If you don’t know the history of Forced: Showdown and the Beta Dwarf team out of Copenhagen, Denmark, you need to. When I met with Game Designer Peter Buje, I learned that these guys really embraced the term “struggling independent developer.” They worked hard on their first game, working under stressful conditions, and created a success with Forced. Now, they have expanded out into Forced: Showdown, the next iteration on the franchise.

Card_Selection

Beta Dwarf as a company started about five years ago when a few people found a single empty classroom and moved in without permission of the university. This one room became their home for seven months as they worked on Forced. However, they eventually got caught and thrown out for using the classroom.

Struggling to make ends meet, the search was on to find a viable home. They pooled all their money and went all in on a house until they found Kickstarter and attempted to get funded. Over $65,000 later, their game was funded and they had enough cash to survive a while longer. While the team was able to raise funds to progress on their development, they soon ran out of cash near the end of their project. In order to complete they game they took out a bank loan which allowed the team to get everything squared away for a full release on Steam. All their hard work, however, did pay off in the end and the game was a huge success. Soon after the released of Forced the team transitioned their focus to the second iteration in the game titled Forced: Showdown.

If a dungeon crawler, deck builder, and dual stick rogue game had a strange but beautiful baby, Forced: Showdown would be it. When I first heard about the game, I was a bit confused and unsure about how it would all work together. But, it’s an indie company with full creative control, so I was sure that if anyone could figure it out, it would be them. I wasn’t disappointed. As soon as I sat down there was a quick learning curve to get the feel for moving the sticks the right way. The card decks were strange and I had to understand how they can affect the structure of the game, but it was pretty quick to pick up. Every time you play, the environment is different as it is procedurally generated.

forced_character

The game has multiple parts, with core gameplay being rogue-like and as you play you work towards an ultimate boss fight. The first time you enter a new battle arena you draw 4 cards from your deck. If you like the cards you can begin the battle, however, you can also take a mulligan and draw again. As you play you control one character, attacking a number of enemies which will span on that arena. As you progress through the arenas you earn a point for your cards. These points allow you to activate more powerful gameplay modifiers that are listed on the card. Once used the cards go away but are not permanently gone, they remain in your deck for the following game. Overall Forced: Showdown is a whimsical, happy game. The game isn’t intended to be hard but definitely is challenging.

Getting a chance to play a bit at PAX, I absolutely can’t wait to play some more. The game has nice graphics, simple but precise controls, and great audio. Definitely check out Forced: Showdown, now available on Steam.

About The Author

Bobby C
Director, Editorial/Reviews

Bobby C is a veteran FPS and adventure gamer, starting with the NES and Super Mario Bros. The game that really started his love for the FPS Genre was Goldeneye for the N64. Since then, the love grew. From casual, to semi-pro COD with Modern Warfare 2 and 3, and back to casual, it’s a bad week when there isn’t at least 15 hours of games played.