Gang Beasts out on Steam, fight your friends like a drunk on skates

Early Access

Gang Beasts is fun as heck. That’s probably why Double Fine picked it up. And now you can pick it up as it’s come to Steam on Early Access

I played it for a good while last week. Laughs and cries of exaltation were common. Because it feels like getting into a fist fight during drunk Twister on ice skates, I found myself helplessly lowering my shoulders and edging my controller in the direction I intended, like a child. 

The sloppy drunk controls combined with the grab, lift, and punching mechanics work great. A pure hazard based fighter is a great idea because you can take the simple controls and impose them on a variety of levels without worrying too much about complexity.

You have a punch, which is occasionally useful, but mostly you’ll control either arm independently and grab onto things. Typically, you’ll grab your opponent with both and raise them above your head like Simba before dropping them to death like Mufasa. You can also use the grapple to hold onto your environment to keep you grounded, or hold on to your opponent to try and drag them down with you.

Holding your opponent’s face over subway tracks, waiting for the oncoming train and hoping you don’t get got simultaneously, is weirdly dark and exciting. It gets weirder when you play, as I did, with everyone decked out in full animal suits — chicken, fox, cat, and alligator. Get friends, get Gang Beasts, have fun.

Steven Hansen