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Happy Wars – Xbox 360

Happy Wars – Xbox 360

Platform: Xbox 360 ( Live Arcade)HappyWars_BoxArt

Developer: Toylogic

Release Date: October 12, 2012

Genre: Action, Tower Defense

Nerd Rating: 5 out 10

Reviewed by Shadow Links

Free-to-Play (FTP) games have been gaining a lot of popularity in the recent years. Happy Wars was actually the first FTP on Xbox Live Arcade. A rather amusing, whimsical game it is too.

The basis of gameplay is a massive multiplayer tower defense. Up to 30 players play at a time in 15v15 matches involving building towers for spawn points, artillery for long range fire power, and the general bloodbath that happens when you send out that many players to fight each other. The objective is to break into the enemy castle and destroy their statue. This is normally accomplished by breaking down the front door with attacks or a battering ram. Another option is to build ladders on the side and avoid the door altogether and works as a great strategy to pull victory from the jaws of defeat as I have done so many times.

Before you spawn each time you can select 1 of 3 classes and up to 3 variations of each you have set up previously. There is the warrior class which carries a melee weapon and a shield, a mage with just a staff, and a cleric with a weapon and a shield. Every person can have up to 9 skills in a match, 3 basic, 3 special, and 3 team attacks. There are more than 3 for each class so it is randomly chosen what skills you have for a match. You gain the skills though leveling up during the match (1-5). Experience is gained through building, killing, and healing.

One of the maps. Has a flank rout using rafts on the river.

The map with 7 towers. Has a flank route using rafts on the river.

Outside the match you still gain another type of level which determines your rank and the weight limit you can equip. Heavier weapons tend to have much higher stats as well as abilities which can affect stats or grant you skills before a match. Weapons can be gained through normal matches, single player, special co-op events, and spinning the prize wheel.

At the moment there are a total of 8 unique maps and rumors of 2 more coming still. The maps can have from 1 to 7 towers for you to fight over for position. Every map has some sort of flanking route away from the tower although they tend to be hazardous with toxic sludge, bridges that can be destroyed, or places where you fall off the map. Every map has a different feel ranging from rainbow meadows to under the sea to a Halloween inspired map.

The single player opens up new episodes when you level up more and can be a source for decent equipment. To a degree it also teaches you basic strategies, but know that humans are much different than the AI with slower reactions but can be much smarter.Battering_ram

Even though it is FTP, the developers make their money through selling premium tickets which grant a higher chance rare equipment. While some of the equipment can be received by random chance, that chance is too small to be significant for most plays

Rating 5 out of 10

It can lose its appeal very quickly if you don’t get matched right or if you don’t buy premiums . There are balancing issues in matchmaking that need to be addressed since high leveled player can be put against level 1s and the stat differences are far too significant to overcome. I could hit a player 1000 times and still not kill him whereas I’d die in 1 hit. Ultimately the game was a blast with hilarious equipment paired with high pitched voices going into battle. Still a good free game to play with friends since coordination between players can decide a battle.

Written by Nerd Bacon

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