Brotato 1.0 Review – Spuds of Fury

Brotato is an action-roguelike that tries and almost succeeds at replicating some of the genre's most popular features.
A potato with red eyes and a green wig stands in the middle of a field with floating knives, spears around them
Screenshot: Try Hard Guides

Vampire Survivors was a cultural phenomenon when it reached fame last year, dominating the app store and going on to receive recognition from the Golden Joystick, The New York Game Awards, and the D.I.C.E. Awards. The arcade-style gameplay manages to draw you in for one more round each time, but this simplicity has allowed some developers to add their own spin on the title.

Brotato is a simple adaptation of this formula that was released into early access in September 2022 and is coming out with its full launch less than a year later. While it shares some similar strategies with VS, it’s largely its own thing, for better and worse. The progression is fairly easy to understand and the stats are really fun to play with if you have the patience to pay attention to them.

What will be the real testament to Brotato is whether or not it is able to distinguish itself from the cultural icon that it takes its inspiration from. It’s not an expensive game, but some players may find it different and even less interesting than its predecessor.

Lock and load your potato gun

A bunch of potatoes with different face attributes and a list denoting their special benefits when picked
Screenshot: Try Hard Guides

The game puts players right into the action from the start with no explanation of the stats or how to survive in the world, but it’s mostly pretty self-explanatory. Each potato character, which look more like eggs, has special benefits and weapons that can be equipped at the start of each new run. They have varied faces and stats but none of them were particularly memorable in the several dozen runs.

The levels also seem to be pretty similar, I didn’t see an option to choose to switch up the levels so I mainly just played on the same small area of land. You don’t get to select which level you want like VS, which often leads to repetitive gameplay despite the varying options in your build. While some characters affect the map, like making it smaller, it never made it very exciting.

A potato stands in the middle of a field in a hat and shoots guns at monsters around himself
Screenshot: Try Hard Guides

The fighting in each level is presented in waves, with players needing to defeat or dodge enemies for a specified amount of time. At the same time, you’ll be collecting green currency used to both level up your character in between waves and to purchase items or new weapons that benefit your little potato in battle. There seem to be a lot of these and I found the range pretty varied.

On the other hand, most of the upgrades come down to very specific stat percentages, with a large list of your character’s attributes and how they’re affected by things on the side of the screen. For people who love to know their stats, it’ll likely be a cool addition, but I found all the text, numbers, and information to be a bit much to take in on the very simple UI.

These taters are getting fried

A potato stands in a field and shoots at purple monsters around itself
Screenshot: Try Hard Guides

The gameplay is enticing in much of the same way that Vampire Survivors is, you get sucked in and think that if you choose the right character and upgrades you’ll be able to surpass the opposition. The different weapons and their range from a shotgun to a wooden plank are really fun and feed into the more zany nature this title has.

In that same vein, it’s a very cartoony art style that’s somehow reminiscent of the flash games I played as a kid in school, only much smoother and with better lines. As previously stated, the UI is very simple and just not impressive to look at or interact with. This matches the lackluster gameplay that doesn’t really ever see an incredible amount of enemies on screen due to the small playing area.

Different upgrades to the potatoes body parts that enhance different skills
Screenshot: Try Hard Guides

It never really evolves beyond that outside of you just getting more of the items you’ve already spawned and it’s likely not going to be enough to keep most players engaged. It feels like one of those things that will either resonate with players extremely or seem uninteresting over time. It’s different than other popular arcade shooter titles and that might be enough for some players to engage with it.

Brotato feels like it’s trying pretty hard to capture the magic of other popular games in this budding genre, but it never really captures that same magic for me. While unlocking new characters and tools is always fun, I eventually hit a point where even that began to bore me. Hardcore fans of action-roguelikes may enjoy it, but fans who are newer to this type of game may find it stale.

The Final Word

While it has all the hallmarks of the popular entries in the genre, Brotato fails to capture the same magic and overwhelming threat of previous action-roguelike titles. There are moments when the action is fun, unfortunately it largely becomes a bore when you spend too much time with it.

7

Try Hard Guides was provided with a PC review copy of Brotato. Find more detailed looks at popular and upcoming titles in the Game Reviews section of our website!

Christian Harrison

Christian Harrison

Christian Harrison is a writer and gamer, the latter he's been doing for the last two decades. When not working, he enjoys streaming the latest show or spending time with his family and friends. Contact: Christian@tryhardguides.com

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