Forced Showdown lets you to participate in a competition in which we fight our way through arenas full of creatures and gain upgrades in the hopes of becoming a celebrity on intergalactic television. It’s a lot of fun.
The game premise is quite simple: we select one of the available heroes, his ally, and a deck of cards to strengthen our character between combat. Then we decided to take on one of the three programs. We see the action from an isometric perspective, and each character has a basic attack and various special attacks, much as in previous hack’n’slash games. To win, you must battle multiple bosses with their own multi-level arenas, and each series has its own set of rules to keep things interesting. Sometimes we have the capacity to revive slain opponents as minions, while other times defeated enemy heal the living. The number of variables rises as the tournament proceeds, but we have some leeway in deciding what mix of bonuses and penalties we want to apply. We immediately discover that even seemingly simple fights may be difficult, and completing even the first TV program needs numerous attempts and the acquisition of additional, stronger upgrade cards.
Forced Showdown involves both dexterity and planning abilities from the player, because a well-built upgrade deck may drastically impact the direction of battles in the following round, not only boosting the hero’s endurance, but also adding new techniques to our arsenal. Unfortunately, unlocking cards is time-consuming and similar to the approach used in free online games. If we acquire the required amount of special points, we will be able to spin the roulette wheel and win a prize. It takes a long time to acquire what we want, especially because we don’t get paid if we lose at an early stage. The developers have prepared four heroes with varying ranges and talents, allowing us to freely select the character that best matches our gameplay style. Despite the fact that the battlefields are narrow and the animals move swiftly, ranged fighters function just as well as warriors. We bring one of three partners into combat with us, providing additional firepower and respawning after each skirmish if they die. They are helpful, but not particularly intelligent, therefore it is not uncommon for the companion to completely disregard what we are doing and rush to the farthest corner of the map.
Artificial intelligence is not reached its peak. Enemies pose a threat to us because they strike in vast numbers, yet they do not operate in concert, let alone avoid our attacks. However, because of the dynamic, well-implemented combat style, this does not annoy us in the least. Explosions, spells, and boss assaults all look fantastic, and the bright, vibrant rolls make Forced Showdown a delight to see. At the same time, there are no noteworthy components, and the lack of music while playing takes away some of the game’s beauty.
Forced Showdown’s framework allows us to have a lot of fun for a few hours while destroying swarms of adversaries in consecutive arenas. However, there comes a point when we are unable to swiftly obtain the cards we require, and the degree of excitement in the game decreases significantly.