Brawlhalla Review

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Posted: 5 months ago, last updated 2 weeks ago.

Author: Andy Robertson.

OverviewOverview

Brawlhalla is an online fighting game where, like Smash Bros, the goal is to knock opponents off the stage. You do this by using your characters specific attacks to damage them until they can't get back to the platform.

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, Defense 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, Tomb RaiderLara Croft.

On iOS and Android you can compete with console and PC players. This enables you to fully customise your touch screen control schemes and use controllers, letting them achieve precise combos in real-time combat.

DetailsDetails

Rating: PEGI 7+, ESRB EVERYONE 10+

Release Date: 17/10/2017, updated in 2018

Platforms: Android, Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and iOS.

Genres: Action and Fighting.

 

CommitmentCommitment

Duration: It takes between 5 minutes and 10 minutes to play a round of this game. The matches are short but to get good at a character and improve your rank requires many hours of practice.
 
Players: You can play with 8 players in the same room and up to 8 players online. Competitive matches are 1-on-1. There is also a ranks team "duos" mode. PC players can create clans that any other players can join. This enables you to create groups of your friends, with multiple ranks within the clans. Clans gain experience from all members.

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 to test out upcoming features against each other.
  • Custom: Online and locally for up to 8 players.
Cross-Play: 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.

CostsCosts

This game is free to play. Additional in-game purchases are offered for items that enhance the experience. Some of these purchases (known as 'loot boxes') are for 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.

You don’t need a paid subscription to play this game online.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Rated PEGI 7 because of depictions of non-realistic violence set in a child-friendly setting or context. Violence consists of kicks, punches and the use of some weapons. There is no blood or visible injury. The character’s reactions to the violence are over-exaggerated with bright flashes and smoke effects on impact. A character can appear worn down when it’s health bar is low but the violence is never up close or severe.

This game has been rated ESRB EVERYONE 10+.


Users Interact: The game enables players to interact and communicate with each other, so may expose players to language usually associated with older rated games.

AccessibilityAccessibility

This game supports accessibility in the following ways:
  • Difficulty: It is a difficult game but you can train against computer opponents of different ability.
  • Reading: There is a lot of reading in the character selection and shop screens. The text is small and a bit faint on dark backgrounds.
  • Controls: You can remap gamepad and keyboard controls. Including options for pressing up to jump and auto pick up items.
  • Image calibration: You can select camera and player indicators to make the screen easier to read. Selecting "Only You" for the Player Names makes it easy to find yourself. Visual cues are provided to match the audio.
  • Audio calibration: Can adjust music and effects audio separately. Audio cues along with visual feedback.
System Settings

Android has accessibility settings including ways to navigate and interact, although not all games support this. Nintendo Switch has some built-in features, including a lockable zoom, that can be used on all games. Windows has extensive accessibility features. Some, like colour correction, work with games. Lots of accessibility software can be used with PC games, from voice recognition to input device emulators. PlayStation 4 has a range of accessibility settings. Some are system only, some work in games (invert colours and button mapping). Xbox One has a system features, the excellent co-pilot share controls mode and adaptive controller support for all games. iOS has a very extensive suite of accessibility settings including ways to navigate with voice and comprehensive screen reading, though most of the features don't work with games... read more about system accessibility settings.


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Games Like Brawlhalla

The following games are like Brawlhalla. They address a similar topic or offer a similar way to play. They are good options to play next and also good alternatives to Brawlhalla for younger age ratings.

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