Happy Wars is a third-person MOBA game released by Toylogic for the Xbox Live Arcade in 2012 and for Windows in July this year and is also going to be released for Xbox One. The name is rather optimistic as it certainly does not make me happy, not even slightly cheerful.
The game takes place in some cartoon world where people fight in anything wearable, from underwear, pots and pans to actual armour. Everything that you can swing or shoot something from is a weapon: sticks, rocks, oddly shaped branches, swords and blocks of caramel fudge. You and your friends need to put your skills together and advance towards the enemies castle, building up your towers and destroying your enemies towers along the way.
At first, you get really bad weapons and armour. You have to take part in an unholy amount of battles to level up your profile and each level up gives you one piece of better equipment for a random class. If you don’t want to go through that time-suck, you can try your luck betting on a spinning wheel for either a melee weapon, helmet, body armour or shield and I can guarantee that you will never get it right unless you can predict the future.
The control system in the game is pretty standard, same movement controls and attack buttons as normal, WASD and the mouse but to activate your powers, you need to hold down spacebar and then left click on the power of your choice. It’s pretty inconvenient unless you are playing as a mage when you actually have the time to do something like that. When you’re fighting in the frontlines, there is no time to do that because once you have selected a power, you’re already dead.
You can play online or you can play against bots and this will be just about the only thing you can do because of bad connection issues. When a battle starts, you choose either a warrior, mage or a cleric and each class has its own special abilities and roles. Warriors are meant to take up front damage and keep the enemies away from the mages. Mages are meant to deal out loads of damage and keep away from the frontlines. Clerics are meant to build the siege weapons for taking down castle gates and towers. Yup, if you like bows, go play DragonAge or something. We only deal with swords, maces and magic here.
Each class has a special set of skills that they can use and a team skill. These team skills require EVERYONE on the team to gather around you and once everyone is in place, the skill will activate. This could be anything like performing a massive charge into the enemy army that dishes out a lot of damage or it could be summoning a big whirlwind to scatter your enemies all over the map and even kill some of them.
Warrior skills are generally about one-on-one fighting but there is a skill that spins you around and deals area damage. Mage skills are about elemental spells that can either do direct damage to enemies like fireballs and frost spikes or they can use spells to enchant their allies weapons with fire and other things. Clerics can heal their allies and protect them from damage. They are also the most important characters on the team because they summon the materials for building battering rams to destroy the castle gates.
There is a nice amount of character customization, you can choose to make your character look utterly bizarre, normal (enough) or even like a psychopath which you have to be to play this game.
In the end, the game felt very bland and unoriginal. Same class types, same types of battle as other MOBA games where you have to destroy towers before you get to the enemies base and average gameplay.