The name of the game, Speed Brawl, is exactly what it sounds like. But the simple name shouldn’t deter you from a fun action game. Your objective is to race to the end of the level as quickly as possible, clearing multiple waves of enemies along the way. All while doing so with a flashy, colorful, comic-like art style.
Speed Brawl is described as “Sonic The Hedgehog meets Streets of Rage” and I agree wholeheartedly. At its core, it’s a brawler, but it’s the Sonic influences that set it apart. Momentum is just as important in this game as the fighting. In addition to a dash button, you have environmental objects like speed ramps, curved walls and poles you swing around for a speed boost. When you get a speed boost, a color trails behind you. So long as the trail is visible your combo will continue, and you’ll do more damage.
The art of fighting
Speaking of damage, let’s talk about the combat system. You can dash (which you use to swing from poles), dodge, use a basic attack, special attack, and swap between partners. Whether solo or with a friend, each person will have access to two fighters they can switch between. The cast of characters ranges from your lighter (Cassie) to heavier (Automatom) with different moves and skill trees for each. Basic combos aren’t difficult to chain (there is only one main attack button). But it feels good to attack, launch them in the air, and continue your combo. Then you can mix in special attacks and speed-based moves on top of that. When you complete a level, based on your grade (bronze, silver, gold) you will earn more money, better equipment, and your team will earn experience. The latter allows you to play as any character without worrying about individual experience.
A demo is too short to become a speed demon, but even then the game is still fun as it’s quick and simple combos are easy to chain. Even without fully utilizing the environment, I can tell there’s a lot of depth once you get the hang of it. Lee Thomas (Creative Director) stated you can beat each level while maintaining your combo if you get good at it. So if you want a challenge, there’s one for you. Currently, the game can be played with one or two people, online or offline, and includes leaderboards. They’re working on other modes like a head-to-head race against other players, but it’s only an idea for now. There is another racing challenge in the game (co-operative) where you have to hit all of the poles before you can cross the finish line.
I enjoyed my time with it, and if you’re interested it’s available now for Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and PC.