• Developer: You Run Ltd
  • Publisher: Bonus Stage Publishing
  • Genre: Action, Multiplayer, Party
  • Released: 6th January 2022

Just deserts.

Marshmojis

On loading the game, a smirking emoji-like icon popped up on my Switch’s library. This placeholder-like art did not fill me with confidence going into the game. Call me shallow, but can you honestly blame me for mistaking this game to be some poor smartphone game port after looking at the game’s official icon?

Can you?

Also, I’ve only noticed at the time of writing this up that the character has a slit in their eyebrow. I mention this as an episode of Game Changer had one of its contestants shave a slit in their eyebrow, and at one point they were going on about the meaning of having one. I went on a brief rabbit hole looking through the style‚Äôs history, and quick summary: it went from hip-hop fashion all the way into LGBTQ identity.

There is no history in that shit-eating grin, except that it remains punchable since its inception.

Emote-tional Damage

Starting the game will lead you to a splash screen featuring the only four marshmallows you’ll be playing in this game: the yellow mascot, the green wild one, the purple token lady, and the blue army corporal. The art style is loud and honestly not my cup of tea. The music is, while inoffensive compared to the art direction chosen, wholly unmemorable. Another few steps down in my expectations here.

Your only 4 playable characters. Get used to seeing their marshy mugs.

The game itself is a multiplayer focused 4 player arena. You either play to be the last one standing, or you can choose to play 2v2 in form of co-operative play. You can either play online, or get some compatriots together for some couch play. The latter will definitely feel more fun, as with the case for most multiplayer games; but having the online option is good and indeed expected. Especially after a particular world event not that long ago.

The game’s story is isolated to the game’s description on the eshop or on the website, and briefly touched on in the game’s tutorial. Not great for those looking towards lore to get some sense of attachment towards the game, but honestly expected. Why marshmallows? Why fight? Why a chinchilla goddess? This is not a game that seeks to justify its Frankenstein level of art direction.

A chinchilla goddess with holy doughnuts, no less.

Aim, Shoot, Bubble

With all the negativity I’ve seemingly experienced on my end, you’d either expect me to completely find nothing redeemable in this game, or for it to come out swinging in an underdog style. Thankfully, it’s the latter, albeit after having to go through the game several times.

The main goal of the game is to bubble the opponent up with your shot. Taking out everyone else (or the other team) will net you a point. Gather enough points and you’d be crowned champion for that match session. It’s of course a simple deathmatch style gameplay, but I found that the controls were tweaked well to give the player some sense of tight control while allowing one to zip and zoom about the screen whilst avoiding your opponent’s bullet sprays. Another excellent addition was the addition of a matrix-like slo-mo when a bullet is heading your way. It gives players with limited reflex reactions like myself a small gap to plan and move how we want.

You also have limited ammunition, which you can replenish via spawning ammo drops around the map. This forces you to choose between varying strategies: do you start a match spraying and praying, saving up your ammo for later, or sniping carefully at your enemies? Of note are also each of the four characters’ special abilities that, when activated, will in some way allow one to avoid getting hit by incoming bullets. The only down side to these abilities is that a rather distasteful close up of your character gloating will float around briefly on activation. It does make pressing the button more of a chore than it should have been.

It takes a while to get the game’s various (but fortunately few) features in mind; and playing against more experienced members of this community does have the potential to dampen one’s enjoyment when starting out. My initial matches did have me floundering about, a hapless lamb to the slaughter.

However, there comes a moment when it all clicks into place. One gets into the groove, flying about and bubbling up the enemy while dancing around a battlefield strewn with stray bullets. The game is genuinely just simple and chaotic fun at its core; packaged in perhaps not the nicest of wrappings. Here, I realise that I’ve been rambling about gameplay with little visual aid. Here’s a video to make up for that.

One thing to note is that on handheld, the action can seem quite small.

Truce

A great example of how looks can be deceiving, WarshMallow! is a fun multiplayer romp… and that’s it. There’s a form of battle pass (with no premium option as far as I can tell, thank goodness) that rewards players the more they play the game, mostly with skins I believe. Apart from that, there’s no single player option in this game. It’s a pure competitive multiplayer experience, and while it’s not exactly a genre I’m enamored with, I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t have fun with my time with WarshMallow!. Maybe not my eyes though.



3/5 – love arena multiplayer gameplay? This might scratch that itch for you. The lack of any other modes does make this a little less attractive for me to recommend however…


Available now: $9.99


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*a review copy has been generously provided for this review