Two words that you would think would never go together, sum up this title perfectly well, in fact it’s happy in such a way that it almost makes you puke rainbows. Little characters running about brandishing their odd ball weapons, taking over castles and hacking and slashing in such a joyful manner, it’s something you would find in a spinoff of a Rugrats episode combined with LOTR Helms Deep. I’m not ashamed to say that I love it.
Happy Wars is a free multiplayer online game, with elements of role playing strategy from developers Toylogic. Though not being a household name to many people’s eyes, they have in fact been involved with Nintendo for the past few years, working on titles such as Super Smash Bro’s. Brawl in 2008, and then later on TMNT Smash Up in 2009. So it’s no wonder they have then branched out and made this happy chappy of a title and brought it to the Xbox Live arcade last year.
Though there is some room for improvement, with the servers being a bit of a pain and connection issues being a major flaw due to the lack of players, however this isn’t something that Happy Wars is doing wrong, it’s the population for not playing it. I personally think it is a fantastic little title that does what it set out to do superbly. It’s not to be taken seriously and it’s not out there to compete with all the huge titles boxing it out for the top spot. It is just a neat game that sits on the side to allow you to break away from mainstream gaming and rewards you for it.
The game is made up from three modes, all extremely team work reliant. The campaign is short lived and is only there upon reaching certain levels, however the multiplayer mode is the bread and butter, which can either be player vs. player or a ‘special challenge’ pitting you against the CPU which will kick your butt if you don’t have a working team on expert. Playing this mode and winning also gives you the opportunity to get your hands on some limited edition loot for that time too. All modes consist of you taking control of one of three classes; the melee warrior, the spell casting mage or the healing priest, with expected and standard abilities for each class. They can be dressed up with shiny new bits of armour and weaponry obtained from both modes to make your character even stronger and odd looking than before! These are then used to take on the other team in a brutal and yet jubilant fight to the death… wait what, I thought this was supposed to be a happy war? Anyway, the goal is to take key parts on the map found as totems, these will act as spawn points allowing your team to move up the field, swarm the enemy castle, smash the gates to smithereens and bust the enemy’s totem to the floor. Upon winning, the victorious team will proceed to hang the losing members to poles and dance around them jeering at their piteous defeat.
The controls are stupidly simple, and easy to get the gist of. With gameplay consisting of you starting off at level 1, with enemy take downs or ally assists allowing you to work your way up to level 5. When levelling up you will earn an additional set of random ordered abilities for that specific class, to a max of 3 moves per A, B or Y, mixing up game play from one match to the next as well as having more HP and attack/ defensive power. If there is a group of players nearby, you can activate a group special attack giving a significant battle advantage, the more players contributing, the stronger the attack will be. This can be in the case of summoning a tornado, to giving all players nearby a drastically higher defence. Madness you say?
With 10 maps to play on, there is plenty of longevity for how you will end up playing the game. They are simple yet built to be effective. With certain areas being more hands on than the others, such as mounted turrets, destructible bridges, boulder traps and not to mention luring sand monster ready to snap up any unaware player, all to be used to your military advantage.
The annoying thing about the game which is also fully understandable, is the fact that there is the element where you can use real money to purchase better items for butt kicking. This gives the free players a slight disadvantage and you will find yourself wondering why your arse was handed to you by someone below your level at the time, then realise it was a pesky premium item holding player. But hey, you downloaded the game for free remember?
The great thing about Happy Wars is that there are plenty of updates keeping you coming back for more, which for a free game, is amazeballs. As well as additional monthly treasure hunts with coins and loot earned each day for when you turn on the game consecutively. On top of this there is of added content from time to time to keep things ticking over, this comes in the form of additional premium items for those who choose to pay and the pre- mentioned special challenge available to everyone for teams to take down a special boss as often as you like for extra loot. What is there not to like?
If you take Happy Wars for what it is, you will find it to be a fantastic and charming game that has some surprisingly fun hours to be had. I found it to be an addictive game, with easy game controls, a straight forward multiplayer and has some vibrant graphics – An overall happy experience.