Cartoon Carnage: Showdown Effect Shows Off Its Cast

I think that might have been a person once.

I do so love games that are unabashedly cheeky. I know, I know: that’s pretty much like scaling my way to the highest mountain tops and proclaiming my love for breathing and blinking to the calloused undersides of god’s feet, but apparently, some people only play games through gritted teeth and furrowed brows. I think those people are silly, though, and I won’t be inviting them to my games of Magicka developer Arrowhead’s The Showdown Effect because a) they’d hate it and b) I’m very petty. Boasting grin-inducing gems like “Fight to the death, or die trying,” the sidescrolling multiplayer mash-’em-up lampoons just about everything – including itself. Watch its creators have a laugh at their own characters after the break.

So that looks suitably frantic and ridiculous. I’m digging the personality, too – though it mostly seems to be window dressing for zany, over-the-top hacking, slashing, thwacking, hopping, bopping, and shooting. Even so, a gore-spattered, cliche-bashing Super Smash Bros on PC? I’ve heard of far, far worse ideas.

Here’s hoping it’ll be a bit less rickety on launch than Magicka. Also, on the list of potential cons: content. These sorts of games require a deft mix of satisfying mechanics and modes or else they run dry fairly quickly. Don’t get me wrong: I’ve been loving the recent trend of smaller-scale, multiplayer-focused releases sans tacked-on single-player modes (see: Natural Selection 2, Chivalry, War of the Roses, etc), but they tend to struggle with longevity.

If you’re interested, Arrowhead’s now taking beta signups, so get to it… or die trying, I guess? I mean, I don’t anticipate there being much trouble involved either way, but I suppose you never know.


  1. Ian says:

    I didn’t realise it was a multiplayer game.

    And now I’m sad.

  2. InternetBatman says:

    I won’t consider buying this game until I know how buggy it is.

    • Wreckdum says:

      I won’t consider buying this game until those two toolboxes take off those ridiculous scarfs.

      • Dances to Podcasts says:

        One thing artists do is to create a unique, personal way to do things. That’s how they can make things that are fresh and different. They invent themselves. This works on a collective level too. People create scenes, their own little subcultures that set themselves apart from mainstream culture. A lot of genres and movements are created that way.

        What I’m trying to say is, they don’t look silly enough by far.

  3. reggiep says:

    Looks like Mark of the Ninja met Shank and had a baby. Then Dishwasher met Shadow Complex and had a baby. And those 2 babies got together and made this. The result of baby fucking.

  4. CobraLad says:

    Multiplayer deathmatch?
    No sorry, after playing big head bash, Metal Assault and Awesomnauts i dont think that this kind of thing can be succesful.

  5. lordcooper says:

    Very interested in having a mess around with the beta.

  6. Baines says:

    It’s not a PC Smash Bros. It looks like the more common 2D versus gun battle genre. Arcades had The Outfoxies back in the 90s, and there have been variations of the theme on consoles and PCs both.

  7. MOKKA says:

    And here I thought Magicka was made by actual Wizards.

  8. wodin says:

    Multiplayer = No buy.

    Surely an AI for a game like this isn’t that hard to develop????

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  10. BigEyeGuy says:

    I bought Magicka and it was pretty much unplayable and stayed like that (deleted and reinstalled a few times to see maybe they fixed anything)
    The worst part of Magicka was online play, poor network code etc…

    So as much as i love the concept of this game and the way it looks Arrowhead has a lot of work to do to convince me they are capable of delivering a stable game.

    They proved to be creative and funny, they just have to take the time to polish an test now.

    • Baines says:

      Magicka still has annoying slowdown for me the last time I tried it. It wasn’t Binding of Isaac bad, but it was annoying enough to keep me from playing. Even the menu screen was lagging.

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