Brotato – PS5 Review 2

Brotato is an auto-shooting ‘survivors’ game from French coding soloist Thomas Gervraud, otherwise known as Blobfish.  Debuting on Steam in late 2022, the game caught the wave of popularity that Vampire Survivors brought to the genre but while it shares some common DNA with it, Brotato has a style and gameplay loop all of its own.  Also, and notably, this reviewer spent 230 hours playing the absolute arse off of the Switch version last year with it absolutely being my favourite game of last year.

On the surface, Brotato offers a pretty simple premise.  You play as a potato that has six arms, each of which can hold a weapon.   You run around using the left-stick and, well, that’s it.  Your potato shoots at whatever enemy is nearest (although there is a manual aiming option if you want to override that) and you just have to weave among the many, many creatures that fill up the screen picking up materials which act as the game’s currency.  Run the clock down and you complete the wave of which there are twenty, the majority of which last a minute.

Once you finish a wave, you’ll be given the chance to pick an upgrade for one of your stats (things like damage, fire-rate, HP, armour, luck and so forth) and then you’ll be thrown into a shop where you can spend those materials on new weapons or items before you’re thrown back out into combat.

What sets apart Brotato from many other games in the genre is the sheer variety of things to spend your money on and, in turn, how those choices shape your play.  Take the basic playable character (‘Well Rounded’).  They don’t favour any particular weapon style or way of playing.  So you could go ham with melee weapons or equip six ranged ones.  Or a mix.  You could opt for weapons that generate turrets or ones that bounce off of multiple foes.  You can go for a speedier rate of fire or focus on power.  All the while picking stats that also have an effect on your damage output.

And with fifty potatoes to pick from and just as many items to unlock on top of the wide range you start with, Brotato is much more a game about strategy and tactics than it is about raw arcade skill.  Indeed, decent shoot ’em up players will probably struggle with the game’s easiest difficulty settings (aside from some difficulty sliders which I advise you to not mess with unless you want to completely ruin an otherwise brilliant game) until they figure out a few things.  And there’s a lot to figure out.

Even the fifty potatoes all play differently too.  Aside from just being suited to either melee or ranged, variations include characters that only have one arm, or twelve!  One can only attack by exploding when he takes damage, another gets rid of all their weapons at the end of a wave (but buys new ones for cheaper prices) and so on.  Again, there’s so much to discover that listing it all here is pointless.  The joy in Brotato is finding all this out.  But it’s great how each character has their own quirks that affect the gameplay.  In the screenshot below you can see the character ‘Old’ who is slow but earns money quicker.  He also plays on an arena that is 33% smaller than everyone else’s.

It’s worth talking about the game’s trophies here as they’re all based on the unlock conditions for earning new characters which can all be done on Danger 0 which is the lowest default difficulty (again, ignore those sliders).  You will have to win a run on the other five difficulties and between all of that you’ll have your Platinum but that’s not what I did on the Switch version.  Those 230 hours were spent beating every character on Danger 5 which was some of the most addictive, frustrating and brilliant gaming I’ve experienced on the Switch.  So if you want to get the most out of the game, that’s what you’ll do.

For the most part the game has ported across to the PS5 pretty successfully despite feeling more at home on a handheld format.  On a bigger screen the visuals seem a smidge less sharp and the screen-shaking effect is more jarring (get into those options and turn that off right away) but we found the adjustment to be pretty quick and were enjoying the game again in no time.  There’s a slight advantage in using the ultra-comfortable DualSense over the Switch Lite’s analog control but given the lack of a story, this is the kind of game that you where you can have other things going on and that suits the handheld format a bit more.  Either works though.

The main takeaway though is that Brotato is still an absolute banger.  For us, it’s the best game in the genre, toppling even the mighty Vampire Survivors.  The fun-packed blasting and the dopamine-spiking upgrading makes for a game that represents pure enjoyable distilled into a simple, elegant package.  It’s a game that should last you weeks and months but none of it will be wasted.  Even if you’ll want to throw your controller out of the window when you die on Wave 20.  But you won’t because you’ll be restarting before you know it.


9 Overall
+ Powerfully addictive
+ Tons of replayability
+ Fun upgrading/loot
- Simple presentation
In a sea of auto-shooting survival games, Brotato is by far the best. It's as maddening as it is addictive but in the best way.

About Richie

Rich is the editor of PlayStation Country. He likes his games lemony and low-budget with a lot of charm. This isn't his photo. That'll be Rik Mayall.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2 thoughts on “Brotato – PS5 Review