Have you got the Fur-Balls to participate?
Title: Super Animal Royale
Platform: PC (Reviewed)
Price: PC £9.50 / $12
Release date: Out Now (Early Access)
TL;DR: Cute fluffy animals armed to the teeth.
In an ever-expanding genre of Battle Royale games, what makes Super Animal Royale stand out against the competition? With PlayerUnkown Battlegrounds, Call of Duty’s Blackout mode, and Fortnite already dominating the scene, what does Super Animal Royale offer that will entice players to give it a go. Currently, on offer for under a tenner on Steam, Super Animal Royale is a Battle Royale game that features weapon-wielding furry animals roaming about a 2D environment. In typical Battle Royal fashion, you’re one of 64 player-animals air-dropped into an island warzone, where the end goal is to kill the other animals until you’re the last remaining survivor.
The island is reminiscent of the maps from Fortnite and Blackout, with different areas split into zones that have slightly differing motifs. The usual ever-decreasing area of play is present, but this time in the form of a poisonous gas cloud that slowly chips away at your health the longer you remain in it. Buildings and terrain in the zones offer unique options for line-of-sight gunplay with tents, construction sites, deserts, and forests offering locations to find weapons, armour, and ammunition. The art style of Super Animal Royale is colourful with smooth cartoonish animations. And while it might look a little simple, the design means there are no juddering graphics or frame rate issues due to the low system requirements needed to run the game. It comes across as a very polished experience on low-end systems, as well as powerful gaming rigs. I was able to play on my desktop or laptop with no difference in gameplay.
The sound effects are also on point, with gunfire, reloading, and explosions all easily identifiable; you can even hear the sounds of enemies approaching if they aren’t using sneak, so keeping one ear open can help you thwart an enemy attack. The cute little furry animals have adorable squeaks and chatter, along with a catchy soundtrack on the title screen. In the current Early Access build, there is a Solo mode, where you go into the match alone against 63 other players and bots, or a Duo mode where you can team up with a friend. A button exists for a four-player squad mode but currently, it’s not available.
Matches take place on either an EU or an NA server depending on what time of day you decide to play. Although this has been done to increase player-count in matches, it can also lead to you either play playing with 20ms latency or an extra 100ms due to the differing distances of server locations. I’m not sure what the player base is like at the moment (population wise) but some games do take a while to propagate enough players, so I am noticing spaces being filled with bots to lessen the waiting times between matches.
Super Animal Royale uses simple mouse and keyboard controls that work very well; wherever you aim your little target reticule on-screen is the direction your bullets fire, and to counter incoming enemy fire, you can roll out of the way, or into cover by using a direction key plus spacebar. There is a fair selection of different weapons to find from grenades and bananas to pistols, shotguns, SMG’s, machine guns, and snipers. But if you can find an AK-47 early in the round, you have an increased chance of winning as the fire-rate, bullet distance, and damage combined are far superior to anything else on offer, at least in my experience, as every time I’ve collected an AK at the beginning of a match, I’ve gone on to eat a chicken dinner.
Matches are quick and rather thrilling, with the challenge of collecting whatever supplies you can whilst staying alive as long as possible as the poison gas closes in; and the area of the island becomes ever smaller. If you manage to defeat enemies or win the match, you are rewarded with animal-themed congratulations/taunts and ‘DNA’ of different beasts. The ‘DNA’ is used to unlock other animal types to play as. Progression for Super Animal Royale is all based upon cosmetics, from the ‘DNA’ for unlocking different animal skins, to dances, umbrella’s (gliders) and clothing. So far all items are unlocked from playing the game. Increasing your level unlocks new tiers of collectables, and there are NO pay-to-win features, which is a massive plus point for me.
The main problem I envisage is that Super Animal Royale is very similar to some free browser games like surviv.io, so charging £10/$12 for something that doesn’t look massively different from a free browser game may be off-putting to some potential players. But apart from some aesthetic similarities, the game is a lot of fun and just the ticket if you’re looking for something that can give you an enjoyable quick-fix of shooty action against some online opponents. I’ve hardly noticed the levels and hours ticking by from a few matches here and there, and can definitely see myself continuing to play this game as new features and item rewards become available.
- Simple controls.
- Character customisation through playing.
- Addictive gameplay to start.
- Depending on when you play determines what server you play on.
- AK-47 is very overpowered.
- Simplistic gameplay novelty wears out quickly.
ESRB: No Rating as of this review. PEGI: No Rating as of this review.
Cutesy animals with guns and no blood or gore, so suitable for a younger audience.
Disclaimer: This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by PR for the purposes of this review.