This game was reviewed on PC.
Reviewed by: Nikola Hristov
The roguelike action or bullet hell genre, whatever you want to call it, has been quite overpopulated in recent years. It became so trendy, that time and time again developers would go for it, and fail to replicate what makes games like Vampire Survivors special. It's a very simple genre and that's what attracts people to make games for it. That's why my expectation weren't high when I downloaded Brotato, and although the game is better than I originally thought, it's more or less exactly as I imagined.
If we ignore the oversaturation of the genre, there is a lot to like here, especially if this is your type of game. I'll get the bad things out of the way first, because there aren't many of them, but I have to…this is a review after all. My problem with this whole genre is just how repetitive it is. I understand that the gameplay loop and starting over and over again is a key aspect, but compared to more story driven games or simply better indie titles like Dave the Diver, this is just a mere arcade game in comparison. Which I guess is fine, since that's what it's trying to be.
The player has many stats that they are able to alter in several ways. Most players will be confused at first, but then get the hang of this simple system. There's over 30 characters in this game, and they all start off with differences in their stats and passive effects. The whole point of the game is that there's many different playstyles that you can choose from – melee, ranged, a combo of both, defensive with spiked shields, tank with HP regeneration, a life steal vampire build, and many others. You can select a character that fits what you're going for and progress through the waves with them.
The combat is awesome. There's plenty of options for all kinds of builds – knives, crossbows, a cactus stick, swords and shurikens, tasers, guns, even flamethrowers. You can choose up to 6 weapons, and unless your character or an item restricts you from it, you can mix and match pretty much anything you want. Although that often isn't optimal. There's also many combat items that give you passive abilities on top of stat changes – a mini-drone that slows the aliens, turrets that shoot bullets, spawning trees which heal you and a hedgehog helmet that protects you. The enemy variety is simple – higher wave, more enemies with more HP and damage. But like I said, that's fine, it's a core aspect of the bullet hell gameplay loop. There's also bosses to challenge you further, but they're pretty much just damage sponges.
One aspect of the game I really liked is the music. It felt very epic and badass and made me want to go destroy some enemies, similarly to the effect DOOM's music has on the player. The tracks all change every time you go into a new game, it isn't just the same over and over again. The performance was also excellent, and the UI was simple and understandable, so nothing to complain about here. I should mention the 200mb size of the game – which is impressively low and a great advantage over other indie games.
By far the biggest plus of this game, however, is its pricing – not only is it 5 bucks on Steam, but it's also often discounted. If you were to ask me the question of "is this game a bang for your buck" then I would be forced to say yes, since most mobile games have micro-transactions higher than that price. For about 20 hours of gameplay, or more if you're into it, this is much more worth it.
To summarize, there's much to do in Brotato for you to play for at least a couple of days, but it's not really a lasting experience. Due to the immaculate pricing however, this is absolutely one of the best bullet hell games that you can pick up. No matter how simple it is, there's no denying it's an experience I would recommend. People often forget that games' main purpose isn't to be life-changing – but to have fun. And Blobfish's game delivers just that.
Reviewed by: Nikola Hristov