The Capybara is sort of an unofficial mascot for Brazil, so it’s no wonder that Brazilian developer Studio Bravarda would make a game about them.
Extremely Powerful Capybaras reimagines our round and furry friends as legendary warriors fighting to defend their village in a chaotic roguelike experience.
The game is similar in structure to Brotato and Vampire Survivors, featuring arenas where the player has to survive for a set amount of time before defeating a boss.
Extremely Powerful Capybaras
Developer: Studio Bravarda
Publisher: PM Studios, Inc., Logoi Games
Platforms: Microsoft Windows (Reviewed)
Release Date: December 5, 2023
As of right now, Extremely Powerful Capybaras sits in a sort of unspoken Early Access stage, where it feels largely incomplete despite having come out as a 1.0 release.
The game features six classes, a handful of weapons and passives, and three arenas, as well as a custom difficulty option called Frenzy Mode.
Being somewhat generous, the game’s three main arenas can be cleared in roughly three hours if you count the time it takes to become familiar with the weapons and upgrades. Needless to say, this is on the shorter side, especially when considering such a replayable genre.
The game only features three stages, which have massive difficulty spikes between each other. The first stage is pretty easy and can be cleared without much effort, while the second and third ones require you to really pick your upgrades carefully and invest in class upgrades.
Normally, it wouldn’t be a problem for a roguelike to be lacking in “main story” content, as the genre thrives off of replays and experimentation, but that’s also not the case for Extremely Powerful Capybaras.
The game’s multiple classes feel somewhat different to play as, but it’s hard to find any success without upgrades. This makes it so you are not incentivized to try out any of the different classes. Most of the classes feature awkward firing patterns and underwhelming weapons, which makes it so you don’t even feel like investing in their upgrades anyway.
This also extends to the weapons and passives, which can be upgraded with gold. The game sort of punishes you for straying from your build, so every run largely feels the same. Picking a passive or weapon that you didn’t upgrade beforehand will only hinder you, which kills experimentation.
There also isn’t an incentive to upgrade everything, mostly due to the massive disparity between the weapons. Weapons like the Rodent’s Revenge and Potato Battery feel impossible to beat the game without, while the Jackfruit Meteor and Boomerang Slippers feel like they are never hitting enemies.
The game only features one synergy per class, which lets you upgrade into a stronger version of your class towards the end of the run. This requires you to pick a specific passive and upgrade your main weapon to the max, which seems to happen on a set timer outside of your control as the match progresses.
It’s pretty safe to say that Extremely Powerful Capybaras should have released as an Early Access title. This is by no means a competent 1.0 release, as it feels largely incomplete and shallow, not to mention unbalanced.
The developers have published a roadmap for 2024, starting with quality-of-life changes and a general balancing of the game’s abilities. Those tweaks have the potential to make the game much more enjoyable, but they should have been present from the beginning.
The planned features also include new classes, skins, monsters, and, more importantly, more arenas. There’s no exact date for these changes to arrive, but at the very least, it’s nice to know that they are planned.
At the end of the day, Extremely Powerful Capybaras features a really charming art style, which is unfortunately undermined by a lack of mechanics and content.
The game definitely has the potential to be good in the future, and it would have greatly benefited from being an Early Access title. It’s unfortunate that it has to be treated as a final release for the purpose of this review, since it doesn’t feel like that at all, but it’s what the developers chose.
Hopefully Extremely Powerful Capybaras serves as a cautionary tale for developers who want to hit that 1.0 release as soon as possible. There’s no shame in publishing an Early Access game, in fact, it gives you a lot more leniency that a full release wouldn’t have otherwise.
Extremely Powerful Capybaras was reviewed on Microsoft Windows using a game code provided by PM Studios and Logoi Games. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here. Extremely Powerful Capybaras is available on Microsoft Windows (through Steam).