“Welcome to yet another exciting round of FORCED SHOWDOWN! The only show in the galaxy with lives on the line!”  This opening quote from developer BetaDwarf’s FORCED SHOWDOWN  pretty much sums-up the title’s concept, which sees arena action and deck building combine in a Galactic Game Show. It’s Hearthstone meets Diablo, and it makes for an incredibly chaotic, albeit insanely fun, arena based rogue-like.




While there is much I could tell you about this crazy piece of intergalactic entertainment, showing you will be much more effective. So hold on tight because you just bought yourself a ticket to the most brutal show in the galaxy! And there are no refunds!



In FORCED SHOWDOWN, Contestants fight tooth and nail in an action-packed PVE arena. Players can currently choose one of four gladiator to play. Each of them have their own unique abilities, strengths and weaknesses. You move around using WASD and attack using both mouse buttons as well as the E and R keys. You can also use a controller but I found the mouse to be more effective for the twitch movements needed during battle.



Notice the cards below the character.


A big part of what makes FORCED SHOWDOWN so much fun is its card system. Before each round, players get to a draw a card from a custom built deck of 30 cards. Each card has a mana cost and in a similar fashion to Hearthstone, players start with one mana and receive an additional mana each round. The deck contains three kinds of cards:

  • Upgrades – Upgrades buff your gladiator’s stats and abilities.
  • Spells – Spells can effect many things. For instance, some spell cards can increase the amount of mana you get each turn.
  • Consumables – Cards that can only be used a finite amount. Many of them spawn temporary allies to the contestant fight




Players can earn gold and crystals while playing that can be used to unlock new cards for their decks. Some cards however can only be used in decks for certain contestants but most of them are neutral and can be used in any deck. The deck system is fun to play around with and easy to use. If a certain card didn’t help you as much as you hoped it would, you can swap out once your out of the arena.




Speaking of arena, there are currently three different “Programs” contestants can choose to be the star of. In my current build though, only one of them is available and it’s rough. I can only imagine what the other programs will be like. FORCED SHOWDOWN doesn’t completely throw you to the wolves though. Throughout the rounds players pick up points that accumulate until you complete all 8 rounds of the stage you chose. If you manage to successfully complete the round and earned enough points, you can get a boon.




Boons make me happy. They give the contestant a slight edge when heading into the next stage. Boons are chosen by the player. Once a boon is earned, three random ones will appear and you can select one. They stick with you and can even stack if you get more than one of the same boon until you either win or lose.  Some boons will give you an extra mana on turn one. Others can give stat buffs or make health orbs appear more frequently.  The list goes on. But if you die, it’s game over. You lose any boons you earned and have to start the program all over.




That about sums up my preview for FORCED SHOWDOWN. I didn’t do everything, mind you. There are pets you can equip and tons of quests that can be completed for a variety of rewards, and that’s just for this preview build I’m playing. I’m sure there will a TON of more content coming out for it soon. Speaking of new content, the developers keep teasing a “Unique Secret” that will be revealed March 23rd. That’s only 6 days before it’s March 29th release, so who knows what it could be!

To learn even more about FORCED SHOWDOWN and even sign-up to be notified about the “mysterious secret” visit FORCED SHOWDOWN’S official website!

Good luck! You’re gonna need it.