The wonderful thing about the indie movement is that there are so many teams willing to take risks, try something new, and just have fun. And then there are developers like Free Lives that take that ball and run as hard and fast as they can for the end zone.

Broforce features a cast of recognizable characters that have been bro-ized. There are currently 15 playable bros in the early access build, but Free Lives is aiming for 30 by release. 

During our demo, we had two other players with us. Each new level and every new life (only earned by free bro hostages) assigns a random bro. This makes things more challenging, because each has a different weapon and special ability.

For instance Brade (Wesley Snipes’ Blade) has a sword slash and a flying sword attack. The Brominator (Terminator) has a minigun and can make himself temporarily invincible. 

My favorite was the Bro in Black, who looks like Will Smith’s Agent J from Men in Black. He has a weapon that works like the “noisy cricket.” It’s extremely powerful, but it will send you flying backward.

As we began each new level, we raced from left to right, shooting and generally making things explode into chunks of stone and flesh. It’s a cooperative game, but the funniest moments came when one of us accidentally dropped a ceiling on another player. 

The three of us were giggling the entire time as we killed terrorists, forced our way through the explosions, and murdered Satan at the end of each stage. After the Devil gets his due, a helicopter swoops in, and more often than not only one player makes it out. This creates a competitive environment in the last few moments of each level that drastically changes the dynamic for comical situations.

Broforce’s pixelated action borrows from the recent surge of arena fighters like Towerfall and Samurai Gunn. The clever shift from co-op to competitive play in the final seconds of each stage create a perfect dynamic for couch sessions.

By the time I finished playing Broforce, there were tears in my eyes and my face hurt just a bit from laughing. Broforce is in early access right now, with plans for a summer release.