If you are in the mood for a retro gaming experience, Squareboy vs. Bullies is a Windows 10 title that might scratch that itch. Available for both Windows 10 PC and Mobile, Squareboy vs. Bullies is a fighting game where you play the role of Squareboy, who must stand up and fight off a horde of bullies.
The game has retro-styled, pixelated graphics with a design that is reminiscent of the classic Gameboy handhelds. Gameplay isn't terribly difficult, but will keep you on your toes as you face the stronger bullies in the neighborhood.
If you are in the mood for a game with an old-school feel, Squareboy vs. Bullies is a fun Windows 10 title to spend a little time with.
Squareboy vs. Bullies opens up to an animated short that tells how Squareboy has been bullied by the neighborhood kids and seeks help from the local Sensei. The game offers a brief tutorial on gaming controls and then transitions to the gaming levels.
The game supports vertical and horizontal orientations, but when played vertically the design looks like a classic Gameboy game. The bottom half of the screen has your gaming controls and the top half is framed out for the game's display. Controls include:
- A directional pad to move Squareboy around the screen and navigate around the game's menus.
- An arrow button to pause the game or confirm a menu selection.
- An A and B button present to control Squareboy's actions and confirm menu selections.
Beneath the game display is a small menu bar that includes options to access the game's help section, customize the game's color theme and an option to remove the ad support ($0.99). You can minimize the menu bar by tapping on the far right button (hamburger button) to reduce the clutter of the gaming screen.
Switching the game to horizontal orientation shifts the controls to either side of the screen with the Mobile version of Squareboy vs. Bullies. The PC version relies on keyboard controls, which takes some of the fun out of the gaming experience.
Gameplay is rather simple: you roam the neighborhood and battle the local bullies. The A button controls your punches and the B button controls Squareboy's jump. There are a few button combinations for special attacks and a listing of these combos are available from the pause menu.
Health meters for Squareboy and his opponents can be found at the top of the gaming display. Health packets are available throughout the game to restore some of Squareboy's health and, as you can imagine if his health runs dry the game is over. Gameplay is level based, but there is no means of determining how many more bullies you have to battle to complete the level. The game simply transitions to a scoring summary and then back to the action of the game.
While not a very complicated game to play, Squareboy vs. Bullies by no means is a pushover. The bullies are defeated easier if you keep them all in front of Squareboy. If the bullies surround Squareboy, he'll take a beating and may not survive the pummeling.
In spending time with the Windows 10 game, I found it to be an entertaining title with an old-school feel. From the graphics to the sound effects, it felt as if I were playing from my old Gameboy console.
My only nit with the game is that I would have liked to have seen a little more gaming structure. In many respects Squareboy vs. Bullies an endless runner game where you survive the bully attacks for as long as possible. This is not a deal breaker and you do see changes in scenery as you transition between gameplay stages, along with a little dialog between characters, but the lack of any sort of progression is somewhat disappointing.
I do think the free, ad-supported Windows 10 game plays out best from your Windows Mobile Phone. The Gameboy style of design adds to the retro feel Squareboy vs. Bullies conveys. The PC version just doesn't do it for me. Nonetheless, if you are in the mood to spend a little down time with a retro-styled gaming title, Squareboy vs. Bullies is one option worth checking out.
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George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.