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|Genre(s)||MOBA, Hero shooter|
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Brawl Stars is a multiplayer online battle arena and third-person hero shooter game where players battle against other players or AI opponents in multiple game modes. Players can choose between characters called Brawlers that they have unlocked through Boxes, the Brawl Pass, the Trophy Road, or purchased through the Shop to use in battles.
Brawl Stars has a variety of different game modes that players can choose from, each one having a different objective. Players can invite friends to play with them up to the maximum team size of the game mode.
In addition to a Brawler’s main attack ability, they have three other abilities.
As Brawlers deal damage to enemy Brawlers, they build up their special ability, called a Super. Each Brawler has their own Super ability, which can, for example, create a shield (Rosa), spawn a cannon (Penny), or fire a barrage of rockets (Brock). A damage dealing Super will charge up the next Super if it hits enemies.
Each Brawler also has unlockable passive abilities called Star Powers, which can be found in Boxes, or inside the Shop once the Brawler reaches power level 9. Earning a Star Power increases the Brawler’s level to power level 10. Damage-dealing Star Powers cannot directly charge a Brawler’s Super, but they can make charging a Super easier, like Tick's Automa-Tick Reload Star Power which allows him to attack more frequently, or Nita's Hyper Bear Star Power, which allows her bear to attack faster, charging her Super faster if the bear is targeting an enemy brawler. Second Star Powers were released throughout summer 2019, starting on June 26, 2019.
Furthermore, Brawlers have unlockable abilities called Gadgets. Gadgets were added to the game on March 17, 2020.
There are four types of virtual items in the game: Coins, Gems, Boxes, and Star Points.
Coins are the main currency in the game. Coins can be obtained through Boxes or in the Shop for free occasionally. Coins can be purchased with Gems. Coins can be used to purchase Power Points, Star Powers, Gadgets, and upgrading Brawlers which can be done once the required Power Points is reached.
Gems are the premium currency which can be purchased with real money or obtained through the Brawl Pass. Gems can be used to purchase Skins, Coins, Name Changes, Brawlers, Token Doublers, Boxes, and the premium Brawl Pass. All players have the free Brawl Pass by default.
There are three types of Boxes (the game's version of a loot box). The standard-sized Brawl Boxes are the most basic. Big Boxes have three times the rewards of the standard Brawl Boxes. Mega Boxes have ten times the rewards of the standard Brawl Boxes. Boxes can be obtained through purchasing them in the Shop with Gems or Star Points. They can also be obtained through the Trophy Road or Brawl Pass.
The Trophy Road is a way for players to track their in-game progress, increase their rank, and earn prizes along the way. Prizes along this journey include: new Brawlers, Coins, Power Points (applied to Brawlers for upgrades), token doublers, new events, and Boxes that contain additional contents. To progress along the Trophy Road, players must earn Trophies through battles. Once a player claims a reward they can not claim it again.
In May 2020, a game update added a new reward system called “Brawl Pass”. The Brawl Pass is the game’s version of a battle pass. When players compete in battles, they earn “Tokens”. When players earn Tokens, they progress along the Brawl Pass, similar to the Trophy Road which requires earning Trophies to progress. Players can earn Boxes, Gems, Skins, Pins (emojis that can be used during battles or in a team game room), Coins, and Brawlers. There are two tiers of the Brawl Pass. All players have the free Brawl Pass by default. Players can purchase the premium Brawl Pass with Gems. The Brawl Pass replaced the previous Brawl Box and Big Box reward system.
|Season 1: Tara's Bazaar||May 2020 – July 2020||The Brawler Gale was introduced in this Season's Brawl Pass. The Brawl Pass had 60 tiers in this Season.|
|Season 2: Summer of Monsters||July 2020 – September 2020||The Brawler Surge was introduced in this Season's Brawl Pass. This Brawl Pass added 10 extra tiers, increasing the number of tiers to 70. This Brawl Pass lasted 10 weeks, longer than the previous Brawl Pass.|
|Season 3: Welcome to Starr Park||September 2020 – November 2020||The Brawler Colette was introduced in this Season's Brawl Pass. Pin Packs (which unlock three Pins per pack) were included starting in this Brawl Pass.|
|Season 4: Holiday Getaway||November 2020 – February 2021||The Brawler Lou was introduced in this Season's Brawl Pass. Supercell removed the ability to unlock Chromatic Brawlers from boxes before reaching tier 30 of the Brawl Pass. Additionally, pulling a Chromatic Brawler from Brawl Boxes decreases the Legendary Brawler chance.|
|Season 5: Starr Force||February 2021 – May 2021||The Brawler Colonel Ruffs was introduced in this Season's Brawl Pass.|
Development and release
Supercell set out to develop a team based game similar to League of Legends and Overwatch. The team wanted to create such a game that was designed with mobile devices in mind first. According to Supercell's Frank Keienburg, "Our focus was on retaining a lot of depth while stripping away all the fluff." Although the game contains some elements of the battle royale genre, these were implemented before the genre as a whole took off and the team did not set out to make a game with those elements.
