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Our examiner, Andy Robertson, first checked Brawlhalla 3 years ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson and updated 6 months ago.
It's quite simple to play with one button for light attacks and one for signature attacks (sigs in the community). The attackers are modified by the joystick direction. As you become proficient at the controls and a particular character you can use more buttons for attacking, performing special moves, picking up or throwing weapons, and dodging. What starts as a simple game soon reveals itself to be a highly skilled challenge that has its own esports leagues and meetings.
There is a wide range of (currently 49) characters available, although some of these you have to pay to access (see below). Each has four stats to define how they perform: Strength, Dexterity, Defence and Speed. Cross-over characters from other franchises are often added to the game as it has become more popular, including Shovel Knight, Rayman, Hellboy, WWE The Rock, and Tomb RaiderLara Croft.
On iOS and Android, you can compete with console and PC players. This enables you to fully customise your touchscreen control schemes and use controllers, letting them achieve precise combos in real-time combat.
Then there are unranked modes:
- Free-For-All: A chaotic mode where 4 players knock each other out to gain points.
- 1v1 Strikeout: Players pick 3 characters which they play for 1 stock each.
- Experimental 1v1: Players test out upcoming features against each other.
- Custom: Online and locally for up to 8 players.
Cross-Platform: Allows players on Android, iPhone, iPad, PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One to queue against each other in online ranked play and to create custom lobbies which a player on any platform can join.
You can play this game in the following styles:
- In-Game Loot Boxes: Additional in-game purchases are offered for items that enhance the experience. These include in-game purchases of random items (known as 'loot boxes') that offer a chance of getting rare/higher-value items although common/lower-value items are more frequent.
The purchased items are cosmetic only: character skins, weapon skins, and taunts. The purchases can be made with real money to open "chests". There are lots of types but all cost the same. Each chest has 3 exclusive skins and 16 skins that are not exclusive to that chest. All possible drops can be viewed before purchase.
Each week, there is a selection of 8 free characters to use. New characters are regularly added to the roster of (currently) 49 characters. To access these permanently you need to buy them with the in-game currency earned through matches, daily missions, and level-ups. You can also purchase all existing and future characters via a one-time transaction, in a Season Pass style offer.
It's important to set up your accounts and devices appropriately. More information is on our Financial Resources page.
Release Date: 17/10/2017, updated in 2018
Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS
Content Rating: PEGI 7
Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds
Players: 1-8 (8 online)
Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels
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