I loved watching Looney Tunes as a kid. The quirky characters, lively animation, and humor that date back to the 1930s will remain timeless, and even as an adult, I continue to rewatch Looney Tunes because I have my own kid and there’s something special about sharing media from your childhood. I’ll certainly be doing that in the gaming sphere when he’s older. I bet you’re wondering what any of this has to do with the game we’ll be discussing today, right? Well, it doesn’t in the traditional sense, (this review isn’t sponsored,) but it definitely does when it comes down to the animation and feel of the beautifully colorful and quirky characters in Onion Force. Animation in all its glory is always going to be something really special, and that’s where we’re going here.
As I’ve just said, the point of bringing up Looney Tunes is to reflect on the animation. Even when there are drastically better graphics in the current gaming space, it’s hard to turn away from media that evokes nostalgia. And this is what immediately caught my eye when I launched the hybrid tower defense game, Onion Force. The characters all have an innocent look. Even though it’s an action-packed game involving nothing but combat, there’s nothing menacing about the characters. It’s lighthearted, fun, and reminiscent of those old-timey cartoons that a lot of generations grew up with, so I was excited to jump into the action and explore a world that I sensed would bring out my inner child.
The goal is simple in that all you have to do is protect the king. Easier said than done, of course, but with three heroes to choose from, there are different combat styles that players can select based on their preference or even the level of challenge they are looking for. Out of the wizard, warrior, and bowman, I enjoyed the warrior the most. None of the characters are difficult to control. It all comes down to your mouse and keyboard, with left-click being used for attacks. There’s nothing special or challenging about the setup, but the warrior’s abilities are my favorite. I have no problems with ranged attacks, but I wasn’t feeling it with the wizard or bowman. This being said, if your character dies in battle, he’s gone for good, or until you move onto the next level. Fortunately, that leaves the two others for backup. At first, I thought I’d be depending on my entire trio to fight off enemies and keep the king safe but I soon discovered that collecting coins, onions, and other gear gave me the ability to construct new builds in the game that would assist my active hero. It’s no surprise that I set up a healing tent as soon as possible. I like to know that I have an area where I can restore my health within a few seconds.
Speaking of health, you’ll need to keep a close eye on that health and stamina. Unless you’re superhuman and are never dealt a blow in combat, you won’t need to worry about restoring your character. With a variety of enemies to battle, varying terrains, and even changes in weather, things become chaotic very quickly in Onion Force but it’s a fun type of chaos, one that doesn’t feel overwhelming. I actually welcomed the madness. As I mentioned earlier, Looney Tunes gives off similar vibes when it comes to chaos and destruction. Onion Force makes a great introductory game for those who have no experience with tower defense combat or even basic survival skills, and it offers different difficulty modes.
Synthesized electronic music gives Onion Force a retro feel and I couldn’t help bobbing my head while fighting. It’s not often I want to dance along to a soundtrack while gaming, but this title has some solid jams. After a while, it does get a little repetitive so turning the volume down can prevent annoying other people in your home. It’s not a memorable soundtrack but it goes perfectly with the style of the game. One major criticism I have is the appearance of the graphics. By default, Onion Force loads on a smaller-scale windowed screen, which is fine if you’ve got 20/20 vision but I prefer not to squint. I tried playing around with the resolution but when playing in fullscreen mode, the graphics look badly pixelated.
Another minor bug I encountered was with the warrior. The game loaded, I could move my character, and as the enemies approached I went in for an attack and got … nothing. I clicked my mouse and clicked again and nothing happened. So I stood back and waited, watching my opponents run past me and murder my king. Thankfully, once I quit and reloaded the game, everything worked normally. On account of this, it’s not something I’m screaming over but it’s definitely worthy of note.
Onion Force is available on Steam for Windows. Though it looks unassuming, you may be surprised by the punch it packs and the playtime you’ll clock. It’s easy to obsessively go from one level to the next and before you know it, an hour or two will have passed. Don’t say I didn’t warn you: this game is deceptively fun and addicting.
Pros + Quirky characters with a variety of combat abilities that keep the game fresh and fun + Colorful, cute, goofy animation + Great for all ages with different difficulty levels to choose from Cons – Minor bug where combat might not work with certain characters – Resolution can’t be adjusted; not very scalable for PCs