Baron: Fur is Gonna Fly – Review
Follow Genre: 2D Battle Royale
Developer: Dogmelon Games Pty Ltd.
Publisher: Dogmelon Games Pty Ltd.
Platform: Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC
Tested on: Switch

Baron: Fur is Gonna Fly – Review

Site Score
6.5
Good: Catchy original soundtrack
Bad: Very little variety
User Score
7.5
(2 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 7.5/10 (2 votes cast)

What do you get when you cross biplanes, the first World War and cartoon animals? It’s a question we never thought we’d ask ourselves, but Dogmelon has offered the answer in the form of their new game Baron: Fur is Gonna Fly (referred to simply as ‘Baron’ hereafter, for the sake of brevity). We took a look at the aerial battle royale. Strap in, it’s gonna be a bumpy flight.

Story

Set against the background of the Great War, Baron is all about aerial dogfights, with the title referring to the infamous Red Baron. The twist here is that the pilots that duke it out are a variety of semi-anthropomorphic animals. The selection of animals is actually surprisingly broad, with the oddest inclusion being a snake. Of course, the titular Baron is a dog, simply because of the obligatory “dogfight”-pun.

At first glance, Baron seems incredibly light on story content. We had the impression that the developers were expecting us to fill in the blanks based on our historical knowledge. There are no cutscenes or intro text to be found anywhere. However, one of the first things you’ll notice when booting up the game is the soundtrack, which features not only period-appropriate music but actual singing as well. This is covered more in-depth a bit further in this review, but the lyrics provide the backstories for each of the pilots, adding a surprising layer of story to Baron. 

Graphics

Baron gives a fantastic first impression, as one of the first things you’ll see when booting up the game are the designs of the animal pilots. These have been rendered as characterful drawings that ooze personality. Unfortunately, these top-notch illustrations are the peak of what Baron has to offer in the graphics department. While the drawings are beautiful, they never go further than still images and once you get into the actual gameplay, things are less impressive visually. Most of the game is spent piloting bi-planes, and the in-game models for these just don’t look very impressive. Part of this is because of the fast-paced gameplay, meaning you won’t really have time to appreciate intricate plane models but the contrast with the rest of the game’s looks is big. 

Sound

The soundtrack for Baron impresses from the get-go and is clearly the highlight of the game. It features 10 original songs presented in an old-timey style, including a victory song for each of the pilots. The songs are catchy, upbeat and really manage to capture an appropriate atmosphere. At the time of writing, they haven’t been made available to listen online, but here’s hoping the soundtrack album makes its way to a streaming platform soon. The lyrics provide the backstories for the characters, and they can get surprisingly dark, despite the cheerful tunes. Both the lyrics and the tracks themselves can be found as a separate feature as well. 

Gameplay

The meat of the game lies in its aerial dogfights. After selecting a pilot and plane of your choice, you’re thrown into an arena where you duke it out with other pilots, attempting to get as many kills as possible. In this way, Baron has somewhat of a Super Smash Bros feel to it, with quick and chaotic fights that are all about tactically avoiding your enemies while you try to ramp up your score. As such, it is best enjoyed as a multiplayer game. While the single-player mode plays essentially the same, it’s just not as satisfying to take down enemy AI rather than players that sit next to you. 

Controls are simple and responsive: planes are controlled with the left control stick and the A-button serves as both the take-off button and the shoot button. Once you are in the air, you can maneuver your plane and flying off the left side of the screen has you re-appear on the right side. You can’t really turn around and fly in the other direction unless you rotate your plane upside-down, so getting up close with the enemy is all about aerial acrobatics such as loops and nosedives. Given the simple control scheme, it’s quite easy to get a good grip on flying your plane. This adds to the pick-up-and-play multiplayer nature of the game. Players can make their own profile, which keeps track of their records, or they can instantly jump into the fray using a guest profile. The variety of available planes offers a bit of tactical depth, as they all play in a slightly different way. Some trade speed for firepower, while others sacrifice maneuverability for defense. Upgrades can be purchased as well, although this does mean that weathered players might have a better plane than guests do. 

A single-player practice mode is also present, inviting you to hone your flying skills by collecting coins while a timer counts down. It’s a quick way to get used to the controls, although it does get somewhat repetitive. The major flaw in Baron lies in the lack of substance over style. This is a well-polished game, and while it’s obvious that a lot of care has gone into what’s on offer, it’s ultimately a shallow affair. The best way to explain it is by comparing Baron to a meal: there’s a ton of side dishes but the main course is lacking. For all the care that has gone into customizing your plane, the tight but simple controls, the character designs and the soundtrack, Baron’s main attraction, the actual gameplay, doesn’t have a lot to offer. The arenas are -literally- empty affairs, and could have benefited from variety by including stage hazards, such as trees, barns and the like. Every round of Baron feels and plays exactly the same, and if you expect to get a satisfying experience in the single-player mode, you’ll be left disappointed. This is why Baron works as a fun multiplayer game, as it’s super easy to pick up and play, but it also grows stale really quickly. 

Conclusion

Baron is a game that never fully reaches its full potential. There’s a decent foundation here, but not enough variety to make it interesting for long play sessions. Nevertheless, the fantastic soundtrack is worth checking out, and although the core of the game is a shallow affair, there is some fun to be had with the multiplayer mode. Here’s hoping Dogmelon will bring the Baron IP back in a title that has more to offer. 

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Rating: 7.5/10 (2 votes cast)
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Baron: Fur is Gonna Fly - Review, 7.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Sebastiaan Raats
Sebastiaan Raats


1 Comment

  1. […] reviewed Baron: Fur is Gonna Fly right when it came out, you can read our opinion of it here. But already the game is getting its first update, adding a whopping four new game modes to the […]

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