Brawlhalla is a fun blast of 2D arcade action that combines fighting skills with platforming jumping, and allows you to play with other people online or to play offline with a group of friends.
The game lets you play as a variety of hero characters, such as Thor with his powerful hammer, the speedy Thea with her magic boots, or Isiah who specialises in ranged weapons like his cannon and blaster. Combat is pretty straightforward, although the high-speed combat and platform jumping probably work better with a gamepad rather than mouse and keyboard. Each weapon has both ‘quick’ and ‘heavy’ attacks, and your characters can run left or right, dodge or jump past opponents. It’s one of those games that is easy to learn but hard to master, and timing is all-important when your character is fighting and leaping around the screen like a whirling dervish.
Fortunately, you can start with the game’s offline modes, which include some simple tutorials that introduce the basic fighting and platform jumping skills. Once you’ve got the hang of the basics you can try the training mode that lets you hone your skills against a series of computer-controlled opponents.
There’s even more variety when you’re ready to go online and play against other people. You can start with casual games and then progress to ranked competitions, and you can either play against a single opponent, or team up with another player for 2-v-2 matches. More experienced players can create their own ‘rooms’ where they set up matches with a variety of different playing modes, such as Horde, where you fight off waves of demon attackers, or Kung Foot where you use a football as a weapon. And if that sounds a bit intense, then the game also has a more relaxed Couch Party mode where you can play with friends at home.
Needless to say, there are in-app purchases available, with prices ranging from $8.99/£7.49 up to $99.99/£83.99. However, the game’s developers claim that these add-ons are only required to unlock new heroes and other cosmetic items, and that you don’t need to spend any money in order to enjoy the game and succeed in combat.