Gold, precious precious gold!
Welcome fighters, to Super Treasure Arena, a place where you get to hack away at your friends all for the sake of gathering more gold than they can! Blast your way through mobs of respawning enemies and up to three other players in order to collect the most gold and win. With a really neatly done retro-look, simple controls and a very catchy soundtrack, Super Treasure Arena is an easy to pickup game and always better with friends!
There are only two game modes to choose from, both involving the collection of more gold than the other players, but honestly this lack of variety doesn't impact too much on the overall enjoy-ability of this game. The game play is simple and fun, though is unlikely to hold your attention for more than an hour or so. But seems as Super Treasure Arena is sold at £5.59 and currently still in Beta it's a pretty well put together game for what you're paying.
So lets be honest from the start here. I suck at this game. And that's not something which is easy for me to say, but more often than not I found myself losing round after round, even against NPCs (yes, just that bad). However, unlike other games where I might go into a mighty nerd rage and throw my computer through the wall, I actually found myself still enjoying this game and asking for another round, just to get my arse handed to me again. This speaks of the charm and quirky quality of this manic little arena fighting game.
The game itself is pretty simple from the get go. You can pick to play either Local Multiplayer, which would usually involve a console and an appropriate number of friends to play with. Unfortunately, as I am playing the game on a PC I'm not really able to take advantage of this. That, and I have no friends. There is also the option to go and play some Multiplayer with the lovely denizens of the internet, but I found that the game is a bit too sparsely populated and that it can sometimes take a long time to find anyone to actually play with (and they were all inevitably better than me when I did eventually find people who were playing). So most of the time I found myself playing against 3 NPCs.
There are just two game modes to choose from, Classic Free for All, where a treasure chest spawns at set locations at the map and then you fight it out to have the honour of smashing open the chest and claiming the shiny contents within. The other mode is called Treasure Run and again involves a chest spawning in set locations and people fighting over it. Only this time you must lift the chest (which slows you considerably) and take it back to your respective base. in each case, whoever collects the most gold wins! Huzzah! (I never collected the most gold. Boo.) As well as other players, you also must contend with constantly respawning NPCs, who can provide an extra gold boost as well as some much needed help, or can quickly overrun you if you're not careful and aggro too many.
For each round you can pick between five classes, all of whom have a special ability in order to give them a short edge over the other players. You've got your pick between Knight, Mage, Mystic, Ninja and Rouge. Abilities will range from the Knight's shield ability which gives them short-term invulnerability, the Ninja who gets a flaming sword of insta-death and my personal favourite the Mage, who helps to satisfy any latent pyromania tendencies you may have…
Along with these different abilities depending on your class is a whole armoury of lethal weaponry scattered about the map, all the better to destroy your enemies with. Weapons start from simple bows and arrows, to a full on rocket launcher or even a pew-pew magic wand. Do be careful with an exploding weapons, however, as you can end up ending yourself if you get too close to the blast radius.
You also get to choose between a handful of different arenas, each of which adds a different aspect to the game modes. For example Cove (modelled after a pirates cove) is a smaller map in comparison to others and has you spawning on one of four different platforms with only one way into the middle which is usually blocked by an NPC, whereas Dungeon is a bit more of a labyrinth and allows more cover to hide from incoming fire (or so I found).
Many of these aspects are in my eyes reminiscent of Bomberman. But unlike that classic game, I am constantly unable to employ my favourite tactic of hiding in the corner until everyone else is dead. The very nature of the game modes forces your hand in the best of ways to get stuck into the pixilated cheerful carnage of STA.
Graphics and Soundtrack
The soundtrack is probably one of the best parts of this game for me. Right from the menu screen it presents a very upbeat and heroic tone to the game, perfect for getting you pumped up for the battles ahead. Once you've charged head first into the match it changes depending on the arena you've chosen, each one having its own jaunty and suitably happy theme. The music definitely adds to the overall sense of joyous chaos which STA seems to feed off of and acts as a great encouragement to get stuck back in no matter how many times you get killed (which happened to me a lot).
The graphics are a very simple retro style which have been very neatly done and provides a great atmosphere for each of the arenas. All character models have a more of a childish cartoony feel which adds to the parallels to Bomberman for me, which is absolutely a good thing if you ask me. Despite the simplicity of the graphics, I can tell that a lot of thought has been given to detail which helps to add to the whole feel of the game.
As you can probably tell from above I really enjoyed playing this game, despite how much I sucked. Its casual approach and neat little finishing touches really makes STA a great game to play when you're stuck for things to play and would almost certainly go down a treat as a quick party game on rainy afternoons. I found myself playing this for longer than I really expected to be honest. And for a game which is still in Beta it's certainly already very impressive.
However, it does have a certain lack of variety and can probably only really be played for short bursts at a time. Though seems as it's still in Beta, this could be changed further on down the line with the addition of a few more modes and maybe some extra classes.
My heart tells me to give this game a solid 7, but my brain tells me that it needs to be a 6.5 until more modes, arenas and classes are added.
|+ Fun and easy gameplay||– Lack of variety|
|+ Awesome soundtrack|
|+ Neatly done graphics|
|+ Enjoyably addictive|