This is a title we have been looking forward to in our house for some time. Ciaran got to play this at the Penny Arcade Expo last year and has regularly asked about it since, which is unusual because he likes video games, but is very picky.
Arrow Heads is a combat arena game where the players take on the role of birds and attempt to take each other out with arrows. Well, that’s the basic premise. Players pick their archer which can be customized and enter into one of several arenas to battle three other opponents (computer controlled or human). The first to get 10 kills wins the match.
Maybe it is my computers, but I couldn’t get any of the various controllers, wired or wireless, regardless of manufacture, to work properly. For this version of the game I wound up sticking with the keyboard and mouse, a combination that Ciaran found frustrating so he told me he would wait for the console version to come out (scheduled for the first half of 2018).
Operating the bow is a bit of a combination of skill and luck. There is some deliberateness to the method of aiming and pulling back the bow – the longer it is held back the better the shot. Of course you need to be constantly on the move in order to not get shot yourself, so aiming is certainly not a static affair.
Adding to the mayhem are the special items that fall from the sky or pop up on the battle arena. Things such as bear traps, or barrels of explosives. Yes, shooting a barrel of explosives next to an enemy will kill it. Oh, and the Tesla coils. And rocket grenade arrows.
Complete matches and get some bird seed. That bird seed is currency to unlock customization options. Mostly aesthetic in nature they do provide a good incentive to keep going (in addition to the addictive nature of the game itself).
What I like about Arrow Heads was not just that it was a different take on arena combat, but it feels like a spiritual successor to Power Stone. Or maybe a cousin. Maybe the crazy uncle that took too long to get off the couch to show Power Stone how it should be done if dealing with ranged weapons. Or maybe I’m just crazy. Whatever the case is, this is a ridiculously fun … I wanted to say “brawler” but it isn’t, it is more shooter than anything but that really doesn’t describe it.
Arrow Heads also has an mode where players need to fend of wave after wave of bear. Because, why not.
Designed to be multiplayer, this is not an online only affair. Again, because I was having issues with my controllers (I know I need to get a newer PC) we did not get much of the local multiplayer in. Still it’s a game that scratches a certain itch. It’s “arcadey” and light-hearted, easy to pick up and play with a “just one more round” feel to it.
My son is going to wait for the console version to come out before playing again. I am not.