by Jason Parker (Ragachak)
Originally, there was going to be a thorough, detailed review of Arrow Heads. But that had to change to another game for an unfortunate reason. But let me say first, I love this game, aesthetically and mechanically. It’s a terrific game but I could not find a match online. I live kind of far away from most of my friends, so having couch co-op sessions are hard enough. But no matter what time of day I tried (and I’ve been trying since before it went officially live) I absolutely could not find a match online for the Arena or the Survival Modes. Which sucks, because the game is a lot of fun when I played the Survival Mode alone. I wanted to bring some attention to it anyway because it is fun and well designed. The reviews on Steam are mostly positive, and I can see why. For those fortunate enough to get a match online, I’m happy for you! I’d like more people to be playing this online.
Arrow Heads is a couch co-op/online Arena Battle game where you play as a Chicken. Or a Turkey. Or a Penguin. You can unlock a variety of birbs to play as (Yes, birbs. Stay with me). They do battle against horrific, evil, mean, vile bears, and the weapon of choice is a Bow and Arrow. As you play you can unlock some crazy fun bows and arrows, and can even make your bow invisible! Not your arrows, thankfully. Ever want to fire rockets at Bears in a fun, safe environment where you won’t get mauled? That’s what you can do in Arrow Heads? It has a variety of cool maps, four-player couch co-op/online play, and two very solid game modes. The mode I got to play was Survival, where you survive wave after wave of increasingly powerful Bears. Some of them have armor and shields, and you have to fire over or get behind them to be efficient. Time is definitely of the essence in this mode. But you have more than just the arrows, so to speak. It’s a twin-stick game and controllers are definitely recommended. One stick walks, the other turns you to fire, and the longer you hold the direction, the longer/higher the arc is, within a certain amount.
I actually had better control over my shots with my mouse, but the controller’s way more comfortable for me. You can also run, jump, and deflect shots! If you are standing still, your jump button doubles as the Deflect, but if you’re moving, you just jump. This is the one design flaw I found; I would have liked to see a separate run/deflect button. I can see why it’s like this though. Being able to run, then jump+deflect would probably be frustrating. But all the co-op gameplay I saw looked very fun. The Survival Mode is for working together as a team. As you defeat Bears, you gain coins that build a meter at the bottom of the screen. Hit a button when it is at full and gain a temporary power. It can do a variety of things, and the meter ticks down on its own. My personal favorite? The rockets. You fire barrages of rockets at Bears to defeat them and hold off the increasing waves of furious ursine.
But there’s also the Arena Mode, where friendships go to die. So you tear your friendship apart in the Arena, and then you mend it in the Survival Mode. You can unlock cool costumes like I said, and new weapon skins. They don’t make your weapons stronger, but it does look cool! Like I said, I love this game. I wish I could have had more of an online experience with it though. I tried up until yesterday to find online matches so I could adjust this piece, but it did not happen. Regardless, I do recommend it, and think the developers at OddBird did a fantastic job with marketing it and creating it. Visually it’s amazing, and the controls are tight. But.. I did not find a single online match that didn’t immediately crash. It’s my hope that if more people get it and get online, these matches will be much easier to find!