Friendship Club (Force Of Habit)
Young Timmy Bibble is a boy with a very active imagination and he uses it to make his four imaginary friends battle each other. Ranging from a mountain beast and crazy old prospector to a duck and ninja-bandit-skeleton-thing, these characters are ready to kill each other for their spot by Timmy’s side. As far as storylines goes it’s pretty wacky, but then again who needs an excuse for some good old fashioned arcade action.
Friendship Club might be about imaginary friends duking it out, but if you want to play this game you are going to have to have real friends to join you. Since the game is geared towards local multi-player only at the moment they will have to be physically present as well. Unfortunately, this is something that can be a little tricky to organize in this day and age, but if you do manage to pull it off it is very much worth the effort. In the Early Access version that we checked out you can choose between four different characters and two different level themes. The levels are procedurally generated though, which means there is still plenty of variety. There is already a couple of different game modes in place as well, which can be enjoyed by two to four players.
Classic mode is the most straightforward and provides you with three bullets with which to kill your opponents. Headbutt on the other hand takes away all your bullets and requires you to use your melee attack to win. Then there is Bullet Hell which gives you eight bullets as well as Trick Shot where your character can’t move, but your bullets recharge. There are a couple of other modes as well and pretty much all of them are very entertaining to play. In addition to selecting the game mode you can also choose how many rounds you to play and even adjust the game speed to your liking. Playing at 25% speed feels like everyone is in the Matrix, while at 200% speed rounds can pass in a blur of bullets and mayhem. All the levels take place on a single screen, so running away isn’t’ really an option and matches are frantic from start to end.
Few Early Access games are as entertaining and playable right out the gate as Friendship Club is and if you regularly have friends over it is a must. Bear in mind that controllers are absolutely essential as trying to play with the keyboard will only end in tears (and debug modes activating.) The abundance of game modes, customization options and sheer fun of Friendship Club make it an easy title to recommend. Just do yourself a favor and don’t purchase it in the hope that online multi-player or a single player mode is going to be added as these are not very high on the priority list for the developers.