Brotato is my new favourite roguelike. It’s the best of three twin stick shooter styled roguelikes I picked up recently by far and has placed itself into my favourite games of 2022. The key to Brotato is the absolutely massive amount of options available to the player to build a character over short 25-30 minute runs. It’s the perfect short and sharp roguelike and I’m enamoured.
Each Brotato has different stats and there’s well over 20 to unlock (and the game is in early access so expect more to come). You are dropped into a square arena and you’ll be asked to survive 20 waves of enemies that last from 15 to 90 seconds each. You can turn on auto shoot and just focus on avoiding enemies and indeed there are other tweaks to your difficulty curve and enemies too but as you collect the green dollops of gunge that acts as currency for your shopping sprees and XP to level up your character, its oddly the parts between waves of shooting that engrossed me most.
Your Brotato has a lot of stats and there are all important. Health, and replenishment from stealing enemy life or health regen are important but focusing on health obviously means less chance to improve damage. You have melee, ranged and elemental damage alongside your base damage and often improving one area reduces your power in another. Increase attack speed and that’ll often reduce down something else like your range of attack. Armor and dodge alongside actual Brotato movement speed means you can build out your character to be fast and slippery. Harvesting and Engineering can help you collect more cash for upgrades of trees for upgrade drops. All of these stats you can see move around every time you level up, unlock a perk or buy an item, passive ability or weapon.
It’s not just you that upgrades. Your weapon load out does too. Most Brotato’s can have six weapons and each weapon will have various stats, bonuses and draw backs. As your shop is randomised you’ll choose what to buy with what you’ve been given or reroll at a cost for four more options. Two level 1 shotguns can be bought and combined to produce a level 2 shotgun. Of course, this momentarily takes up 2 weapon slots so you are always balancing how to upgrade something verses being full loaded. As weapons are upgraded they aren’t only more powerful but their bonuses become more powerful too. Some might add extra fire damage, additional luck, more XP gain or additional turrets. You also have a plethora of items that add mages, turrets, exploding sausages and machinebots to help you out too. Then you can buy other items that boost or change your stats or shop capability.
It’s odd that I’ve spent so much of this review talking about the shop and upgrade system but its honestly Brotato’s strength. The twin stick shooting works well and plays simply and easily. Without the full suite of options for upgrading and trying out different set ups and loadouts, it would be a pure 7/10 game. It’s so infinitely replayable and the more you play, the more gets unlocked. A lot of people will say Vampire Survivors is the ultimate twin stick styled roguelike. I think Brotato may just have the edge though.
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