Super Animal Royale is a fast-paced, fuzzy free-for-all where cute characters battle it out in brief bouts of gunplay, and only the strong survive.
Developed by Pixile Studios (Stratosphere) and published by Modus Games (Ninjin: Clash of Carrots, Cris Tales), Super Animal Royale was announced back in 2017 as a free-to-play multiplayer battle royale featuring anthropomorphic animals in cartoonish, yet brutal, 2D combat. An early version was initially released as a Steam Early Access title in December 2018, but now, Super Animal Royale has been released in full across all major platforms, allowing players to jump into the cute, fuzzy arena.
There isn’t much of a story to Super Animal Royale. Players are cast in the role of genetically modified “Super Animals” who do battle in an abandoned safari park called Super Animal World. Still, there is plenty of cute charm to be had in the game’s presentation, such as the pun-filled messages players receive when they die. Likewise, Super Animal Royale’s music and art style are simple and colorful, featuring cute character designs and lighthearted background tracks that make the violent acts these critters commit all the more striking in their tonal shifts.
When players first boot up Super Animal Royale, they set up the kind of match they want, choosing between a one-on-one Solo game, a tag team Duo match, or joining a Squad. They can also invite social media friends to join them for a game, a utility which is appreciated in setting up rounds. Matches begin in the standard lobby, where players can practice for a bit before a countdown leads them to the game proper. Players are then flown around S.A.W island on a giant eagle until they reach a spot they would like to parachute toward in a manner similar to Fortnite’s Battle Bus.
Combat plays out like a top-down stick shooter, with players aiming their guns with the right analog stick and firing with the Right Trigger – which is also used for melee attacks. Players can also duck and roll with the Left Trigger, and can even gain a boost if they chain multiple rolls together correctly. Players start a match with a simple melee weapon, but they can collect guns by picking them up across the map. Other items include consumables that restore health and power-ups that increase speed or boost durability. There are also emus and hamster balls that players can ride for increased speed.
Due to players having a single life and a small amount of health, matches tend to end very quickly and it is easy to be picked off if one isn’t too careful. In addition to other players, a deadly skunk gas occasionally drops onto the battlefield, poisoning any players that get caught in its radius and making fights as much about being in the right place as it is about a player’s skills. After a player dies, they collect any experience and items they earned during the match and can choose between speculating for the rest of the match or simply leaving.
Outside of battle, players can choose their own Super Animal avatar and customize their character with various unlockable costumes and accessories. When it comes to the starting melee weapon, players can choose between different types of swords – including novelty items like a swordfish or a lollipop. From the Research Lab, players can use the Animal DNA and Super Serum vials they earn from each battle to unlock new Super Animals. Players can also purchase new customization items in the shop, where they spend in-game tickets on new clothes and even a smaller mini-animal that follows the player around in battle.
As is the case with many battle royale titles, a player’s enjoyment of Super Animal Royale might ultimately boil down to how quickly they can get a handle on the game’s simple mechanics – and how many near-instant deaths they’re willing to put up with to get to that point. Still, Super Animal Royale contains enough charm and cute unlockables to give it that “one more game” factor, and there is enough bite-size fun to make it a decent time-waster for those so inclined.
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Super Animal Royale is available on PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Google Stadia. Screen Rant was provided a Steam download code for the purpose of this preview.
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