It took a while to go live today, but Happy Wars, the first free-to-play Xbox Live Arcade game is finally available. Xbox Live Gold members can grab the 464 MB download, run through the tutorial, and start battling in no time. To celebrate the game's opening weekend, all premium items are on sale for twenty percent off through October 15th. If you find yourself enjoy the game, grabbing a few items on sale is a great way to customize your character while supporting the developer, Toylogic.
Interestingly, single-player levels are locked to specific ranks, so before you can run through the whole story, you'll have to spend some time in Co-Op or Versus multiplayer, or perhaps a combination of the two. Co-Op allows 15 players to join together and take on a computer army of equal size over the course of three rounds. After every round (basically a complete battle), you'll be awarded one or more equippable items. The AI enemies can be tough,
so you may want to set the difficulty to Easy when searching for a game. Update: there are no difficulty options for co-op games.
During each game you'll level up as you kill enemies, build towers (respawn points) for your team, heal other players, and perform other acts of valor. Doign so unlocks new abilities for your Fighter, Cleric, or Mage. But these unlocks only last for the duration of the match. Ranking up affords you permanent improvements like the ability to carry more items and eventually extra starting abilities. Just keep playing Co-Op and Versus, do your best, and you'll rank up over time.
Xbox Live Gold members can grab Happy Wars here at Xbox.com. We'll have a full Co-Op Review next week.