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Survival of the Fittest

Survival of the Fittest

Release Date:  April 10, 2012
Publisher:  6Waves
Developer:  Izelis
Genre:  Fighting

Survival of the Fittest is a Facebook fighting game developed by Izelis and published by 6Waves. The game allows players to choose one of three characters: bear, cat or dinosaur.


Information age never fails to stuff our mind with knowledge of all kinds. The more we learn about the world around us or, interestingly, not around us, the more we tend to forget the hardship that those species which inhabit a primitive world may be facing. Survival of the Fittest, or SOTF in short, does not merely ring a bell on the famous theory of Darwin or his book, but also brings about the cruel struggle for survival in a casual and exciting way.

Whenever it comes to one-on-one battle, the only thing that occurs to me is blood and gore on muscular men. Exciting? To some people, perhaps. I myself would vote for MMORPGs in whatever cases, which require more strategies. But SOTF turns my world upside down.

Upon entering the game, you can choose one from a cat who is the quickest and never rests until defeated (which is kind of annoying sometimes), a dinosaur that mistakenly takes the shape of a lovely cub but, as a matter of fact, is the most powerful, and a bear that is strong and a little bit ponderous but possesses formidable defense. Decking out is as dull as in many other social or role-playing games. It is also the case with the first fight against an NPC.

When I was considering quitting, I lost the second fight in the Battle Tower. I chose to be a cat, only to find my character scratching the opponents now and then while getting scratched, punched, bitten, or even kicked all the time. A little search on the Internet equips me with more information on the gameplay but it still takes me about 20 overwhelmed fights to finally feel the way out of being one of those guys that, as depicted in many movies, act solely as the objects on which boxers or athletes exercise their skills. I’m not exaggerating at all. Strategy and quick decision are the keys to victories in SOTF. That sounds stupidly simple. But if you cannot directly control the actions of your character, what would you do to ensure a good result?

The battle is conducted in a similar way as in board games such as BANG, only with fewer but dedicated “cards”. Customize your skills in the Rooms on the right of the interface. Some skills cause damage while others increase possibilities of dodge or cancel the attack your enemy is about to launch. With merely four slots available, you’d better think twice before you decide on that front. Since traits vary in different character classes, it is advisable to adopt differentiated skills in different battles. For example, bears boast strong defense (I don’t know why but that seems to be realized by spending most of their time using dodge or healing skills). In that case, you can keep attacking using the most powerful skills. When it comes to dinosaurs, whose attacks come in various forms, such as scratching, punching, and kicking, never forget to use the shield because their attacks are sometimes unbearable and fatal.

The four skills available to you in a battle are numbered from 1 to 4 and you can control the skills by pressing corresponding numeric keys on your keyboard instead of moving your mouse icon across the screen which really is a waste of time. You’d better start attacking the moment your character appears on the battlefield. Each skill is unleashed only once after some preparation time. The higher the skill ranks, the more time it requires to prepare. Once a skill is used, it also needs some time to cool down before you can use it again. Every second counts. Don’t lose time in waiting or watching. Just choose a second skill immediately after the attack. Don’t rush, however, because if an attack is not completed and you choose a second skill, the one in preparation may be cancelled. There are times when you may feel disappointed while the opponent’s attack is ready before yours and you can do nothing about it except endure the attack and then continue the preparation of your skill.

Most players are reluctant to accept challenges from those of higher levels. But there are flows of players who are willing to challenge you all the time. Upon leveling up after you reach level 5, you obtain a Talent point that can be assigned to enhance the talents you deem important. Some talents increase chance to dodge while others improve possibility of target hitting. You can dress up or restore your character by purchasing in the Pawn shop and then consuming the purchased items. Naturally, special items cost gold or, more often than not, real money. But you can still improve your character’s health, dodge, strength, defense and speed through items listed in Gear, Consumables and Aesthetics that can be bought with game currency.

Someone spoke of the generous rewards after a victory in SOTF. I really doubt that because I can only remember one time that I was granted with more than ten of the cash. In other occasions, only 3, or 5 were rendered. Somehow, I find the game unplayable if you do not engage friends in it for there are tasks tasking you with inviting or challenging friends, or even giving away your old items to them. And I failed to figure out how to display the game in full screen.

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