The Battle Royale genre is popular for good reason: these games allow players to be immersed in a short, unique narrative while being highly competitive and they tend to have a wealth of customization options. After seeing GirlHero (twitch.tv/girlhero) play Super Animal Royale for a couple hours the day after release, I decided to jump into the foray myself. After nearly 20 hours with the title, below is the official TruBros review!
Super Animal Royale is a twin-stick shooter and all of the controls feel incredibly responsive. You’ve a combat roll at your disposal which is used not only as your primary evasive maneuver but as a means to cover ground quickly. Liberal use of the combat roll means you don’t actually need to get into a vehicle (a hamster ball-I know) to quickly outrun the poison gas/circle. There are multiple weapon tiers (white-common, green-uncommon, blue-rare, gold-legendary) similar to Fortnite but only one type of each gun which keeps things straightforward. Each weapon feels unique and is viable for specific use cases and the higher the weapon tier the more powerful the gun. You heal using juice which is scattered liberally throughout the map and have a katana-the only melee weapon and you drop with it-to both engage enemies and break boxes. The variety of weapons and classic control scheme makes the core mechanics of Super Animal Royale very easy to understand-even without a primer or explanation I was able to jump into a game and quickly understand what was going on.
What truly sets the gameplay of Super Animal Royale apart from genre heavyweights is the use of perspective. Everything in the direct field of view of your character is illuminated (see below screenshot) and everything within the environment-rocks, trees, buildings-impedes your line of sight. As such, unless your enemy is hiding in a tree or behind some other vertical object, if you can’t see your enemy, they can’t see you so you won’t be killed by a player you never saw. Effective angle utilization is crucial to playing the game effectively and I personally have never encountered another “flat” 2D title-much less another battle royale game-which uses light and perspective so effectively. Additionally, most guns do not shoot off screen (except for the sniper) so more often than not if you’re not in the same screen as your opposition-and unless you can see them-you don’t have to worry about them.
Most battle royale titles are judged just as heavily for their customization options as they are for their core gameplay mechanics and Super Animal Royale excels in this particular department. You earn DNA, serum, weapon skins and clothing as you play games. You start with a fox, bear, skullcat and tiger as your available animals and can immediately begin accruing DNA and serum to unlock their variations. Additionally, for every five levels you rank up in Super Animal Royale, additional animal DNA begins to drop, such as receiving raccoon DNA at levels 5+ and donkey DNA at levels 10+. Eventually you’ll begin so many different varieties of DNA it can be difficult to gather the specific kind you’re after, however during a TwitchGym stream a member of the Pixile Studios team let us know they are working on a way to ensure players are able to gather the specific DNA needed to unlock the animals that catch their eye.
There are tons of animals to choose from and players also have a wealth of clothing options to adorn them with. Under “customize” you’ll find all the characters you’ve unlocked as well as shirts, hats, glasses, ties, weapon skins and emotes you can equip. There are so many different cosmetic items you can unlock and equip it is absolutely insane and I’d wager it’s only a matter of time until additional customization options are added. Couple not only the different animal breeds but also the different animal variations with the plethora of clothing items which are unlocked at a fairly steady clip (at random, post game) and you’ve got multiple options for even the most choosy of gamers.
The art style of Super Animal Royale is incredibly cute, however the current (as of 12.19.2018) minimum technical requirements are pulled below from the Steam page:
- Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
- OS: Windows Vista SP1+
- Processor: Core i3 and up
- Memory: 3 GB RAM
- Graphics: 256mb video memory, DX10 (shader model 4.0)
- Network: Broadband Internet connection
- Storage: 900 MB available space
- Additional Notes: 64 bit required
These relatively low technical requirements mean even gamers with modest rigs should be able to run the title on high settings. This not only ensures the simple and polished art style can shine but is absolutely essential given the use of light and perspective within the game. I’ve never encountered any frame-rate issues and I’ve only encountered lag twice in the 20 hours I’ve sunk into the title at the time of this writing.
Audio can make or break a competitive title and Super Animal Royale absolutely delivers on this crucial technical component. You can hear when enemies are reloading, walking, healing or firing and the audio gets louder the closer your enemy is to your general vicinity. Whenever I’m wearing my headset I feel as if I can tell the exact direction sounds are coming from and as I’ve spent more time with the title, I can gauge my opposition’s proximity to me. The music, sound effects of the firearms and emotes are all unique and I’ll readily admit to being a fan of the soundtrack, however the quality audio engineering ensures this title feels competitive and players never feel hampered by technical bugs.
Super Animal Royale is an extremely polished title with high quality sound design, an extremely unique (and cute) art style, deep cosmetic customization options and epitomizes the old adage “easy to pick up, difficult to master.” The only complaints I can think of are minor quality of life things (adding your waypoint to your minimap, ability to choose DNAs which drop for you, etc) and do not detract from the game in the slightest. If you’re looking for a competitive battle royale which is accessible to gamers of all skill levels, look no further than the cute jungles of Super Animal Royale.
For additional insight watch the video below!