☆ Review: Dynasty Feud "frantic brawling action with a neat twist" ☆ #GameDev #IndieGame

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Dynasty Feud
System reviewed: PC (Steam)
Rating: Ice Cool

Dynasty Feud is a four-player single-screen competitive brawler from Kaia Studios. 

A multiplayer-only title, it’s a great party game that will be staying on my hard drive for a long time to come.

There are other games similar to Dynasty Feud out there, Brawlhalla, Ninja Showdown, Towerfall Ascension etc but Dynasty Feud adds its own spin on the genre.  

The game features forty characters overall (with an extra 5 available as DLC) split into dynasties of five characters each. As the game features a one-hit kill system, each character acts as an extra life.

The matches take the form of battles between up to four players on different stages, each stage comes with its own obstacles and features such as collapsing ceilings, ships that break apart in a storm and slowly sink as the match goes one, etc. The main thing that differentiates Dynasty Feud from other games of a similar ilk is how each character has their own individual attack styles and weapons (or lack thereof).

For instance, one dynasty may have a character that throws dynamite whilst the next character has dual handguns and the proceeding character has a chain gun. Whilst this may seem unbalanced against, say a ninja who attacks with a knife the game is very well-balanced in this regard. The dual handguns will need to be reloaded after a few shots (as in A Fistful of Gun) and in that time your character is completely vulnerable as they have no way of defending themselves. The chain gun may be a devastating weapon…but it takes a few seconds to warm up and get going, again leaving you open to attack. The ninja may be able to move swiftly and briefly turn invisible…but he only attacks in a melee style and so needs to get in close, which can be challenging against ranged characters.

This goes on and on for each person in the game. There are characters that throw spears (but then have to pick them up again, much like the arrows in Towerfall), knives and a whole variety of weapons which make the game a joy to play and never feels one-sided due to how well-balanced the dynasties are as well as catering to different playing styles.

The graphics in Dynasty Feud are pixel-based and are well implemented and very easy on the eye. The game runs extremely smoothly and the stages are genuinely varied and require skill to master.

There were many times when I was a melee character, desperately dodging ranged attacks, diving in for the killing strike only to mistime a jump and be thrown off the moving train that the stage takes place on, losing a life as I tumble back down the tracks.

Another time, I was a character that had a rifle but needed a couple of seconds to set up the shot. As I lined up a game-winning saucy head-shot, the ceiling shook and I was killed by a falling rock. When you die and before you respawn, your character can float around as a ghost for a few seconds, each dynasty has a different ‘ghost attack’ that can be used once in these precious seconds. One dynasty may have an attack that warps the graphics on the screen causing the other player to mess up a jump, killing them or perhaps they will begin to glow and if they touch the enemy, their controls are temporarily reversed.

On top of this, there are super attacks which you gain by killing the enemy and also dying yourself. When fully charged (usually once per match) each dynasty again has separate powers. The cowboy-styled Cartwrongs Dynasty has a circle of bullets that spray out across the screen whilst the Clan Yngling Dynasty has pillars of thunder that move outwards across the screen. The variety on offer is fantastic and you’ll find yourself trying out every character to see the differences between them and work out which playing style works best for you. Personally, I flitted between The Cartwrongs and Fanciers’ Crew. Although both have flaws (I look at you, dynamite lobber!) that adds to the fun as it’s such a great feeling to win a round with your weakest character.

At the start of the game, only a couple of dynasties and stages are open to you, although after a couple of rounds you’ll quickly unlock them all. I thought this was a nice touch as it makes you play with each dynasty a few times to get the hang of them and also get used to the various traps and hazards specific to each stage.

The title music in the game is quite soft and generic, it seems oddly out of place compared to the rest of the game but this is saved by the in-game sound effects and stage tracks which are strong and help to get you hips deep into the action.

As the game is multiplayer only (although there is a single-player training room to practise with specific characters, a nice inclusion) the game either needs another player (at least) for local co-op or you can have matches online. I had issues with this as sadly I waited for a couple of minutes on several occasions and was unable to find any matches. As I tend to play locally this wasn’t an issue for me personally but could be worth bearing in mind if you are expecting a rich online population, you may be disappointed. To be honest, I was disheartened by this as Dynasty Feud is such a well-designed and enjoyable game that I felt more people should be playing it, it’s a really tasty multiplayer title that will be making an appearance whenever I have friends around alongside Nidhogg 2, Towerfall Ascension, Speedrunners and the Jackbox series.

Right, I'm off to kill myself with poorly thrown dynamite, AGAIN….and again….and again……

Ratings Explained
ICE COOL (Great Game Recommended)
MELTING (Recommended with reservations, one to consider if you are a fan of the genre)
MELTED (Not A Recommended Purchase)

Game Link: Steam
Dev Link: Kaia Studios

Review By Britt @KingdomOfCarts

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