Proletariat, Inc. recently released Spellbreak for PC, Xbox One, PS4, and Nintendo Switch. As you can guess, it's a battle royale game that swaps out weapons for elemental powers. Players squad up in groups of three and are let loose on a crumbling fantasy world. There they can find power-ups, different types of elemental gauntlets, and magic runes. It's got a few bugs right now during its opening week, but the game offers plenty of fun mechanics to make it worth your while.
Bottom line: Spellbound is a fun battle royale game that substitutes guns for elemental powers and magic. You'll want to think strategically to pair the best gauntlets with the best runes. Take on other enemies in a squad of three to prove you are the best battlemages out there.
- Element classes have unique play styles
- Gauntlet combos
- Large map with plenty of loot
- A few glitches
What I like about Spellbreak
|Genre||Adventure, Action, Role-Playing, Multiplayer|
|Players||Up to 42 players|
Within Spellbreak, there are six different types of gauntlets which give you six different elemental attacks: Flame, Frost, Wind, Lightning, Stone, and Toxic. Players are put in teams of three with the goal being to take out other players and be the last ones standing. If you spend gold, the in-game currency, you can acquire additional outfits and avatars to play as.
As with many other battle royale games, the weapons and items you find will come in different rarities as signified by their color. Players begin the round by choosing which type of gauntlet they will land on the map with. This first gauntlet will be the base level and can only be traded for another gauntlet of the same element with a higher rarity. However, if players come across another type of gauntlet, they can equip it to their secondary arm, effectively giving them two types of elemental powers.
Every gauntlet type has unique abilities Different play styles
After playing around with the gauntlets, I started to realize that they each worked differently. For instance, the Frost Gauntlet works a lot like a sniper, allowing you to make precision shots at various opponents from further away. Plus, if you shoot ice at the ground, you can make your avatar move a lot faster along frozen paths. Meanwhile, the Flame Gauntlet feels more like a brute force attack letting you shoot out fireballs directly in front of you but also letting you put up a massive flame wall to damage other players.
As you experiment with each of the six gauntlet types, you'll figure out which play style you like best and then can work to level up that specific element. From your main menu, you'll be able to see how far along your mastery of the various elements is. The further you get, the more powerful you become. I love this as it allows me to play in the way that I prefer.
Gauntlet combos Cool attacks and powers
What makes this game interesting is that when certain elements are coupled together they can be devastating. For instance, if I shoot a Toxic Gauntlet and create a gas cloud, then I can follow up by shooting my Flame Gauntlet at it, which creates a massive explosion.
This adds to your squad's co-operative play as well. You can build upon what someone else in your team has already laid down if you have the right gauntlets to do so. In that way, tactically planning out which gauntlets each of your squad members carries as you run through the map can really help put your team at an advantage and in my opinion, makes the game much more interesting.
Magic runes Give you an extra edge
The map feels huge and there is always plenty of chests and loot for players to discover along the way. Players can also pick up magic runes that bestow upon them specific powers for a short amount of time. To keep Runes in check, they require a cool-down period before being used again:
- Blink Rune: Lets players blast forward for a few seconds. It can be used three times before needing a cooldown.
- Chronomaster Rune: Allows players to return to the health and armor they had four seconds ago.
- Feather Fall Rune: Players can launch skyward but then they slowly descend for seven seconds.
- Flight Rune: Lets you fly for four seconds.
- Invisibility Rune: Allow you to become invisible for 10 seconds.
- Shadow Step Rune: Shoots players forward a short way and makes them invisible for five seconds.
- Teleportation Rune: Lets players teleport a short distance away to a designated location.
- Wolf's Blood Rune: Allows players to see the red outlines of enemy players through walls and hills for 40 seconds.
When coupled with certain gauntlets, these runes can make players very powerful. For instance, using the sniper-like Frost Gauntlet while employing the Flight Rune allows you to blast into the air and then make precisions shots from high in the sky, safe away from the attacks of other players on the ground.
Successfully pairing an effective rune with your gauntlet of choice feels really good and makes you realize that there's a bit more strategy to the items and weapons you choose to pick up.
What I don't like about Spellbreak
Being both a new IP and an indie game, I expected Spellbreak to be a little glitchy. The game ran smoothly most of the time and hardly gave me any issues, but there was one glitch that I encountered that made the game rather unpleasant. For some reason, there were times when I couldn't open chests and I couldn't pick up items. I only experienced this a few times, but it definitely put me at a disadvantage since I couldn't acquire health, shields, or better weapons.
My guess is this glitch will get patched out relatively quickly, but we'll see. As you'd expect with a free battle royale, this game uses microtransactions. If you're a parent that doesn't like your kid playing games that offer in-game purchases then this is something to be aware of. However, it should be noted that you can play Spellbreak very efficiently without spending any money.
So, should you play Spellbreak?
I really enjoyed playing Spellbreak. Being able to choose from six different classes that each employ different play styles make the game more appealing to a wider audience of players. I love the inclusion of gauntlet combos and magic runes, which can really diversify gameplay and give you an advantage if used correctly. The huge map offers plenty of places to explore and there's always an abundance of loot, so your squad can powerup and take on the rest of the players.
I'd just warn any parents that this is a game that includes microtransactions. However, you can thoroughly enjoy the game without ever spending any money. Additionally, since it has just released, it might have a few more bugs other than the one I mentioned. But for the most part, the game ran smoothly and offered more strategic play than I initially expected.
Considering that it's free to play, you really ought to give it a go.
Shoot elemental powers to dominate
Spellbound is a fun battle royale game that substitutes guns for elemental powers and magic. Take on other enemies in a squad of three to prove you are the best battlemages out there.
Self-professed gaming geek, Rebecca Spear, is one of Windows Central's gaming editors with a focus on Xbox and PC gaming. When she isn't checking out the latest games on Xbox Game Pass, PC, or Steam Deck; she can be found digital drawing with a Wacom tablet. She's written thousands of game guides, previews, features, and hardware reviews over the last few years. If you need information about anything gaming related, her articles can help you out. She also loves testing game accessories and any new tech on the market.