Happy Wars is a free-to-play* (if you have Xbox LIVE Gold membership) online multi-player game by Toylogic and published by Microsoft Game Studios for Xbox 360 and Steam, and soon to be released on Xbox One.The core gameplay pits two teams of comically-sized combatants to fight their way to the opposing force's castle to destroy the Big Tower inside while protecting their own. Along the way, they must construct towers (which acts as respawn points for the team that captures it) throughout the map to respawn outside the castle area. There are also turrets and other weapons laying around the environment such as bombs or collapsing bridges to hold off the enemy. There are two ways to win a match (or round) of each game: either destroy the opposing team's Big Tower by breaching their castle, or have the most captured towers before time runs out.Each player starts the match at level one, and by achieving objectives, such as building towers or slaying enemies, they can level-up. Increasing in level unlocks new skills for the characters, including powerful Team Skills which require teammates to join in. After a match, players are rewarded with experience points to raise their ranks as well as Happy Stars to obtain items with in-game currency to upgrade and customize their combatants. Players can purchase high-grade items through the item shop or Happy Cards (basically booster packs of equipment) with Happy Tickets, but they're going cost what you got in your wallet. The game's combatants consist of three character classes with future updates to add sub-classes to the primary three. They are as follows:
The Warrior: The melee-centric class. Warriors tend to have stronger physical weapons and armor.
The Cleric: A sort of utility class. Clerics can summon materials to build various fortifications and siege weapons, and additionally serve as healers for their team.
The Engineer: A sub sect of the cleric class focusing more on tactical weaponry and a new team skill allowing the engineer to mount an offensive assault mech.
The Mage: An offensive-centered magic class. Mages can buff allies and themselves by enchanting their weapons, as well as being able to launch magical spells, such as fireballs or lightning storms.
The Zephyr: An advanced version of the Mage that trades out some of the direct-damage capacity for battlefield control in the form of wind attacks that can shove opponents around, draw them to a specific spot and other things.
The game features a single player story campaign, as well as competetive and cooperative multiplayer. The game was released on Xbox LIVE Arcade on October 12, 2012.
This games features trope examples of:
After Combat Recovery: Sitting still for a few seconds will fully restore your HP and AP instead of the gradual increase you get by being active.
It should be noted however that none of the items you can buy are anywhere near the strongest of their type. On top of that there isn't a single item that can be bought with money/Microsoft Points that can't be obtained through normal gameplay anyways. This includes the super premium items however getting these via the Happy Spinner or item boxes is EXTREMELY rare.
To top it off you can actually EARN happy tickets instead of just buying them once you reach league play. You get 5 tickets every 50000 points you earn. Some people don't buy happy tickets just because it's much more satisfying to simply earn them and then kick the crap out of the people who buy them anyways.
Anti-Poop Socking : Though it hardly deters players from extended gaming binges, league players can earn a log-on bonus of one extra league point for each hour they're not connected to the Happy Wars server (up to a cap of 10 league points).
Badass Crew: The Knights of the Order of Light in the single player campaign.
Black and White Morality: Averted, kinda. Although the story campaign mentions conflict between the King of Light and the King of Darkness, it's mostly over trivial and goofy things, rather than a battle between Good and Evil.
Bribing Your Way to Victory: If players are lucky and grind enough, when they spin the wheel with Happy Stars to get a new piece of equipment worth a damn they have a chance of succeeding. If the player spends some Microsoft Points and buys Happy Tickets, they get several pieces of equipment of the type they want, guaranteed.
Came Back Strong: You have the option of using Happy Tickets to make yourself stronger after an enemy kills you in game.
Character Customization: One of the big draws of the game. You can customize your adorable castle siegers in many ways possible. Although some customization parts have to be bought with Happy Tickets.
Cycle of Hurting: A player can get caught in this when being attacked by enemies with status inducers such as Freeze, Stun, or KO without a defensive buff of their own to counter the effect.
Dangerous Terrain: There are the usual video game hazards of bottomless pits and water, alongside such things as a giant zombie fish. Each map also has stashes of bombs that can be rolled downhill towards opponents.
Escort Mission: Save the King operates like this. One person in the game becomes the king. Their teammates must defend him while he enters the enemy castle - the enemy team must kill the king to become him and head towards the other castle.
Fake Longevity: In order to progress further into the Story Mode, you must raise your ranks in online multiplayer first. Prior to the patch, this was a huge pain in the arse for players since the there were frequent disconnections.
Foe-Tossing Charge: The Rush and Group Rush abilities for the Warrior allow them to plow forward, knocking enemies out of their paths.
Game-Breaking Bug: Prior to the patch released in November 2012, matchmaking is very slow and glitchy, with games ending due to failed connections being rather common.
Even as of May 2013, netcode issues still plagues the playerbase. Games have failed to start due to matchmaking problems and many players have reported multiple client drops in-game. In the worst of scenarios, players have joined games where they could not hurt their enemies, build anything, destroy the big tower, or do little or anything other than watch the clock wind down and see materials/towers get caught in an endless loop of being destroyed over and over.
