> Fun, quick and frantic
> Great style & artwork
> Adventure mode challenges
> Local multiplayer
> No online multiplayer
> Playing solo can lose it's appeal
Remember those late-night gaming sessions with your friends where you’d play Mario Kart or Goldeneye, battling it out endlessly until someone relented? Well Leikir Studio‘s Wondershot aims to bring back those days long past.
There’s no story to speak of in Wondershot – it’s just an arena battle game in a medieval setting. It uses a collection of weaponry which grants the user different abilities, such as bouncing projectiles off walls, dashing through walls, homing projectiles and more.
Although it’s primarily a competitive local multiplayer battle arena game, there is a single-player and cooperative element to it. You can conquer the challenges of the Adventure mode, where you use the facets of each weapon type to meet the criteria. This can range from hitting 30 targets in under a minute, to surviving a particular length of time.
The game is quick and easy to pick up, and has an easy control system that only uses the shoulder buttons, analogue sticks and the X button (or A button, for you Xboxers). General movement is dealt with by the left analogue stick, and the L2 button allows you to roll. This will let you get through mud quickly, which would otherwise slow you down.
The right analogue stick is used for aiming, and R2 will allow you to lock the direction you’re looking in. The only other additions to the control system involve either tapping or holding the X button, which modify what each weapon does.
The different weapons you can use are the Bow & Arrow, Hammer, Boomerang and Slingshot. With the bow and arrow, you can tap X to fire a homing arrow, or tap and hold X to charge it for a faster shot upon release. When you fire an arrow, if you miss your target, you lose your weapon and have to either go and get it, or pick up another weapon.
With the Hammer, you tap for a quick Hammer smash. However what makes this weapon the best (in my opinion) is that when you tap and hold the Hammer, you can throw it and dash through walls. This can make certain levels really quick and easy, but also lets you surprise your opponents and take them out quickly.
The Boomerang acts much like you’d expect – tap X to throw it a short distance, then it returns to you. If you tap and hold X, the Boomerang will still throw, but will spin in place and get larger. You can then move wherever you like, then when you release X, it returns to you, killing anything in it’s way.
Finally the slingshot fires a projectile a fair distance with it’s normal attack, bouncing off one wall. With the charged attack it bounces off several surfaces.
One of the other entertaining aspects of the game involves portals. You can throw/fire your respective projectiles through them, but not travel through them yourself. And they will appear at different angles and placements in each randomly-generated level. Along with the pillars and walls that are at specific angles to allow for bouncing slingshot pellets off, it can make for an entertaining gameplay mechanic.
The game’s primary intent is to get you and your mates together to play locally, which does limit it somewhat in terms of replay value. What would really benefit the game is having an online co-op or battle mode as well, but the local multiplayer does end up bringing back memories of nostalgic drunken Goldeneye evenings for me. Having only two controllers at the moment, I’ve done a bit of one-on-one gameplay, but when there’s just two of you, the co-op challenge modes are the best fun. This is prettymuch a continuing survival mode, where you fend off waves of enemies.
All in all, I’m enjoying Wondershot quite a bit. I think it’s definitely more fun with a royal-rumble style local multiplayer setup, as it’s easy to drop in and out of. It’s attractive to look at, and the gameplay mechanics with the weapon abililties and portals means that no one game is the same as another. It’s fun, hectic and quite tricky to master with the only thing letting it down is a lack of network play.