Stickman’s Arena (XSX) Review

A Vampires Survivors clone, Stickman’s Arena carries the same overall gameplay as the sweeping cult favorite but without the same level of polish and replay value. The main stick figure guy on the main menu also has Goku hair but isn’t depicted in-game for some reason.

Playing as a stickman, it is your job to survive 20 waves of randomly spawning enemies. Using only the left analog stick to movement, attacking is performed automatically on cool down timers. Collected money from defeated enemies can then be spent on new weapons and ability upgrades in between waves so there is always something new to unlock. Uniquely, some weapons can be combined to make more powerful weapons. However, the UI does not indicate which weapons can be combined without tediously clicking on each one. The same enemy types also repeat throughout; is that an alien head or a raptor’s face? I cannot tell from the skewed and sort of gross art style.

Besides the low-quality visuals created in MS Paint, the other issue with this wave-based action game is the lack of difficulty. Not only did I manage to clear all 20 waves on my first attempt, I never even took damage. By wave 15, I stopped caring about upgrading and buying new weapons too, leaving me with a stack of cash left unspent. A new character gets unlocked once all 20 waves are cleared but there is no replay value. No leaderboards. No multiplayer. No new features. It is boringly playable to earn the Platinum Trophy in 30 minutes but then there is no reason to continue let along keep it installed on your hard drive. There is only one musical track that loops throughout the entire experience too.

This is clearly a budget game released by a small development team. But since this game costs the same as Vampire Survivors, it is very difficult to recommend when that game, Stickman’s Arena’s inspiration, does everything so much better.

SCORE: 4/10

Not As Good As: other Vampire Survivor clones

Better Than: grinding a Platinum with other budget releases

Wait For It: Vampire Survivors 2

By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief

Twitter: @ZackGaz

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