Brawl Stars is Supercell's character-driven MOBA released mid-2017 in Canada.
Brawlstars kills the competition in terms of gameplay. The gameplay is very intuitive, as it has simple controls, as well as exciting fast-paced combat. The game is a MOBA which consists of either a three versus three battle or a ten-player free for all showdown. There are a plethora of unique characters with unique abilities. As well as five different game modes which are continually switching around to keep things fresh. There is also a good variety of maps which are steadily being improved, as well as new maps added to the game on a regular basis.
The gameplay is suited for casual players and competitive players alike. The casual player can enjoy quickly hopping into a game while still enjoying it. Meanwhile, the competitive scene is thriving for top-tier players with a unique metagame which is constantly forming around balance changes. Supercell uses top-tier gameplay to help determine which characters need a balance change, which in turn shifts the meta to be favorable for certain brawlers.
The gameplay itself is deep, as there are plenty of techniques and strategies which could potentially help a casual player skyrocket up the leaderboard. At the same time, the gameplay is smooth enough to pick up that anyone will enjoy playing at any skill level.
The pay system in Brawl Stars is very similar to Supercells other flagship mobile games. There are three forms of currency in the game including Gems, Coins, and Brawl Chips. These currencies do not affect the pay to win aspect of the game, as a skilled player with low-level brawlers can easily beat a max level brawler. However, the troubling aspect of the game is that it is costly to actually fully experience the gameplay.
The only currency which is obtained by playing is Coins. However, there is a maximum amount of Coins which can be earned each day, and it varies depending on the game mode rotation. Each time the game mode and map changes the game will give the player a few Coins. The final way to earn Coins is through the season end rewards, as at the end of every season you are rewarded Coins based on the trophy level of your top brawler. Coins are used to buy Brawl Boxes which provide the resources such as characters, or elixir.
The only way to obtain Gems is through in-app purchases. The cost of which is rather steep considering the benefits of the Gems. Gems are essentially an alternative way to purchase a Brawl Box. The issue is that Brawl Boxes do not provide much. That is due to it being extremely difficult to unlock brawlers who are not of the common category of rareness.
Finally, Brawl Chips are given to the player when they obtain a duplicate brawler. These Chips can then be used to unlock any brawlers who have not been previously unlocked. Unfortunately, the only brawlers who can realistically be unlocked through these Chips are common, rare, super rare, and epic. Mythical and legendary brawlers cost an absurd amount considering the number of chips given per duplicate brawler. Even the realistic brawlers will take a very long time to earn enough chips for.
The game features a cartoonish western style aesthetic with some very uniquely designed characters from all sorts of different styles. For example, there is a masked Mexican wrestler named El Primo, a shotgun slinging outlaw named Shelly, and even a cocktail mixing robotic bartender named Barley. These peculiar characters clash together in western themed maps with their different abilities to create a gorgeous aesthetic.
The characters themselves are all very well done, and appealing to the eye. Each character has its own weapon and special ability which blend perfectly with each other to create a fantastic design. On top of that, some characters also have alternate skins which mesh well with the characters.
The maps themselves range from a variety of different sceneries. Whether it be a cave, an open field, or a labyrinth of walls and obstacles the maps are beautiful to the eyes. A bonus of the maps is that they feature an interactive environment, as walls can be destroyed, and players can hide within tall grass.
Although overall the art is very simplistic, it is also timeless. It is the type of design which holds up well. As well it is very distinct which allows it to be memorable at the same time. The menu screens are also well designed and easy to navigate which provides for a smoother gameplay experience.
The music and sound effects are very suiting to the artistic style of the game. Even the characters voices add a subtle flair to the game which gives it a much fuller feeling. The in-game sound effects create a nice sense of immersion which adds nicely to the gameplay.
Supercell has created a system which incentivizes players to log in several times daily, as well as hitting a quota of games played per day. There are four game slots with varying game modes and maps. Each slot changes anywhere between six hours and twenty-four hours. The longer the game mode is available for, the more Coins are available to be earned through that mode. Every time the game mode switches, simply clicking on the new game mode will award the player with a predetermined amount of coins dependent on how long the mode is available.
The other aspect which keeps players coming back is that each game mode has a certain amount of experience points which can be earned through playing. The experience points are vital in leveling up the user account. As an account is leveled up it earns more Coins which can be used to purchase Brawl Boxes.
Finally, winning matches with a character will earn trophies. Players want to get that character’s trophy count as high as possible because it will earn them a large sum of coins at the end of each season.
If none of those are enough to get the player coming back on a regular basis, there is also a double experience event every few days which allows for the player to earn experience twice as fast in the fourth game mode.
The longevity of Brawl Stars at this point is very hard to predict. The game still hasn’t left beta and is exclusive to iOS and Canada. The game is continually being worked on, but Supercell has not announced whether it will even have a global release or if it will be released on Android. There are also a few issues which should be resolved before it could be seen how long the game will thrive for. The most significant problem is the current monetization system. Although it could be profitable for supercell, the difficulty of unlocking new brawlers through in-app purchases is a major turn off for most players. Another issue is
In the past Supercell has been known to cease development on many games, including games which were very well received. At the same time, Supercell has supported several of their games for a very long time. Including Brawlstars, Supercell currently has five games which it still supports. Supercell has also discontinued four mobile games since 2012. Supercell has become much more conservative with game releases due to the high success of games such as Clash Royale and Clash of Clans. So, primarily for Brawlstars to survive, it must continue to be profitable. Things are looking good, as Brawlstars has lasted much longer than the previously discontinued games.
Overall, the game is a ton of fun at face value. The central aspect which is holding this game back from a better score is the progression system. Currently, characters are unlocked at such a slow pace that the game tends to get stale after a while. The longevity of the game is definitely in questions due to the progression system. Players tend to grow tired of using the same characters for such an extended period. Outside of that, the game is an absolute blast. The multiplayer aspect of the game makes it great to start playing with your friends, and the artistic style of both the music and graphics blend together to create a memorable gameplay experience.