The game is notable for its long soft launch period during which virtually every aspect of the game changed. Supercell officially announced the game via a livestream video on June 14, 2017. It received an iOS soft launch in Canada the following day. The soft launch would last a total of 522 days, during which internally it was doubted whether or not the game would ever actually see a general release. Initially the game was played in portrait mode and had players tapping on the screen, this was changed eventually to players using analog controls and playing in landscape mode. Other changes include changing the UI, changing the metagame and transitioning the game from 2D to 3D. Frank Keienburg attributes the difficult beta period to the developers working in a new genre where they "weren't sure how to interpret its success". The game soft-launched in Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Ireland, Singapore, Hong Kong, Macao and Malaysia for iOS on January 19, 2018, and on June 26, 2018, Android received early access to the game as a continuation of the soft launch.
Brawl Stars was made globally and officially available on December 12, 2018. It made more than US$63 million in its first month. On June 9, 2020, Brawl Stars was released in Mainland China.
Pocket Gamer's Harry Slater scored the game 3 out of 5. Reviewing the game immediately after global release, he praised that game's progression. He criticized Showdown, the game's battle royale mode, for being the weakest of all the game modes that were in the game. He said that Showdown "doesn't capture the real madness of the genre, and there's a distinct lack of tension since you can pretty much see everyone on the map and what they're up to." He mentioned that something felt "missing in Brawl Stars. You'll play, you'll get new characters, you'll unlock new modes, but you're never having quite as much fun as you feel you should be doing." He continued on to say that "the action is relatively flat - in the team matches you know within the first few seconds which way the game is going." He concluded in disappointment because the game did not seem like "the huge step forward for multiplayer mobile action that a lot of us were hoping for."
148 Apps' Campbell Bird scored the game 3.5 out of 5. She started with mentioning that the game felt "like a combination of Arena of Valor and Overwatch." She praised the game's graphics and the developer's implementation of the progression system to encourage players to play again, as well as the quick matchmaking. However, she criticized the game's controls for feeling "oddly loose and muddy," the characters falling "into pretty predictable hero shooter archetypes," as well as claiming that "every mode in the game is some variation on something you’ve seen before in other, better multiplayer shooters." She also highlighted that the frequent connection issues and unbalanced teams made the experience of playing the game less enjoyable.
Brawl Stars has been downloaded over 200 million times. In 2020, Brawl Stars had the second highest gross of any mobile game in Europe. It grossed 526 million USD in total in 2020, which accounted for more than half its life time revenue. It was also the fourth game by Supercell to surpass 1 billion USD in lifetime revenue.
Brawl Stars Championship
The Brawl Stars Championship is an open tournament for players across the globe, developed by Supercell. All players age 16 and up may participate. This tournament consists of monthly in-game challenges that would lead to regional online qualifier events. Through the online qualifier events, players can secure a spot in the in-person monthly finals. These events would lead to the World Finals.
In 2019, this championship was known as the Brawl Stars World Championship. It was held on November 15 to November 16, 2019 at the Busan Exhibition and Convention Center in South Korea. The first place winner was Nova Esports after a 3 – 0 victory. Other participants competing included Animal Chanpuru, Tribe Gaming, 3Bears, Spacestation Gaming, and PSG Esports. With a $250,000 prize pool, it was the first international event for the game and had teams from North America, Europe, Latin America, Southeast Asia, Japan, and South Korea.
In 2020, the World Finals were held in fall with a base $1,000,000 prize pool with an additional $500,000 which can be earned through in-game championship offers.
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