Be the Championest!
Rogue-like games are not my cup of tea, and neither are most twin-stick shooters. However, when given the opportunity to take a look at Forced Showdown, my inner curiosity placed me in the STF and made me tap-out to the experience. What resulted was me enjoying what would soon prove itself to be the ultimate time killer by combining a dungeon crawler with a collectible card game, Forced Showdown spawns what could be considered one of the most interesting games to date.
Game Name: Forced Showdown
Platform(s): PC via Steam
Release Date: March 29, 2016
Forced Showdown places you in the role of one of four contestants (known as champions) partaking in a violent galactic game show where you’re pitted against hordes of enemies in multi-stage arenas for fabulous cash and prizes; much akin to the The Running Man, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, or the classic Midway title, Smash TV. However, instead of picking up power boosts, it introduces an element taken from games such as Hearthstone, in the way of power-up cards, which you collect through gameplay.
Normally, an element like that would bog down this type of game, but in the case of Forced Showdown, it simply enhances the gameplay by adding a strategy element to it and that’s definitely not a bad thing. To be perfectly clear, that’s far from all this game has to offer! Each stage of each show has its own potential pratfalls and useful buffs, things like “Fluctuations,” where cards can either cost one mana more or less than normal, or “Slippery Cards,” where you lose the left most card in your hand after every arena, setting up some pretty peculiar situations late game. The question is, will it be to your benefit, or will it be a hindrance?
While the game’s difficulty will ultimately be up to the player and the mentality going in, there is an infinitesimal amount of content for those who are dedicated to playing this game, if not for the strategy element alone. The game is graphically gorgeous in a futuristic-medieval kind of way and the music completely sets the tone for the game. The game gives you this sinking feeling that you are playing for your life, but still having fun doing it. The controls are also fairly minimal while being intensive, and playing with your Xbox, PlayStation or Logitech controller is just as smooth and fantastic as playing with a keyboard (I would even say playing with an Xbox controller is THE WAY TO GO!)
The only real gripe that I have about this game is that there is no multiplayer mode. Forced Showdown’s single player by itself is fantastic; however, I feel that it would truly shine with co-op multiplayer accompanying the single player campaign. It’s not a major gripe, and it certainly doesn’t take away from the experience.
Let’s just say that you’ll be putting in a ridiculous amount of time into Forced Showdown. The strategy element to the game is more than enough for you not to put the sticks down, and the smash and bash action will keep you entertained for hours on end.
+ No arena is ever the same twice
+ Strategy element is on point
+ Multiple deck combinations provide for strategic variety
– No co-op multiplayer
- Smash TV meets Hearthstone...AND YOU CAN'T TEACH THAT.