At Pax West 2021, we had the chance to sit with Skystone Games to check out their latest lineup of upcoming games. I have always been a big fan of beat’em ups and brawlers, with Streets of Rage 4 and King of Fighters ALLSTAR being my most recent favorites. So, it is always a treat to discover a game that adds a unique twist to the genre. Sure enough, our sit-down with Skystone Games at Pax West allowed us to check out such a game. The Last Friend is a game that blends brawler and tower defense gameplay in a campy dog-infused combo. The Last Friend’s release is not that far away, scheduled for a September 30, 2021 launch on the Nintendo Switch, Steam, and Epic Games Store.
Let’s go over what we learned and experienced at Pax West 2021.
The Last Friend is set in a post-apocalyptic world full of mutants and Mad Max-like gangs. You roam through wastelands in your battle station on wheels as you rescue dogs along the way. Of course, these are not just any dogs. Dogs you rescue come powered with unique abilities, becoming deployable during tower defense battle sequences. However, you are not simply sitting on the sidelines, deploying dog units to do all the fighting for you. You control the human, Alpha, as you roam freely through the oncoming enemy waves, employing combos and special moves that you pick up for yourself along the way.
Combat sequences occur on a three-level plane, which you can move between like you would in Fatal Fury or Guardian Heroes. The goal is to protect your base-on-wheels by placing defensive units on the field and your fists in baddies’ faces. Your character starts off with basic melee and grapple abilities before picking up special movies along the way. While you are saving and collecting unique dogs during your journey, you will also be able to upgrade those dogs as well as your base rover. The in-stage resources you use to deploy units refreshes between battles. As such, each stage encourages you to go all out with your dog unit usage, since resources do not travel between stages.
We already liked what we saw during our preview playthrough. We got to try out the starter turret dog, T Juan, who fires at enemies along the same plane, a tank dog unit that acts like a barricade with high HP, and a mining dog unit that gathers extra resources to use during combat sequences. Being able to personally engage enemies where your defenses are weak adds a nice little element of urgency to the gameplay. Even from few early stages we tried, we were already intrigued by the defensive possibilities that were and will be available to us. Knowing that Alpha’s moveset is bound to grow and that there are dozens of dogs to rescue adds layers to an already fun-looking game.
On top of all that, the campy art style, comedic ambiance, and energetic music do a nice job at sucking you into the world of The Last Friend.
The Last Friend is available for preorder now in three packages: My Buddies, Frens Furever, and True Frens. You can check out each of the purchase options by clicking here.
Check out The Last Friend for yourself by checking out their website here.
† The Last Friend gameplay screenshots provided by Skystone Games PR.