Rounds: A Stress Inducing 2D Gun Brawl

Rounds is a 2D platformer action indie game developed by Landfall Games and published in 2021. It takes the idea of games such as Stick Fight: The Game, but adds a twist, you can choose special power-ups before the rounds begin. The game is round based as the name insinuates, and you play as a small circular character that wields a gun. Each game consists of five rounds that are split into as many as three smaller rounds, to win one full round you need to win two smaller ones. Before the first round both players choose a power-up that can enhance your gun and bullets, block ability, or base stats like speed and health, you get another power-up for every full round you lose, and your opponent gets one for every round you win. The game gets more and more intense towards the end with both players having multiple power-ups.

Image: Landfall Games

The power-up cards in Rounds range from simple “+1 Bullets” to “Abyssal Countdown”, which, while rare, is incredibly powerful and grants invulnerability and extra damage. They are a key part of the game and makes Rounds really stand out from other games similar to it. As well as being good on their own, the power-ups are even better when paired with others of the same type, such as cards like Mayhem, adding five extra bounces to each bullet, and Target Bounce, making each bullet bounce automatically target the nearest player and beelining to them. Another good combo is Decay and Parasite. Decay makes any damage dealt to you spread over four seconds, and +50% HP. Parasite does the opposite, it makes any damage you deal to others spread over five seconds while siphoning half of that damage with life steal, so with both you can survive longer and gain more health while the other player slowly dies. Other good sets of cards create snipers, shotguns, or just ridiculously large bullets that are hard to dodge and do crazy damage.

Image: Landfall Games

Although the base game of Rounds is extremely fun and exciting, it can get even more so with mods. The modding community in Rounds is a fun land of memery and over the top damage buffs, some of the best for gameplay include Rounds With Friends, which increases the player limit to 16. Set Rounds, which increases the amount of full rounds letting you play longer, and CR, an almost complete ability overhaul adding 80 new cards, making for one hell of a match.

The Rounds player community is relatively small, with the average concurrent players in the last few months being around 400, but it has a decent showing on YouTube with a few good content creators playing it, such as Smii7y, Stumpt, and Phunix on YouTube.

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