Brawlhalla super smashes out of early access, bros

A ‘platform fighter’ is not someone who leaves furious comments about Xbox controllers on your lovely little PC games website but rather a sort of fighting game with pugilists whacking each other off platforms – clue’s in the name, yeah? Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. game rule the roost but those aren’t on PC, so we’re making our own. The latest to launch is Brawlhalla [official site], which left early access yesterday. It’s free-to-play but the monetisation sounds sensible, and I’ve heard it’s a pretty good game too.

So! Up to eight players enter the arena to beat each other up, in modes from singleplayer bot battles to 4v4 and 8-player free-for-alls. Fighters have their own moves, as is the fighting game way, though Brawlhalla’s are heavily altered by weapons picked up in the arena. Things like swords, guns, and bombs all change a character’s playstyle a lot. Then you duff each other up, leaping around, whacking people off platforms, marvelling as they use a million mid-air moves to recover and return, and generally engaging in cartoon violence.

Here’s a blast of action from recent tournament qualifiers:

Brawlhalla’s free-to-play model is a bit like League of Legends: 6 of its 34 characters (and the 35th will launch today) are free for everyone, a lineup rotating every week. Players can permanently unlock extra characters with virtuacurrency earned by playing. Cosmetic items including skins and taunts are sold for a few quid each in a premium microtransaction currency. And you can buy a pack which instantly unlocks all current and future characters.

You can play Brawlhalla through Steam. It’s £16/€20/$20 for the character unlock pack.


  1. DingDongDaddio says:

    A real solid game for a F2P price point, and last I played it was never pushy or annoying with it’s micro transactions, aside from the usual bullshit of having a fake currency you have to spend real dollars for instead of just letting you spend the real dollars directly on the items…

    Just be prepared to be disappointed in the cast. They aren’t very interesting visually and everyone shares identical movesets aside from THREE “signature attacks”.

    • laiwm says:

      The visuals are so bland… It looks like someone trained a neural net on DeviantArt posts. But it does really nail the feel of Smash Bros, though it could use more variation between characters like you say. Definitely worth a go if you’ve got some mates round, it’s free and quick to download and a pretty good time.

  2. mukuste says:

    I’ve played it a bunch, really fun game. The skill ceiling is surprisingly high. (Not that I’ve come anywhere near it.)

    And yeah, the F2P model is eminently fair.

  3. Ksempac says:

    A fantastic game !
    I highly recommend everyone to try it, even if you don’t like Smash Bros. I personally am not fan of Smash Bros (too random/too confusing for my taste), and I love Brawlhalla.

    I’ve been playing since the beginning of September, have already logged in 40h in it, and I intend on playing a lot more.

    It’s very easy to pick up, but it has a huge depth. The 2 weapon systems makes it a very original and tactical game. You know what weapon you have, you know what your opponent have, and you can switch on the fly to tailor your playstyle to the current situation.

  4. Dewal says:

    The visual don’t really sell it to me but I’m happy people are finally emulating Super Smash Bros.

    • April March says:

      I feel the same. I’m going to give it a whirl only to see what it’s done with the franchise. The video doesn’t look encouraging TBH, but I’ll give it a shot anyway.

    • SalaciousJames says:

      One thing I definitely miss are the big, dynamic arenas that Nintendo puts together, but it’s got the core gameplay down.