This title is exclusive to Nintendo Switch and was reviewed as such.
Paperbound Brawlers is a party brawler where you can play with up to four players battling it out to see who will come out on top. With some unique features, Paperbound Brawlers does well to stand out from the rest of the pack, with the press of a button to switch up the gravity and a whole lot of different game modes to play.
There are three main sections that you can choose from: campaign, free for all, and teams. In the campaign you choose to either play by yourself or with partner in co-op. You will choose the character you wish to play as and then fight your way through various battles with different opponents and objectives, which include team battles along with survival and more party like modes such as gravity ball. While going through the campaign you will also unlock other characters to play as, with some of these being characters from other games. Unfortunately I didn’t realise this until later on as I have never played the games these special characters are from.
The enemy AI does get pretty tricky the further you get into the game. By the time I had barely grasped the gravity mechanics, the AI was flying around the stage destroying me with scissors and ink bombs. Free for all and team battles are for when you want to set up a game for yourself where you can customise the rules to your liking. You can enable or disable what weapons are available for use, change how many scissors and ink bombs you start out with, and tweak victory conditions for the battle. Most importantly though are the combinations you can activate if you want to have a match with only using ink bombs or scissors or maybe you want to make it so that to acquire weapons you need to pick them up rather than spawning with them straight away, this all makes for some pretty interesting game play.
Right, now for combat! Typically at the start of the match and when you re-spawn from death you will have an ink bomb and a pair of scissors along with your standard melee attack. The scissors can be thrown at your opponent as well as the ink bomb, the only real difference is that the ink bomb has an area of effect damage so it can kill your opponent sometimes even if they are running away. Although, be careful as the ink bomb can also take you out if you’re too close! The most interesting mechanic of the combat is the gravity system; you can press the X button at any time to alter the gravity to make yourself start running on the roof, walls, and different obstacles that are in the arena. It can be a bit disorientating at first due the fast paced nature of the combat but after a while you do get used to it and can start dodging scissors like a pro.
Paperbound Brawlers is a solid brawler with interesting mechanics to keep the game fun and enjoyable. The combat is easy to start off and a bit laid back so that you can get used to the controls of the game, but then it quickly starts to pick up and gets very intense bringing some very close matches. The gravity feature is very unique and while at first I didn’t like it, I slowly started to come around and enjoyed evading ink bombs and scissors in style! The campaign is a bit on the short side and sometimes the AI can be very dumb but then in the next match very accurate with everything they do. If you like brawlers you should definitely give Paperbound Brawlers a try.