Mobile gaming just got a new heavy hitter. It’s been just over a week and Brawlhalla’s mobile port is getting more downloads than a leaked Kanye album, adding millions to the already gargantuan player base from the other consoles. But how does Brawlhalla Mobile stack up next to the original? And is Brawlhalla mobile crossplay? And just what is Brawlhalla anyway? We answer all these questions — and more — in our comprehensive Brawlhalla mobile review down below.
What is Brawlhalla?
It’s 2D Super Smash Bros
Brawlhalla is a 2D action brawler that can be pretty well summed-up as cartoony, cross-platform Super Smash Bros. The standard game mode drops four players into a cramped platformer arena and rains down weapons and items for players to beat the bejeezus out of each other with.
Like Super Smash Bros, as players take damage, they receive progressively more and more knockback until they’re eventually sent flying off the map in a deeply satisfying one-hit KO.
Brawlhalla is a prime example of easy to understand, difficult to master gameplay. All you have is a dash and two attack buttons, but there is a plethora of combos and playstyles to employ and strategy goes deep.
Lots of Heroes, lots of Customization
As of right now, there are 50 different legends to play with their own distinct niches, stats, and customization options. Each one has a set of two weapons they can pick up on the map, both of which modify the moveset and playstyle significantly, as well as a variety of “stances” that can be used to rearrange the given stat points to further specialize (or round their stats off).
With 1v1, 2v2, ranked and unranked free-for-all as well as an experimental test mode to let players mess around with yet-unreleased tweaks and features, there’s a lot to entice both casual and hardcore gamers alike. Not to mention their frequent tie ups with huge franchises like Adventure Time, Ben 10, WWE, and more.
With somewhere between 20 and 40 million players — depending on who you ask — Brawlhalla is absurdly popular, and only growing more so. The Steam version alone is currently riding an average daily peak of 24,000 players, the highest so far, and all signs are pointing north for its player base in the coming years as it continues to cultivate a rich esports scene.
And Full-Blown Crossplay
The game is one of the few to sport completely free, unrestricted crossplay between its platforms. You can get the game on PS4, Xbox One, Steam, Nintendo Switch, Android, iOS and play with absolutely anybody on any of the platforms.
Plus it’s Free-to-Play with Zero P2W
The cherry on top of the cake is that Brawlhalla holds free-to-play, free-to-win as one of its core principles. Blue Mammoth makes the commitment wherever it can that the game will always be free to play and that any IAP will be purely cosmetic.
The mobile port just released on August 4th, two days earlier than anticipated, and seems to have hit the ground running. Brawlhalla has already passed the 1 million downloads mark on Android alone, and the iOS version has over 50,000 reviews giving it an average score of 4.6 So the general gaming audience is certainly enthused with Brawlhalla mobile.
But for longtime fans of the game with plenty of hours already clocked in on other platforms, just how well does the mobile version capture the same
Predictably, anybody coming from the PC or console will find the mobile screen pretty cramped. There isn’t so much of an issue with resolution, however and we didn’t experience any FPS drops throughout our gameplay, even on low-spec devices. There were a few bugs on Android, like the screen going black when returning to the game after leaving it on in the background, but there’s no indication that that’s a universal issue.
The touchscreen doesn’t offer the same precision or reactivity as the PC or console versions. However, players have a lot of customization over their UI and can choose from a variety of button-styles and are free to resize and reposition them anywhere on the screen. This helps smooth things out significantly, but it’s still not perfect. Even when you do manage to string together a decent combo it feels an accomplishment made in spite of the controls, rather than because of them.
This precision debuff you’re effectively playing with actually clashes with one of Brawlhalla’s main selling points: it’s no-holds-barred crossplay. PC and console players have a noticeable advantage over mobile with the way things stand now. That said, the gap isn’t as wide as some other games that have gone cross-platform. It’s not like playing an FPS on console against PC players.
There are also some potential latency issues that we, and many players online have pointed out, that contribute to what feels like a slightly unequal playing field. Though it’s hard to make that assertion right out the gate.
The sub-optimal controls and latency have occasionally hampered the execution of some techniques that are otherwise second nature on P, but the gameplay is still certainly competitive.
Overall Opinion: Surprisingly Good!
The Brawlhalla formula is there and it’s intact.
It really depends on the lens through which you evaluate Brawlhalla Mobile though. If you’re comparing it to the console and PC versions… it’s obviously not as smooth. It’s not as good as the bona fide original. But it’s still pretty great.
You’re playing on a device designed for many things other than gaming, so comparing it to a console whose sole reason for existence is to play games is a little unfair — and the power, precision, and all-around capability of a decent PC is hard to beat with anything.
If you look at the game through the lens of a mobile gamer, Brawlhalla mobile is a friggin’ godsend. It’s one of the best games on mobile. It provides the trademark addictive gameplay and comes with the sort of energized and active community that most mobile games can only dream of.
Plus, the fact that Brawlhalla has kept its free to play, free to win model is a true feather in its cap on a platform where true free to play is, sadly, rarer than it has to be.
Brawlhalla’s mobile port probably won’t be pulling anybody away from PC or console. Not by a longshot. But it stands on its own two legs and will certainly bring in a lot of new players, and can serve as a great companion for when you’re traveling, hiding from your boss under your desk, or trapped in an elevator.