Back in the day before the world of online multi-player gaming was even a thought in developer’s minds, we had couch sessions. Multi taps and an abundance of controllers, one screen and lots of jeering and elbows were what multi player game sessions were all about. Now days most of our multi-player gaming takes place within the online realm, frequently with people you do not know who play without communication. It seems today’s multi-player experience can feel quite lonely, resembling a solo experience against totally unpredictable enemies. Leikir Studios attempts to tap into the nostalgia and bring back the jeers and elbows of couch multi-player with the newly released Wondershot.
Wondershot is a simple game, with simple controls, simple level design and a simple premise. Played as a top down shooter, Wondershot gives up to four players three different modes in which to participate. Battle mode, which can be played in either teams or all for one, sees players trying to eliminate each other. Challenge mode has a solo player attempting to complete a range of missions that involve beating a timer, or defeating a certain number of enemies in a quest to top leader boards. Endless is a wave mode that can be played solo or co-operatively.
There are four different characters to use, each with their own weapon, which in turn have a few different ways to attack. The bow has the ability to shoot slow moving homing arrows via a quick press of the attack button. Hold the button down and the archer will draw harder taking away the homing aspect of the arrows but making them move rapidly and hard to avoid. The Hammer is a melee weapon that can be used at close quarters, thrown a short distance or when charged can propel the user through obstacles a little like Thor’s Mjolnir. The Boomerang is thrown and returns to the user, however if you hold the attack button whilst it is in the air the weapon sits spinning, allowing you to release it after changing position, altering its return path. Lastly is the sling shot which can either shoot over obstacles or be powered for a direct fast shot.
Although the variety is limited with choices in both game modes and character selections, the level design keeps things feeling fresh. Although the matches take part on very small fields, there is plenty of variation. The use of moving or revolving obstacles, portals, and various other elements makes the game so much better. The gameplay is basic and coupled with the fact that it is one shot kill, matches can be as short as a few seconds. The game is fast and frantic and relies on skill, with luck having little bearing on results.
However, there are a few issues with Wondershot. The solo mode is not likely to make you come back once you have completed a few challenges. The fact that there is no online multi-player is a novel idea, but the fact is that considering controllers are worth $80 each, how many people will own more than two? With the game being quite brief and extremely simple it suffers from longevity, sure a 15-minute session with friends is fun, but you’ll be lucky to invest much more time into Wondershot. It is a shame because the game can be extremely fun, but the ability to play two or three rounds within a minute kills the need to spend a great amount of time on it.
Overall the idea of Wondershot is great, the fun factor is quite high, the look and feel is good but the lasting appeal is less than adequate. I hate to say it as it pretty much destroys the whole idea of the game but the lack of being able to play online against opponents really hurts the value.
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