Dev: Blue Mammoth Games
Platform: PC (Steam)
Release Date: November 3rd, 2015
If you’re a Steam user, you’re probably aware that there are a number of free games in Steam’s vast library. While free games can often be something of a gamble when it comes to quality, there is a gem hidden among Steam’s free to play games: a 2D platform fighter called Brawlhalla.
Blue Mammoth Games, an indie game dev studio that started in 2009, released Brawlhalla on Steam as an Early Access title on November 3rd, 2015. They have plans to release it on other platforms after the Early Access period, although there are as yet no details on which platforms they will be.
In the game, players take on the role of one of seventeen “legends”: warriors with unique abilities, weapon combinations, stats, and movesets to suit different playstyles. Basic ‘Online’ mode throws you into a four player free-for-all, but the game also features options for team games, custom matches, and local couch play. There is a rotating roster of six legends available to play at any one time, but you can earn gold through playing in matches (not just winning) that you can put toward purchasing the different legends – thereby unlocking them for play at any time.
While the game is free, there is the option of spending real money on “Mammoth Coins” to buy things like skins for your legends and weapons, but these are purely aesthetic and do not provide any advantages in the game. You are not required to pay any real money to get ahead in the game, something that is fairly refreshing in the current era of free-to-play games that aren’t truly all that free.
The team modes are rather fun: there’s Brawlball that requires you to grab a football-like object and fight your way to the opposing team’s goal. Bombsketball is a mad melee wherein teams throw bombs at one another’s targets, a feat I have yet to get the hang of as there is no really accurate way to aim them. Snowbrawl throws your legends into a massive snowball fight that gets your team points both by hitting opposing team members with snowballs and knocking them out.
If you’re a fan of platform fighters like Super Smash Bros, I definitely recommend checking out Brawlhalla. It’s a pretty delightful way to spend a casual five minutes or several serious hours, depending on how deeply you want to delve. And with so many different characters to choose from, it’s likely there’s a legend that’s just right for you!
Don’t forget to tune into Gaming Against Sobriety on February 20th, when the Real Women of Gaming staff (and special guest Joe Kerr Cosplay) will be going head-to-head to brawl our hearts out and find glory in Brawlhalla!