The following game software was reviewed on an Xbox Series X.
Asterix and Obelix: Slap Them All is a sidescrolling beat-em-up developed Mr. Nutz Studio and published by Microids. Based on the long-running French comic book series, players will take control of either Asterix, the shorter Gaul Viking with the brains, and Obelix, our larger Gaul friend that is always by Asterix. Each character has their own move set but both characters largely play the same, with Asterix being the much faster character and the one I ultimately stuck with while playing the game solo. Of course, the game does offer local cooperative play and I highly suggest you play that way.
The visuals and music are quite lovely and are easily some of my favourite parts of the game. The hand-drawn artwork and animations look beautiful and flow well at the game’s 60 frames per second target. Backgrounds offer bright cheery colours that do not clash with the sprites, and the characters are animated in the style of the recent 2D films. There are moments of dialogue scenes peppered through which might land a chuckle or two, but sadly they are not voiced. While Asterix and Obelix do talk throughout the levels, you will not be able to hear everything they say unless you are playing with a friend. Despite that, there is quite a bit of love for the series here and it is quite nice to see.
The game is split into six acts, with several missions in-between. Much of the levels are straightforward brawling, with waves of primarily Roman baddies (but other mean grunts seen in the comics) flowing into the stage, ready to get slapped. Enemy encounters generally feel weak, which can be fun as you pick up the bad guys and chuck them to and fro, knocking out the many, many other enemies the game throws at you. But it does get repetitive and I found myself getting a bit bored after the third act. There are unique stages thrown in on occasion, such as button mashing to win a race or breaking barrels for points, but I do wish they were more frequently used to break up the monotony of button mashing enemies into the ground. And unfortunately, like many hand-drawn sidescrolling games, Slap Them All! throws so many enemies at the player that they can easily lose sight of Asterix or Obelix, often forcing just a crowd control kind of playstyle lest they want to be stun-locked to death.
Asterix and Obelix: Slap Them All! is a game I would play with my younger siblings. It is a simplistic brawler that becomes repetitive after going through a few acts, but has great visuals and shows the surprising amount of charm such an old series carries today. There are certainly better beat-em-up options out there, but I did find this game more fun than the recent Battletoads, so I think that says something.