I was first introduced to Baron: Fur is Gonna Fly during PAX East 2019. I thought to myself, I don’t really play couch co-op so it’s probably not for me. It’s a 2D pilot game loosely based off of Air Combat from the First World War, but with anthropomorphic animals as the pilots. After watching the trailer and chuckling from the witty writing, I HAD to play it and I am glad I did! With simple controls and quick rounds, Baron: Fur is Gonna Fly, is a fun couch co-op game that hardcore gamers and non-gamers alike can enjoy.

Controls and Gameplay:

Baron: Fur is Gonna Fly is a simple to get the hang of, but a hard game to master. What I mean by that is that, anyone can play for a few minutes and get the basic controls down and be effective at shooting others down. However, to get really good and develop tactics and moves, it will take some work. That’s fine though, because you can enjoy it without pulling off crazy twists and loops. You use the thumb stick to steer and one button to shoot the guns. Like I said, simple at it’s core. However, learning how to dodge shots by swooping down, pulling off barrel rolls and making loop de loops, is another story.

The physics engine that Baron uses is more advanced than I would have expected for an arcadey game. If you go into too steep of a dive for too long, you will be lucky to pull up before crashing into the ground. If you climb too much, your engines will stall and you may not recover. This is where the difficulty comes in. If you can master the complex maneuvers, you can survive a little longer. The plane you choose also plays a role. For example, the Bleriot moves slower than other plans but turns better and the Morane climbs better than other planes. No one plane is better than another, but they each have their strengths and weaknesses. Choosing the right plane for your skill level will help you shoot down your rival animals.

 

The Pilots:

The pilots are animals with clever names such as Colonel Hock (the pig) and Captain Stilton (the mouse). They are also dressed in uniforms inspired from the belligerent nations of the First World War. The Dachshund for example, is dressed and named like an Imperial German officer. The choice of pilots has zero impact on how they control, so feel free to pick your favorite animal. I liked these choices in character design and name, because it adds to the atmosphere of Baron. In addition, it’s some of the witty writing I mentioned earlier. Another example is the newspaper headlines between each round. These newspapers not only highlight the winner of the prior round, but they also have little humorous quotes. Another humorous quote from the trailer that made me laugh was “Totally Authentic.” – History Expert which appears on the screen right while wacky special weapons have been shown throughout the trailer.

Special Weapons:

Baron has special weapons that are available in multiplayer mode. These really change what happens in the skirmishes. There is a flamethrower, a magnet, a black hole and several others. These can used to send your opponents crashing to the ground in dramatic fashion. You have be to careful about using these though since they are on a cool down. You also need to be careful about where you deploy them. The anvil for example drops straight down, so letting it fly near the bottom of the screen all but ensures you will miss. These weapons add a layer to the fun by making the skies filled with hazards and peril.

 

 

Graphics and Sound:

I really like the art style in Baron. Dogmelon Games didn’t try and make anything too fancy which works well since it fit’s the whole motif of Baron. The sound effects work perfectly as well. I like the hum of the engines and the zoom the planes make during flight. The music is another area where Baron shines with the wit though. The music is a man playing piano and singing rascally tunes with lines like “Nobody likes a snake”. Think of a pub full of soldiers in a war movie where one of the patrons is tickling the ivories and singing tunes. It adds the atmosphere of Baron quite well.

The Final Verdict:

Baron: Fur is Gonna Fly is a great couch co-op game. You can have up to 8 players at one time. I only played with one other person and two bots and that was bonkers, so I am guessing 8 would be absolutely mad. This is the kind of game that people cooped at home would really enjoy right now. It’s appropriate and simple enough for kids and non-gamers so everyone can enjoy it. I really enjoy playing it on the Nintendo Switch. It is also available on Xbox One and Steam so you have options. Overall, I think Baron: Fur is Gonna Fly is a great game and one worth playing with family and friends (especially if you are stuck at home right now like the rest of the world)!

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