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Forced Showdown review

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It seems that pairing a top down shooter with a roguelike seems to be the flavor of the month in gaming. Ever since The Binding of Isaac came out, several of these types of games started to rush out to market to see if they could be the next Issac. One game that just release at the end of March seems to be on the right track also while adding in its own original elements. That game is Force Showdown.

 

C-SAR approved

Elements from various types of games mesh well together- As I mentioned in the beginning of the review, top down shooters and rougelikes seem to be the flavor of the month in gaming ever since the release of The Binding of Isaac and its various re-releases and editions. While Forced Showdown fits into category very well, it also brings in an additional element that one would have never thought of adding: card collecting. Forced Showdown adds in a card collecting element that allows players to alter their character with different passive and non-passive buffs, spells, debuffs, additional companions and much more. At first players are given a pre built deck that is based on the character that they have picked. But as they playing the game, gold is earned to use to buy random card packets. After a while players are then able to build their own deck to take into battle with them.

 

The SMASH TV vibe is very fun and exciting- While there was a ton of top down shoots back in days of 16-bit and arcade gaming, one of the few that stood out the most was a game called SMASH TV. Think of it as a cross between Running Man and Contra. Anyways the premise of the game was to get through each level while collecting money and fabulous prizes. It was cheesy, over the top, but most of all it was fun. Forced Showdown has the same vibe to SMASH TV thanks to its robotic announcer C-SAR. He gives commentary throughout the game, poking fun at the player sometimes, stating the obvious and even breaking the fourth wall from time to time.

 

Each map up to boss is short and to the point- Now unlike The Binding of Isaac, which can have levels that could take an hour to go through, Forced Showdown levels are made up of short maps that can be compiled within a few minutes, depending on the player’s deck load-out. This short and to the point way of design is so that players won’t be fatigued and can enjoy a quick few rounds.

 

Levels are randomized each playthrough- Much like roguelikes, the level, enemy layout and end boss are all randomized with each playthrough. There are even in stage modifiers that can either help the player or hinder them that get swapped around with each playthough. This makes each run different and forces players to adapt when looking through their deck before hand.

 

Monthly contests great way to keep players invested- Before the official release of Forced Showdown, the developer BetaDwarf was running a contest for those who were streaming the Early Access version of the game and for those who are watching the stream. Now that the game is out of Early Access, the devs plan to hold monthly contests, or seasons, for players and viewers alike to partake in. This is a great way for both viewer and player to be investing in the game for the long haul.

 

Better luck next time

No versus mode- I know that the levels and maps weren’t designed for two players, but it would have been nice to have at least a versus mode in the game. Having a versus mode just feels natural to these types of games, especially when Forced Showdown has a SMASH TV vibe. Speaking of two players….

 

Needs more playable characters- While the four playable characters do look cool, it would have been great if there was more characters to play as. Or maybe have the bosses be unlockable characters. Hopefully as the game gains more traction and fans, the devs will add even more content.

 

Bigger maps- Keeping on track with the idea of a versus/multiplayer mode in Forced Showdown, and in the single player in general, the maps could be a bit bigger. I understand that size of the maps were made in mind for really quick sessions
Forced Showdown was a surprise mix of several different gameplay elements and merges them into a fun experience.  It also takes cues from the classic arcade game SMASH TV to give it an over the top look and feel. By having maps that are short and to the point and randomized with each  playthough  will keep players coming back, especally with the monthly contests. However I do wish that there was some type of versus mode with more characters and bigger maps.Regardless Forced Showdown is tons of fun and I highly recommend checking it out.

 

8/10

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