There are a ton of battle royal games out there but few are as family-friendly and fun-filled as Spellbreak so let's cast some spells.
Spellbreak is an online-focused battle royal game where you control a mage in order to defeat your rivals across a massive map. Up to 42 players can partake in each battle and as you play, the arena becomes smaller so you may not have many confrontations at the start but as things progress, you'll be forced to battle the few remaining survivors which is exciting stuff indeed. I should mention that there is cross-platform online multiplayer so I never had any trouble finding a large group of folks to play with which is great. Anyway, the core gameplay involves casting spells with the shoulder buttons, using items and special abilities, and traversing the map by flying, running, and teleporting. Everything is handled exceptionally intuitively and after the brief tutorial, I was more than prepared to head to battle.
With the basics out of the way, allow me to describe what makes Spellbreak special. Its most prominent feature is that you cast spells, of course, and that alone is fantastic, especially if you're fed up of the constant use of guns in similar games like I am. The spells come in 6 elements: ice, lightning, fire, poison, earth, and wind. Although you start with 1 gauntlet which can cast a regular and charged spell, you can acquire another to go on your other arm and this is where things get interesting as you can actually mix spells in nifty ways. For example, if you send a tornado towards your opponent, why not light it on fire? Plus, there are plenty of hidden abilities such as freezing the ground so you can skate on it which makes you travel faster. It's truly clever stuff that makes experimentation very rewarding.
On top of the nifty spell system, Spellbreak features some light RPG elements that make exploring a treat. As you run around, you can spot items and treasure chests that can reward you with new gear to increase your base stats, heal items for both your health and shield, scrolls that enhance your core abilities, new gauntlets, and you can even replace your special move which will let you do cool things like warp around. Plus, you can customize your appearance at the main menu and as you play, your general level and class-specific levels increase so there's always something to look forward to. Obviously, there are microtransactions to help speed things up, too.
Another aspect of Spellbreak that I love is its art and character models. Although the characters don't have as much personality as they do in some similar games, they all look like they belong in a Saturday morning cartoon and everyone is animated beautifully.
Finally, even though I loved my time with Spellbreak and will continue to enjoy it, there are some downsides. As with most battle royal games, the gameplay starts to get repetitive after you learn all of its ins and outs. Considering Spellbreak rewards experimentation, it certainly lasts longer than most games in the genre but its core mechanics still begin to overstay their welcome after a handful of play hours. I also wish that there was a variety of modes and that each match randomized the rules. It would have been fun to see some sort of sport spin-off or rule changes to help mix up the gameplay. Finally, seeing as experimenting in Spellbreak is a big part of the fun, I'd hope to see an encyclopedia with unlockable discoveries such as lists of equipment, fun challenges, and interesting spell combos.
When it comes to battle royal games, you certainly can't do much better than Spellbreak. Its clever use of casting combinations of magic spells while soaring through lovely environments makes it one exciting and delightful online experience.
- + Tight battle royal gameplay with loads of cool spells and clever light RPG elements
- + Lovely visuals and animation
- + Experimentation is heavily rewarded
- - Like most games in the genre, the gameplay eventually becomes repetitive
- - Modes could use more variety
- - I wish there was an encyclopedia