FORCED Showdown is an action RPG roguelike with twin-stick elements

FORCED Showdown is primarily a single player "twin-stick" action RPG that has you traverse various colorful arenas littered with deadly traps, challenging enemies, and bosses that need to keep their TV ratings high by smashing you in to a pulp.

Its being made, unsurprisingly, by the same team behind FORCED, a co-op action RPG that employed many similar elements and mechanics to great effect, albeit with a healthy dosing of bugs to go along with it. Since FORCED Showdown is releasing on Steam later today I figured I would bring it to your attention, starting with the overly cheesy trailer:


As you might have guessed from the trailer alone, the story premise in FORCED Showdown is as bare-bones as it gets, and serves mostly as an excuse to visit a wide variety of unique arenas, each of which is filled with hordes of silly-looking monsters and nasty traps to avoid, or simply blow up, whichever you prefer.

The gameplay is heavily inspired by "twin-stick" shooters in the sense that you have to constantly be on the move in order to dodge slow but powerful enemy attacks, and dish out an equal amount of punishment in retribution. This is also where the roguelite elements kick in because once you start an arena challenge you are locked to that series of ~10 maps until you either complete them, or provide the galactic TV network with a hilarious clip of you getting a haircut from a rocket, by which I mean dying horribly.

FORCED Showdown has an interesting selection of arenas

This guy totally looks like that one Digimon whose name completely escapes me

Besides roguelite elements, FORCED Showdown also features RPG mechanics, which means you are able to select your hero from a large pool of characters, customize the items you will bring with you in to an arena, and naturally, level up and unlock new skills and upgrades as you progress through the game.

But wait, there's more, because FORCED Showdown developers weren't happy simply mashing together a dozen genres, they also decided it needed to have card game elements in there as well, and that includes deck building. The silly thing is, they may have been absolutely correct because from everything I've seen the cards add a whole lot of depth to the experience and make FORCED Showdown stand out from the immensely crowded roguelite genre.

FORCED Showdown character selection

Chose a class, abilities, a pet, and a deck of cards, because why not

Much like Hearthstone, you will start a match with 1 mana crystal available and a couple of cards you drew from your deck. Each turn after that you will gain another card which can be used to activate passive bonuses, new abilities, or improvements to your current skills, as well as a mana crystal which is used to actually cast those cards. As you might imagine, the stronger the card, the more mana it requires, so you will not only have to play well in order to not take stupid amounts of damage, you will also have to build a well balanced deck so that you have a card to play during each turn in order to not waste precious mana.

It is such an excellent system because unlike other roguelites it completely ignores the random element. Sure, the arenas, layouts, enemies and bosses might be randomized, but if you've prepared your deck properly you will always be able to activate a card before the round starts to even the odds, or even tip them in your favor, especially against some of the bosses which can be truly nasty fights.

Forced Showdown cards and effects

FORCED Showdown is releasing today on Steam at a $20 price tag, and if you're a fan of roguelites or action RPGs in general I'd suggest doing a bit more research on Showdown as it does seem rather interesting, but perhaps not for everyone.