Joely says:

    OK everyone! Which was your favorite lion attack? I liked what happened to the guy who washed my white toga with reds. Pollice VERSO, asshole.

  8. Girard says:

    Marius Fietzek seems like a cool German guy. He’s been a fixture in the DoubleFine Adventure documentaries, having just finished an internship there, which he netted with this interactive application fashioned like a classic LEC adventure.

    He performed a similar feat of transforming his independent creative goofery into a legitimate LucasArts-related gig when his silly mid-aughts Monkey Island Flash videos led to a gig making similar silly videos for Telltale as ‘trailers’ for the Tales of Monkey Island games.

  9. B.K. says:

    I want to find more endings. It appears there are only four . . . Still loved this game though.

  10. ItsTheShadsy says:

    This is just so terrific. I put it in the same weird league as Hug Marine.