Square Brawl is a fairly simplistic 2-4 person arena combat game that feels somewhat like a mixture of Super Smash Bros and Super Crate Box. It’s focused, fast paced and most importantly a whole lot of fun.
The meat of the game comes from the variety of weapons there are twelve different weapons of which you can pick two for any match. Each weapon offers an entirely different style of play. Weapons range from a standard gun that allows you to consistently shoot to a shield that briefly blocks incoming attacks and can damage enemies you collide with, or a bounce to get you swiftly out of (or into) trouble to a charged shot that shows the arc of fire requiring tactical placement. Whilst playing I quickly found myself favouring the rocket launcher and shotgun which meant that I only needed one good hit to wipe out my foes but left me with a tonne of downtime between each shot.
There is a decent map pool right from the start where some maps clearly favour certain types of play over others and environmental dangers such as pit and saws force you to pay attention and adds to the overall experience. The game also offers a fairly simple yet robust map editor which allows you to create and share levels. Square Brawl also offers a couple of different modes such as team play and one life bouts alongside various modifiers like double speed, health regeneration and sudden death.
Truthfully one of the main problem it suffers from the same problem that most PC co-op games do. Namely that local co-op doesn’t really work on a PC. Whilst I was able to get a few people playing together it would have been much better suited to a console and maybe with the rise of the steam machine maybe this game will become an even better purchase. I should point out that the review key for this game was provided by the developer free of charge. In terms of other complaints there really aren’t many the music is fairly uninspired and it becomes a little repetitive after a while but in all it does what it does really well.
In all Square Brawl offers a fun couple of hour and could really work as a party game. It’s a cheap and cheerful experience that appeals to a wide audience and is well worth a look.