Brotato review
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Brotato review

Our Review by Campbell Bird on April 3rd, 2023
Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: THE POTATO OF VIDEO GAMES
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This game doesn’t really try anything new or flashy, but it’s built well upon a tried and true foundation.

Developer: Blobfish

Price: $3.49
Version: 1.2.30
App Reviewed on: iPad Pro

Graphics/Sound Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar

Brotato is only difficult to write about because of how easy it is to get sucked into. More than once already when trying to start this review I've opted to just try another run of this arena-based roguelite instead. It's a very tough game to pull yourself away from, but at the same time Brotato is one of plenty of these kinds of games you could be playing. To be fair it's a good one of those, but it doesn't do anything I'd say is particularly original.

Potato guns

In Brotato, you play as a potato that somehow is very good at using all kinds of weaponry. In most cases, you can equip up to six different kinds of weapons, which can be anything from standard firearms to ethereal blades, and try to survive wave after wave of alien enemies that swarm around and attack you.

Each wave lasts a limited amount of time, and--provided you survive--you get to spend any currency you collect from defeated enemies on upgrades that should better prepare you for the next wave of enemies. All you have to do for combat is steer your potato, and they do all the attacking themselves. All of the upgrades in between are menu-driven and play almost like a puzzle game where you are trying to optimize your spud into the ultimate killing machine given some randomization and the tools at your disposal.

The humble spud

If this all sounds familiar, it's likely because it is. This exact kind of gameplay gets dressed up in different ways and iterated upon constantly. There does seem to be a new wave of games like this coming out off of the success of Vampire Survivors, which is probably the newest and most well-known game of this type at this time of writing. Part of what made that game get so much recognition though is just how differently it approached so many aspects of the arena-based roguelite, which is something that Brotato doesn't really do.

This is a much more traditional experience, where every upgrade really matters and your skill at controlling your potato is the key between a successful run and one that ends prematurely. Provided you make it deep enough through waves to create a pretty formidable potato, all is not lost if you catch a stray bullet. Brotato has a ton of unlocks to discover based on different ways of experimenting with builds and achieving certain milestones, which adds a lot of the much-needed variety that keeps run after run of Brotato compelling.

Pocket potato

The original version of Brotato launched on Steam back in September, but this mobile version is fairly faithful and mobile-friendly. Action-oriented titles--particularly ports--are not usually easy to handle on touch screens, but the simple and straightforward control scheme here makes things manageable. That said, Brotato is a fairly tough game, so making sure you're on your toes piloting the virtual joystick is a must.

On smaller screens, some of the stat screens can feel a little smushed or get hidden so you have to reference things more often than you might like, but otherwise Brotato feels complete and good on iOS. It even has built in iCloud support allowing you to carry unlocks between devices and a way to resume runs if you have to close the app for an extended period of time.

The bottom line

Brotato is a lot like if a video game was a potato. It's basic and expected, but can surprise you with its versatility. There's a reason it's a staple food. Much in the same way, Brotato is an all too familiar kind of game, but that kind of game is good for a reason and it's executed very well here.

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