Brotato retains only the bare minimum mechanics required to be classified as an action roguelike and instead creates a whole new sub-genre, borrowing heavily from multiple other genres, such as auto battler, twin-stick shooters, bullet hell games, and, to a certain extent, role-playing games to create one of the most enjoyable action roguelikes on the market.
With each character changing up gameplay in surprising and often game-changing ways, there is a huge amount of creative freedom awarded to the player when it comes to deciding their build, from walking personals with 12 weapons that do slightly less damage for each weapon equipped to characters who can equip but one weapon but can fire at 200% speed, and get a very tasty 100% buff to all damage related enhancements and passive abilities.
And finally, my favourite mechanic, which appears to be borrowed from the auto battler genre, is the ability to combine items of the same quality to create a higher tier version, meaning players can combine two rank I swords to create a rank II sword, and then when the opportunity arises combine two rank II swords into a rank three sword, and so on.
This mechanic is very usual when playing as a character such as the King, which enjoys a buff for each rank IV item while receiving a debuff for every rank I item, meaning that upgrading weapons at the earliest convenience is incredibly important.
Despite Action roguelikes doing very well on Playstation and Xbox, blobfish has yet to announce a port to either system, despite the PC version releasing in 2022 and Android, IOS and Nintendo Switch ports releasing in the summer of 2023.
While Xbox and Playstation ports may be planned, I find it curious that the developer has not officially announced their intentions, especially with so many PlayStation and Xbox users eager to play the game.
Update: Within 3 hours of posting this review, Xbox announced that Brotato would be coming to Xbox and joining Xbox & PC Game Pass in January 2024, a strange but welcome course of events!
Brotato has one of the best progression systems in the action roguelike genre, with players having a well-structured and rewarding path to unlocking additional content, including new playable characters, weapons, and enemies.
While some games throw everything at the player too quickly, and others slow progression to a crawl, Brotato hands out rewards fairly regularly while encouraging players to try higher difficulty settings and new builds to unlock further characters and character customisations.
Overall, it is one of the best progression systems in the genre and one of the few that I can honestly say is as good as the one found in Vampire Survivors.
Brotato has a thriving mod scheme for its PC version, with over 225 mods available, including the ability to play as Steve Harvey for some reason, in addition to mods that allow players to wield up to 30 weapons, change core gameplay mechanics, and curiously add extra gore to a game about a potato fighting aliens as if it was not already strange enough.
Brotato runs at 144 FPS across a wide variety of PC hardware and, for the most part, holds steady at 60 FPS on most mobile devices and the Nintendo Switch; however, performance can occasionally suffer, with frame rates in the low 50s during more frantic endgame encounters.
While Brotato isn’t a pretty-looking game or one that uses overly complex visuals, all assets look like they were created to be used together. This does not always happen with indie titles; many developers rely on multiple artists and their respective asset store offerings to create their games.
Because of this unified and simplistic art style, potato allows players to [physically see what upgrades have been equipped to their potato, which honestly is rather amusing, especially as upgrades pile up and your potato starts to take on the appearance of a Viking with six eyes and a lumberjack shirt.
That being said, the map could do with being a little less simple, as each map is essentially a repeating tile image of desolate terrain, and while I do not expect a Skyrim style world building, a few shrubs or subtle texture variation would go a long way towards making the maps feel less generic.
Brotato is a action rogue-like video game developed and published by Blobfish, it was released on 23 June 2023 and retails for $4.99.
Brotato is available on the following platforms: Android, IOS, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
The following peripherals are officially supported:
Brotato is unrated and contains the following:
Brotato is perhaps the most freshly unique Roguelike on the market, with little to no similarities to the market leader (Vampire Survivors) beyond the bare minimum of core mechanics inherent to all games in the genre.
Brotato is, without a doubt, one of the best indie games of the last 25 years and one that its fans will be playing for many years yet to come.