“Give me back my head!”
Admit it. You have always wanted to rip the head off of your friends and kick it into a goal, or over a goal post, or use as a football and kick into the uprights, or feed to zombie dogs. If you have never wanted to, you will once you get your hands on this game. Before you know it 10 and then 20 matches will have gone by and you will still be whooping and laughing at each other.
Headsnatchers is a couch and online battle game as well as single player platformer that will suck you into a colorful and fun world with several entertaining mini-games. The primary emphasis at this point appears to be on the couch version as the online version is still in beta. There are 25 mini-games to unlock and enjoy in the Tornado mode (more on this later) but only 6 mini-games seemed to be cycled through in the online mode. Even with that slight deficiency, the online mode doesn’t grow old, even after playing for several hours. The game play is enough to keep the games fresh and talking smack over a VoIP connection definitely doesn’t hurt.
Getting more into the local modes, there is a Tornado (free for all, 2-4 players) mode, tag team (2 vs. 2), and a Roulette (free for all, 2-4 players) mode. The Tornado is a real blast and plays especially well on the Steam Link. The Tornado mode is highly recommended as no one really has the option to take sides. The goal is simple: punch or shove your friend down, rip their head off, and use it in a variety of ways to force them out. Sure, there are the usual suspects such as soccer and football and bowling. It spreads out from there though. There is a great mini-game with a kraken in which you must rip off a head, stand over a seal and unlock a door that you have to then toss the head out of. Another mode involves a wedding cake in which you are replacing the heads of the cake toppers with the freshly acquired heads of your friends. There are several other mini-games as well that keeps the fun going.
When you are tired of a free for all, you can give the Tag Team mode a whirl. This presents four mini-games: soccer, hockey, basketball, and football. All of the games are like the four player versions but, with only two goals. Hockey can be a bit trickier than the others as you will find yourself facing ice physics and only slap shots. The slap shots make it a little bit challenging as you must either rely on bouncing the head off of a wall or lining up as close as possible before slamming a head into the goal.
Roulette mode plays out like a game show. The contestants each take a turn spinning a wheel to select a random mini-game, which can include some additional ones that you might not have unlocked yet. Essentially though, you are playing Tornado, just not able to select the level directly.
The online mode plays exactly like Tornado except, as mentioned previously, a limited number of mini-games. Again, while this is a bummer in some ways, the hope is that the full release will bring more mini-games to this mode.
We are not done though. There is a single player Zombie Castle mode as well. A fun platformer in which you are trying to execute precision jumps, carefully navigate through spinning arms that will happily remove your head, pick up a shotgun and knock down zombies to use their heads in various ways, and other fun little gems. This mode is solid and challenging at times. Like any platformer you must figure out the timing and jumps to get you through. With checkpoints placed every so often it keeps the frustration level down by not forcing you to replay an entire stage either, something that is quickly appreciated.
But wait, there is more. Not much more, but more. A head creation mode allows you to be creative and custom build out heads to show off. You can be as serious or goofy as you desire with the various options that are provided.
Overall, this game is highly recommended. It is a great online and couch game that will have you and the other players laughing out loud while ripping off heads and defeating the mini-games.
Note: GameOctane received digital codes from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing this game. Any code or product intended for reviews is distributed to the team to review and stream for our audience.