Free to play games usually come with a catch. Whether it’s microtransactions, ads, or just a beta in disguise, it’s rare to find a genuinely fun experience that costs you nothing. BOSSES FOREVER 2.BRO on OUYA is one of those exceptions, providing an entertainment value for two players at no cost that rivals that of many paid OUYA games.
The original BOSSES FOREVER was a single player, web-based, 2D shooter that never ended. One player climbed a tower of infinite bosses that learned your fighting style and adapted to make the challenge harder and harder. BOSSES FOREVER 2.BRO doesn’t mix up the structure much, adding two player local co-op in the mix while giving an update to graphics and various mechanics. With a friend - or should I say, a bro - you’ll climb the tower until you die, and then you’ll do it again. There’s no end in sight, and it’s all about seeing how high you can go and locking in your spot on the scoreboard with your bro.
The controls are easy to grasp by the time you take down the first boss, who also serves as a tutorial. Coupled with the retro graphics and music, classic 8 and 16bit gamers will feel right at home with the jump and shoot sidescrolling action. After defeating each boss you can level up stats such as max health and damage, or you have the option to heal yourself, which you’ll need to do as damage is carried over between battles. Depending on your playstyle you may want to put more points into one or another. I tried a few variations, simply healing and pumping everything left over into my attack power for instance. This was fun for a while but ultimately I was met with quick and brutal deaths as the bosses increased in difficulty.
Two playable characters, Bancho or Rancho, provide near identical experience in co-op or single player. The main difference in co-op is that there two guns and two people for the boss to kill, but there’s no revives or combo moves. Each character has the same abilities, differing only by their names and character models, both of which feature killer fros, bro.
The concept of an enemy learning your play style looks good on paper, but as my bro and I progressed from level to level it just felt like the bosses were getting more challenging on their own, disregarding how we were playing. Sure, we had to switch things up, but it was hard to put a reason on it. It felt like any typical horde mode; stronger enemies will appear and you have to do things differently to come out on top. I went into one round deciding not to wall jump as much, and couldn’t place my finger on what made that playthrough any different from a previous one. That being said, you shouldn’t bank on similar strategies to get you up the tower, as bosses develop new attacks and maneuvers frequently.
Like many OUYA titles, it’s hard to imagine someone playing BOSSES FOREVER 2.BRO for hours on end, day after day. Die hard fans will definitely enjoy trying to make it to the highest floor possible, but for most it will be an experience that starts when two people have some time to kill. There’s no way to save progress, aside from your final score, so how high you climb not only depends on your skill, but also on your available time.
BOSSES FOREVER 2.BRO provides good fun and an easy to play co-op experience on OUYA that may leave you forgetting the game was actually free. It’s definitely worthy of an install, but don’t expect it to entertain for months to come.
The Co-Op Experience: Team up with your best bro and battle an infinite number of bosses in an infinitely high tower.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.