BENGALURU: Reader, I know you are knowledgeable. You may already know of Pavlov’s theory of classical conditioning. I believe you are smart enough to recognise a stimulus when you encounter it. Brawl Stars is mine. It’s a free, online-multiplayer mobile game. Everything about Brawl Stars makes me happy. It took a week, and I have willingly succumbed. The sounds of the trophies adding up to my name gives me joy. My jaw unclenches. My mouth smiles. My eyes widen. Opening a Brawl Box provides me with such an optimistic curiosity, for I know it can never disappoint. I love Brawl Stars. And it has only been a week.
“But Anusha, you WILL get bored of it at some point.” NO. I mean, probably. But that’s thinking too far ahead. Matchmaking is instant, games are short, and there are multiple different modes to win over. Most importantly — there are dozens of different Brawlers to unlock. You will also want to gain mastery over them, because they are each like different ice-cream flavours, but with unique powers and ultimate weapons. You will also want to keep playing. Brawl Stars has a trophy-based progression. You win, you get tokens and trophies, and then you gain points. You use points to upgrade your Brawlers, and then you try them out again. Like ice-cream toppings. They know how to lure you.
“But Anusha, your bubble will burst when you hit a paywall”. Ah yes. A well-made, free-to-download game is but an illusion. But Brawl Stars lets you have your fill. You can play hours of it before ever having the temptation of buying a Brawl Pass. The feeling will pass. You will continue unlocking more Brawlers through trophies, upgrade with nothing but continuous play and practice, and win games with your skill for hours to come.
“But Anusha, remember PUBG?” What is fear, if not mistakes of the past persevering? PUBG Mobile was toxic. They made you play for a whole 25 minutes, only for a dude in a green suit to hit you on the head with a pan. 25 minutes, only for an arbitrary blue line to cause you intense hurt. Brawl Stars isn’t like that. It’s bite sized. So, you don’t feel sad when you lose, because you’ll already be done with another round where you WIN. I give Brawl Stars a rating of all my stars.
(This economics graduate spends her leisure time preparing for the zombie apocalypse)