Overview – developed by You Run Limited and DigitalMania SA with publishing handled by Bonus Stage Publishing, Warshmallows is a 4-player platform battle game with online and local multiplayer capabilities. Take on others in frantic battles to be the last one standing and unlock additional characters, skins, weapons and stages in this creative party title. This title is available on the Steam service with console versions planned for the future (no details available at time of publishing), a link to the game will be available at the bottom of this review.
Disclaimer: before I get into the review, I would like to thank Bonus Stage Publishing for providing the copy of Warshmallows used for this piece. The provision of this software has not influenced the contents of this review, all thoughts and opinions expressed within are my own.
Now with the introductions out of the way, let’s get into the review. This title is focused on multiplayer with no story so I will be omitting that segment.
Gameplay – Warshmallows is a fast-paced multiplayer battler that is a mix of Smash Bros and Worms, combining fun platforming action with shooting combat where the last one standing is the victor. The objective is to eliminate your opponents so you are the last ‘mallow standing, using a selection of guns, ammo types and special skills to outplay your opponents in a variety of colorful stages. Each of the playable characters has their own unique look and skills that can be employed in battle.
The majority of the game is based around the online multiplayer, with free for all battles in public lobbies where the first player to survive 5 rounds as the last one standing is the winner. To eliminate other players you have to hit them with shots from your weapon, knock them into the out of bounds area or force them to be hit by another players attack. Attacks are limited with weapons having a limited number of shots, which can be replenished by picking up ammo drops and other weapons during matches.
Every character has their own unique super skill that they can use, which can drastically turn the tide of battle for both better and worse. The skills include changing all shots on screen to your player color making you invulnerable for a moment, creating a wall to deflect shots and even reversing all current bullets on screen. These skills can be incredibly useful but be careful as poorly timed use of skills can lead to defeat, so learn what each super does to maximize their effectiveness.
Be tactical in use of weapons and specials as one hit to your ‘mallow and you are out of the round with no way to return to combat. If you do get hit, you can get in the way of other players and try to get them hit in a pseudo revenge mechanic but it is much better used in the two-on two team modes that can be accessed with local/online private matches. On that note, the local play on the same system is fun and online play can allow for friends to have a fun time when separated (although I couldn’t private online play out).
Players move around the stage by jumping, dashing and flying to an extent, giving plenty of evasive options when trying to survive the hail of bullets that you will encounter. The matches are fast and frantic with bullets shooting around the screen in all directions, to make the combat a little more intense and in some cases easier, Warshmallows uses automatic bullet time. This system activates when bullets get close to the characters, activating every time a shot is within striking distance.
When starting the game for the first time you have access to four characters, a single weapon/ammo type and one selectable stage. During online play with others the player profile will level up, unlocking new stage options and increasing the options to customize your experience. Having unlockable content and missions for players to complete is a great incentive to play online, as the player can earn coins for winning matches and completing missions that can be used to buy new items.
The gunplay and performance is really good with the public lobbies, on lower end hardware the game runs very well and isn’t very demanding on hardware with a stable framerate. The game connected to other players well and there was no lag for the most part with only occasional problems, which was a positive for the overall experience and I hope a healthy competitive scene flourishes. The gameplay is solid and fun with a lot of content for players to unlock, with a ranked system that encourages practice and continued play.
The only issue that I found with the game was that there aren’t any options for public lobbies. Public play is entirely dependent on the players active at the time, which is unfortunate as there is an inability to choose the region you want to play on and you can only play one game type. This isn’t a major issue but it is something that would have made the online play a little easier to manage for those who don’t have a group to consistently play with.
Now with the gameplay covered, I would like to move onto the other aspects of the game starting with the controls.
Controls – there is two setups for players to use with Warshmallows, a controller and keyboard/mouse option. The keyboard and mouse was better in my experience as I felt that it was more accurate for fast paced battles, with fast movement and easy to use inputs spread across both hands. The controller setup is comfortable for those who want to use a gamepad. The inputs are comfortable with the movement/aiming spread across the thumbsticks and face buttons. The shooting and specials are responsive in battle using the shoulder buttons, this gives the combat a reactive and intuitive feeling.
Presentation – the visual style of this release is bright and vibrant, featuring a cast of unique characters and a diverse selection of stages that each stand out on their own. The graphical presentation works well for a wide range of hardware, giving players on a budget a chance to enjoy this game. The soundtrack is catchy and the sound effects have a good amount of weight to them, which combines with the art style to create an experience that allows it to stand out from other games in the platform battle genre.
Final Thoughts – I really enjoyed my time with Warshmallows. The unique mix of platform gameplay and intense gun play made for an exciting experience. The fast-paced action kept me on my toes as I battled other players online, which gave me a heart pounding rush at match point as one shot can be the difference between victory and defeat. I can happily recommend this title to fans of party games, platform battle titles and those who are looking for a new competitive game to pick up.
In the end, I give Warshmallows a final score of 4/5. This is a fun platform battler, with a colorful cast of characters and a variety of unlockables to work towards when playing with others. The overall gameplay is exciting and has the potential to build a healthy competitive scene for players of all ages. If you want to check this out for yourself, a link to the game will be below.
Link to the Steam version (HERE)