The crown shall be mine
Friends will quickly become foes in this competitive multiplayer brawler.
Big Crown: Showdown
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch & PC
Release Date: 14/12/2018
Age Rating: 3+
Genres: Party / Brawler / Platformer
Developer: Hyper Luminal
Party Brawler Madness, you can pretty much summarise Big Crown: Showdown easily enough with that phrase. I went into playing this game with the expectation of it being somewhat like The Legend of Zelda: 4 Swords, that released back on the Gamecube and featured Gameboy Advance compatibility.
I explained to my friends as we set upon our first play that we’d be progressing through stages with the aim of all trying to attain the most treasure to win. It would appear that I was completely off the mark.
So, what do you do?
The old King Krabbit has sadly been thrown out of a castle window by the Great Wizard Fonkin. However Fonkin is not all that besotted with the crown and puts it up as a prize in the event that he creates, Big Crown: Showdown. You and your friends take control of a member of the Grumblegard and while you’d think you’d be more concerned with trying to escape the grasp of Fonkin, you seem to not care and only have eyes to become the bearer of the crown.
In order to claim the crown you must battle it out in 15 levels across 3 worlds aiming to score 20 points that will result in you becoming the bearer of the crown.
You and your opponents are dropped at a start point of a level and once the countdown reaches zero are released into the level to battle it out. The level is continuously moving forward so as well as battling your opponents you need to ensure you aren’t lagging behind as if you are off screen for 3 seconds and aren’t able to catch up, you lose a life.
You will start with 5 lives each, and by battling each other you will be smashing your opponents off the screen causing them to lose their lives. You can all actually reach the end of the level, but that doesn’t tend to happen often. If you do reach the end of the level, any lives you have remaining go towards your overall score. For each time you knock an opponent off the level and cause them to lose a life, you also attain a point. So there are some interesting strategic choices to make to try and get maximum points you can per level and be the first to reach 20 points.
As mentioned, you can battle it out across 3 world settings each with 5 levels. Shivershire see’s you battle across levels with dangerous icy paths, hills where large snowballs are continuously falling and drifting icebergs that you need to navigate across.
Kasseltoon is set in the sky and has a distinct look of grounds or small town within castle boundaries. All sorts of medieval trades you’d expect to see like smithing and log cutting seems to occur on these levels. There are also plenty of paths filled with traps such as swinging axe or pipes that blast steam at rather inconvenient times.
Lastly there is Zoggysands, which have the feel of Egypt as the setting. Levels can flood then suddenly turn to draught in the blink of an eye meaning you might be stranded in the middle of a level and levels with boats galore to try and jump across.
Each world has it’s own unique look and feel, with varying different traps and challenges to battle your way through, they are all highly entertaining.
Yes hats. While battling it out you’ll come across chests within levels, if you are lucky enough to smash one open you’ll find coins are scattered on the floor. Be sure to collect them as the rewards are truly astounding. As you are back in the lobby prior to another round starting, be sure to check your ‘Swag’ section. There’s a great collection of hats to collect, and can be purchased with coins collected within the game.
Now, that doesn’t sound overly rewarding, but there are some really fun designs to go for. And for some of the eagle eyed PlayStation fans there, a certain hunters hat that has a familiar Bloodborne look to it, is pretty awesome.
Me personally, I wanted a Fez, and succeeded.
Look and feel
In terms of play, Big Crown: Showdown is very easy to pick up and play. Attacks are comprised of one button. You can simply spam this button, or hold it down a little longer for a more powerful attack. There’s a shield for blocking and a button to jump. That’s it.
Visually, the game is very charming to look at. The levels are all unique as mentioned and are all rather detailed. There’s never any issues with finding your Grumblegard and the size of the characters on screen is never an issue. Everything fits and plays just right.
With 15 levels being available, you have the option to create your own playlists and pick and choose a selection of possible favourites to go through, which is a nice little feature. However despite 15 levels, which is a decent number, you have hope that maybe there would be some DLC for another world with 5 new levels. After a few hours (and boy did we do a good few hours) the levels did get a tad stagnant.
Pros and Cons
+ Funny, so very funny. The desire to wear the crown is truly there
+ Brilliant for couch multiplayer as well as online
+ Nice variety of levels across the worlds
– Maybe 5 more levels could have helped to keep the fun going longer
My friends and I played this on the couch and despite my incorrect explanation to them of what I thought the game was about, we all absolutely loved it. The competitiveness as we started to become more aware of the controls and tactical plays was brilliant. The end game stats after someone had won the crown were always greatly anticipated to see who had the stronger game.
We found enjoyment from being able to create our own playlist of levels to play out through and we actually surprisingly all had the desire to want to earn coins for hats. Crazy right?
It’s a really great little party / battle game, and with the festive season here, it could certainly be a big hit as families and friends get together more to enjoy the time of year. I personally think it’s pretty great value for money as it features online too, so you aren’t reliant of friends being round for local multiplayer.
Completely not what I expected, but exceeded expectations that my friends and I had.