Combining dodge-em-up style with roguelike weapon and character variability makes it distinct, though in execution it’s merely middling
Sometimes timing is everything, and in the case of Brotato skirting into the eShop right ahead of Vampire Survivors at least it has that on its side… though obviously by precious little. The good news is that, unlike much of its VS-alike competition that has felt a bit half-baked, it also differentiates itself quite a bit in the form of its complexity. If you love contemplating the minutiae of a variety of stats and trying to get the most out of your character and every bit of currency you spend on upgrades, Brotato has you covered. Starting with your base spud, who can have any number of interesting upgrades that are paired with equivalent penalties of some kind, you’ll pick your base weapon and then jump into the action. Once you max out with your 6 different weapons (combining melee and ranged, though you’re free to use whatever combination you like) you can be quite formidable, at least for a time, but you’re going to need a strategy to survive. Each new wave of enemies gets stronger so in general you’ll want to focus your gear in some way to help with survivability, and typically being sure you’re able to do enough damage will be part of it. The arena you play in each round isn’t terribly big and once you’ve hit the round’s midpoint things really get crowded if you’re not dishing out pretty substantial damage somehow. This can be fun for a bit, but I’ll admit that at some point even with the prospect of unlocking more spuds or other things to use it lost some of the thrill and felt a bit more like I was going through the motions. For the price it still delivers a better-than-average experience, just understand it may struggle to go for too much of a distance unless you don’t mind the grind for its own sake.
Justin Nation, Score: