Wondershot review: a little fun

Very handy, Thors hammer: whenever he throws it, he can always make it come back to him by using his godly strength. Unfortunately that does not apply to the hammer in Wondershot, that will just stick to it’s place after you have thrown it, meaning you will have to risk your life to get it back.

Wondershot is an arena puzzle actiongame in which you have a whole range of weapons to take down the craziest bad guys. A Smurf-like voice-over will yell funny things at you to make you aware of how you are doing. The puzzle part comes to play in levels that envolve using objects to make your stone (slung from your catapult) go in the right direction. Or, that are walls that will move in a certain order, which you have to figure out to find the exact timing and route to make it to the end.

This game has elements from The Legend of Zelda, but not entirely. Link can get a beating before he drops himself to the floor in a dramatic pirouette, but Wondershot will only give you one chance. You have one vulnerable life and if you lose, your level will start again. If you cannot handle such a quick death, Wonderhot will be one mountain of annoyance to you. If you like a challenge, there is definitely pleasure for you in this game.

Especially for friends
Mainly when you are with friends though, cause the French studio Leikir developed Wondershot so that it is an old-fashioned co-op game. You cannot search online for people to play with, you will have to hand over a controller to your guests or roommates to enjoy this game to its fullest. If you are playing with or against others, Wondershot shows its potential of being a very fun game in which you can either totally bug each other or work towards an end goal together. You will have a lot of rematches as deaths come quickly and the game starts a new one right away. However, if you are playing this for a long while, the game does not offer enough options. Everybody will be using the same weapon and as the surroundings do not really change, it feels a bit repetitive.

If you are a solo player, there are not many modes playable. However, there is an extra mode in which you are challenged to do many different small levels. On your own you will play those separate challenges by five, and if you succeed, another five will be made available, et cetera. I really like those challenges, cause they are fun and difficult. There are these sessios in which you will have to kill 50 enemies within a short amount of time. And you do not just get a minute to do the job: you will get ten seconds and for every slain enemy you will receive 2 extra seconds. Very stressful, so it is kind of a relief to know that not all challenges are like that. Some of them do not have a timer, but those are difficult in their own way by making enemies come specifically to you to attack. Everytime you succeed in killing one, more and more will appear until the screen is just one big chaotic mess with danger in every corner.

No luck
If you make it, will be truly dependent on your skills. If you can’t succeed, you will try twelve times and learn how to do it. If you can handle your weapon well, cause everytime you miss a target, you will have to walk over to your weapon to pick it up again. Not just the hammer that I told you about before, but also arrows, the catapult and boomerang work that same way. You will only get one arrow, so you cannot just fire away. That is very fair in co-op, as in some modes you have to kill your friends asap and be the last person standing.

It is good how Leikir did its best to make it as hard as possible. Unfortunately there are things that make this game difficult in a non-charming way. There are a lot of bugs, which sometimes makes the game lag at a moment that makes you get killed or shoot the wrong way. Plus, it is a bit uncomfy to sit with friends behind your computer. If you can use a controller on your PC, that is better, but in general the PC is not really setup for having four people around it. So if you are interested in this game, get it on the console.

Although there are a few other games on the console that you are already playing. Wondershot does not really seem very original, as it uses gameplay elements from arena archery game Towerfall Ascension. Wondershot has a top down perspective, but that actually makes you less attached to the character cause you can’t even see his face. Plus, the environments are not very rich and interesting, which makes this game very generic in graphic style.

You can choose from four characters, but you only see their face as a picture. There is no background story, they just look a bit different but have exactly the same skills and ways of fighting. That is a pity, cause the game would have a lot more personality if the characters would have any too. And that is a general problem for Wondershot: it is a small game that is fun for a while, but even though the gameplay is funny, it is not unique enough to really leave an impression. And here the concept of the game Wondershot backfires: you only get one shot to do it right and Wondershot fails to hit its target.

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