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Warshmallows – Review

Local multiplayer games often get a cheer of success for being immediate for anyone to pick up and this is something Warshmallows runs with. It is a distilled and simple 4 player platform shooter with little to get in your way. Whilst its barebones on mechanics, it makes sure they are implemented exceptionally well. Your staying power will depend on having friends of a similar capability though.

Levels are beautifully drawn and the vibrant colours and musical style sell the mood.

Use marshmallow styled character looks different but handles the same way in all but one special move ability. You can run, jump up to three times in succession, dash and boost your jetpacks to fly a little around one of six maps. The idea is to shoot your opponents or slap them off the stage and in doing so, they become ‘bubbled’. It’s a cute way to say shot but it works nicely. If you are bubbled you can then roll around the screen causing mayhem to those left in the game. Each round is timed and if there’s still two or more players left a flock of birds descend on the stage. They’ll drop eggs on you like rain and eventually you’ll get caught up in the cascade and be removed. Last one standing wins.

Warshmallows isn’t reinventing the wheel and it doesn’t try to. Instead it focuses on getting what it does do, right. Easily its best success is how fluid and gymnastic the character movement is. They handle perfectly and have so much speed and zip to them, you can react to incoming shots fired and feel superhuman. Warshmallows really shines when 4 players all versed in the games traversal use this to their advantage. Often you can try and outgun an opponent by trying to follow their moves with expertly timed shots to corner them into a mistake. Portals help this too. Characters can zip through them but so can bullets, meaning you can try and trap your victim by cornering them near a portal and taking them by surprise. Ammon is limited and you must collect it from pick up points and this is when the slap comes in. It is the games’ melee attack and stuns your victim. Repeated slaps can send them flying to their doom.

Special attacks are different per colour of character but often we didn’t understand what they actually did and ended up not using them.

Games can be played in free for all of 2v2 but in an odd design choice, in a bid to promote online play, single player modes and bots are only available by taking the game online. This means all your stats, level up customisation unlocks on additional weapons all come from having to play online. Warshmallows’ online is not well populated and doing this adds on over a one minute wait in menus between matches that a single person shouldn’t be forced to sit through. This is made even less exciting when you consider all the customisations do is dress the same few opponents up in themed clothes and only three weapons are unlocked in total.

The lack of weapon choice and game modes are my two big drawbacks to the game. More weapons means more tactics. Instead, Warshmallows stays at a brisk dash and jumpathon – which is fine – but not top tier. A few more weapons would have sealed the deal and perhaps a capture the flag, territory war or most kills mode would have worked to stop the monotony setting in. Everyone I’ve played it with enjoyed the game but felt after 20 minutes they were done and whilst they did want to come back to it, it’d be in brief spells to avoid the game feeling samey.

Warshmallows is a fun starter game for players that want a simple and accessible 2D arena shooter

So its a cautious recommendation from me. It plays and looks excellently but has a limited scope of play. If you don’t mind this, it is well worth your time. If you know that a single game mode and three guns that work nearly identically will wear thin quickly, I’d suggest waiting for a sale or skipping over this one.

Review copy provided by the publisher.

Final Thoughts
Simple to pick up, easy to understand but fluid enough to keep you entertained. A great intro into arena brawling.
Triple jumps, jetpacks and dashes work beautifully together to make for a fast and gymnastic character.
Vibrant colours and graphics make everything easy to understand.
Simple rules make it easy for everyone to enjoy.
Slap is to Warshmallows as Poke is to Worms.
Only one game mode.
Lack of weapons mean a lack of tactics.
Forced online single player mode leaves a sour taste.
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