Survival of the Fittest is a Facebook-based one-on-one fighting game from developer Izelis. It’s the latest title to be published by 6waves following the company’s renewed focus on bringing smaller, independent and international titles to a wider audience. The game is currently in open beta following a recent successful soft launch.
Survival of the Fittest allows players to pick between three different playable characters: a bear, a cat and a dinosaur. Each have a specific strength: the dinosaur has the highest strength, the cat has the highest speed and the bear has the best defensive capabilities. Each character has its own pool of skills, and players get the opportunity to customize their fighter to their own personal play style through leveling up.
The majority of players’ time in Survival of the Fittest will be spent in battle. Prior to beginning combat, players are able to pick between several available opponents to challenge. Battling players who are online at the same time offers higher rewards, but battling AI-controlled offline combatants is usually easier.
In a battle, the two challengers square off against each other and must then use their four equipped skills to deplete their opponent’s health bar before the same thing happens to them. Players do not take direct control of their characters as this is an impractical control scheme for a keyboard and mouse setup — rather, players simply use the numbers 1-4 to trigger their skills. Each skill has a “charge time” before it may be unleashed, with more powerful skills taking longer to charge and also having a longer “cooldown” period before they may be used again. Some skills do direct damage to an opponent, while others provide the player’s character with temporary bonuses to their abilities — blocking, for example, increases a player’s defense for a short period, allowing them to resist damage while charging up another attack.
Following the end of a battle, the player receives experience points and soft currency rewards, with greater amounts of both on offer if they were victorious. If they level up, they sometimes unlock a new skill or have the opportunity to spent a “talent point” on improving their character’s capabilities. Hard currency rewards are sometimes also provided for a particularly impressive win, though given the cost of most premium items in the in-game store it will take a long time for players to be able to afford any of them without reaching for the Facebook Credits.
The items on offer in the store come in several varieties — gear, which provides continuous passive bonuses to players’ abilities; consumables, which provide temporary bonuses to abilities; and aesthetic items, which allow players to customize the appearance of their character. There is a good mix of hard and soft currency items available, allowing free players to have a satisfying experience but paying players to gain a slight (though not game-breaking) competitive edge and visually-distinctive characters.
Survival of the Fittest is a fun, highly competitive Facebook game. It doesn’t try to be an overly-complex fighting title with scores of controls to remember, instead playing more like combat from a massively multiplayer online role-playing game such as World of Warcraft — a game from which Survival of the Fittest also borrows a number of interface elements. In this way, the game is kept accessible but challenging, if a little light on content right now — some more playable characters would be very welcome, for example. The game’s still in its early days, however, and there is plenty of time for Izelis to provide updates to the experience.
A good implementation of the fighting game genre on Facebook that is fun, competitive and accessible to all skill levels.