BetaDwarf's launch of Forced, its co-operative action brawler of critical acclaim, established a sound foundation for the indie studio. It's easy to get trapped in the role of perpetually attempting to recreate the success of previous launches – we've all seen it – and BetaDwarf is working hard to avoid becoming “type-cast” as a maker of co-op arcade-brawlers. But it's risky to build a new IP – so BetaDwarf's taken a rare, but logical path: Build upon the franchise IP with a deviation from the core genre mechanics, netting a new type of game with familiar characters.

Forced: Showdown gameplay takes the primordial composition of “Forced” to build upon the playful, action-driven arena mechanics, but switches a few ingredients. For one, co-operartive play is gone; Showdown is all about single-player arena-crawling. Cards have also been added – like playing cards in a CCG, but simplified. Cards are dealt (and can be mulliganed) at the beginning of each major arena match, adding ancillary mechanics that deepen the pool of strategies. Companions, another add-on, have effectively replaced Spirit Mentor Balfus and add a more brute-force means of supporting the player.

We'll have a full review of Showdown online shortly, but for now, we're giving away twenty keys for the game. We're also handing-out two mechanical keyboards, five jerseys, and five 'swag bags,' thanks to supporting system integrator iBUYPOWER (makers of the Revolt 2 SFF PC).

The first FORCED was an invigorated revisit to the era of Gauntlet, developed before the release of 2014's Gauntlet action RPG. We gave the game high praise in our review, remarking that it was among the best co-operative games available on the market. Through today, FORCED has sold in excess of 300,000 copies – profound success for a relatively new development company.

After the profound success of indie studio Beta Dwarf's recently-launched co-operative arena combat game, FORCED, we figured we'd hand out a couple keys to prove why we thought it was so good. At its peak, the game hit #2 top selling on Steam, landing just below the new Batman game.

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The short of it is this: We teamed up with Beta Dwarf to give away five Steam codes for FORCED, which is built for four-player co-op arena combat (think Gauntlet). If you're not yet familiar with the game, check out our Forced game review & gameplay video:

If you recall our coverage of the indie game "Forced" back when it was still in beta/alpha stages, the game is focused on fast-paced-yet-tactical action combat in an arena-like setting.

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Built around gladiatorial co-operative 4-player combat, teams of players (or solo acts) venture into an arena, slay hordes of monstrosities, and utilize a unique "spirit mentor" object to trigger interactive objects. The Spirit Mentor follows players around with a tap of the space bar, but can be firmly planted in one place with another tap; this can be used to set up triggers, like planting the Spirit Mentor in one region, then tapping space to have it fly through objects on the map (like healing statues).

Intro to Forced aside, Beta Dwarf—the team behind the game—has announced its partnership with Alienware, SteelSeries, and Intel to host a tournament featuring more than $10,000 in prizes. The prizes include SSDs, keyboards, mice, and other hardware.

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