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Steven Universe and pals are in Brawlhalla now

Fight with empathy! And giant gauntlets!

You! Are the Crystal Gems! You'll always save the day! And if you think you can't, you'll have to stump up £10.40 for one of the Steven Universe characters Brawlhalla just added. Last night's update to the platform fighting game also introduced a new mode where you punch the opposing team to trap them in bubbles, as is Steven's wont.

I haven't played much Brawlhalla because I can't get my fingers to understand I'm not playing Smash, but it's a neat, free, PC-based alternative. It's done plenty of crossover nonsense in the past, but Adventure Time means little to me while Steven Universe is a cartoon that's close to my heart.

As with other crossover characters, these are reskinned versions of existing Legends. You need to buy them with mammoth coins, which can only be bought in frustrating amounts. If you want all four you'll need to pay £24, which is a steep price for cosmic friendship. If you don't care about playing dress up you can play a rotating selection of Legends for free each week, or just buy them all for £17.

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I don't normally mind what my characters look like, but I've a soft spot for Steven. Or Stevonnie, as playable here, which is who Steven and his friend Connie turn into when they fuse together using the power of a magic space gem embedded in Steven's belly button. The show is daft, surprising, and unrelentingly accepting of LGBT identities. There is empathy embedded in its core.

The new mode, Bubble Tag, plays like stuck in the mud. Three players on each side whack at each other until all of one team is trapped in bubbles, and the first team to do that five times wins. It sounds like a simple recipe for tension and dramatic comebacks, especially if you've got friends to shout at.

The update has also shaved a minute off round times, squashed some bugs, and added a new rendering tool to help community artists pull images from the game. Full patch notes are here.

You can download Brawlhalla for free from Steam.

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