The Berserker update broke the entire game's playerbase, literally. The update was initially launched without any fanfare to the surprise of new players and a handful of veterans. However, the update did not launch with an auto-update mechanism so the only way to get the update was to delete the game, clear the Xbox 360 cache, and redownload. As a result, those with the update are unable to play the game with the part of the playerbase that didn't. There are also reports of Berserker-updated players having their items and happy tickets reset upon receiving the update.
Game Over Man: You'll spend your respawn countdown looking at the character that killed you do a cute little dance.
Halloween Episode: Halloween-themed maps and items were added during the Halloween season.
Harmless Lady Disguise: The final mission in the campaign tasks you with chasing down the Dark King and the Marshall to rescue the princess. There are mooks scattered around the level dressed as the princess to throw you off your search.
Interesting Situation Duel: Some of the maps qualify. And in Co-Op mode, the computer-controlled enemy team will share a theme. So it's entirely possible for a legion of Knights to engage a group of Killer Tomatoes under the sea.
Joke Item: A fairly significant portion of the armory; used tin cans are helmets and fish serve as weapons in the game.
Lethal Joke Item: Even so, many of the joke items actually have superior stats to more serious weapons and items.
Ladder Physics: The way you run up a near-vertical ladder against an enemy castle, you'd think you just built stairs.
Level-Locked Loot: Every item you can equip carries a weight rating. You need to level up a fair bit before you can equip the heaviest items.
Limited Move Arsenal: Type 2. Each class can use 11 special skills (4 skills tied to the A and B buttons, 3 tied to the Y button). However, you only have enough enough skill slots for 9 special skills per game. At least two of your class's skills will be unavailable for use when you reach level 5.
Warriors also have a Super Guard that power up their shields to become Deflector Shields. They also have a team skill called Iron Phalanx, forming a barrier of team-mates with shields (including Mages).
Magic Music: The Cleric's Sacred Song ability provides an HP and AP buff.
Magic Staff: Mages uses them to shoot magic projectiles.
New Meat: The first chapter of the single player campaign states it's your first day on the Knights of the Order of Light.
Non-Combat EXP: Healing and buffing teammates, activating/taking part in team skills, and building towers or other constructs.
Not Quite Flight: The Warrior's Rocket Man ability let's you fly a short distance and explode into your enemies. Can be used to jump to high terrain or over a Cleric's Wall, but not over bottomless pits, lava, or water.
One-Hit Kill: Tornado, which is one of the Mage's Team Skills.
Play Every Day: The treasure map feature. Logging in once a day earns a player with money. On the 7th and 14th day, the player is given a premium item and the 21st a super premium.
Power Equals Rarity: Premium, Super Premium, and Evolved items. Most other items in the game fail to measure up to these three item rarities, even after they've been powered up to level 15.
Protection Mission: A campaign mission has you protecting townsfolk from alien invaders. Rather than fail you for not protecting the townsfolk, they're instead added to the last group of enemies you fight in the mission if they are killed and not revived.
Purely Aesthetic Gender: Literally the only difference between a male and female character in this game is the fact that females wear a bra.
Ridiculously Fast Construction: Building towers and armaments with nothing but a mob of players and their hammers can take as little as a few seconds.
Ring Out: Most maps contain areas where you can hit your enemy off the map, into water, or into a pool of lava.
Royalty Super Power: In Save the King mode, becoming the king automatically boosts you to Level 5 and gives you extra reach on your weapon. Subverted because you move at a snail's pace and have access to only three skills (though they are each rather useful).
Save the Princess: The intro of the story mode features the forces of Darkness kidnapping the Princess, who the Knights of Order must rescue.
Selective Gravity: Drop down from any height or get hit in the air by your enemy, you'll drop like a brick. But if the level shoots you high in the sky halfway across the map, you fall at a much slower pace.
Shoryuken: The Warrior's Charged Attack when at Level 5.
Shout-Out: The Berserker update changed around most of the player speech bubbles. More than a handful have been changed to reflect on current internet memes. Expect to see players running around saying "U mad, bro" or "Do you even lift?".
Squishy Wizard: Aside from having generally poorer armor and physical attacks, mages also lack the ability to block with a shield.
Storming the Castle: What a match turns into when one team has all the towers and the time hasn't run out.
Super Drowning Skills: Zig-zagged; you can't fall into rivers in one of maps or you'll sink to your death, yet there's a map taking place beneath the ocean floor.
Video Game Dashing: The Warrior has a dash lunge that can be used to cover ground faster than typical running.
The Cleric's Dash ability
Video Game Lives: One of the last missions of the single player campaign uses this as plot device. The Kingdom of Dark is supressing your ability to respawn. If you die, you don't come back, but capturing control towers along the way will give you one respawn each.
Zerg Rush: For a game based on raiding castles, a stand-out example is in one mission in the single player Campaign where you and your small team has to defend your castle from rather large waves of zombies.
There is also a Castle Defense Special Challenge that happens every once in a while. May 2014 was one of those times.