Mini Royale: Nations – A Fun First-Person Shooter
Looking for a browser-based shooter to play on your lunch break at work or while at school? Mini Royale: Nations might be the game for you.
The free-to-play first-person shooter, built by Web3 game studio Faraway, adopts a Fortnite-esque cartoonish art style with fast-paced, run-and-gun, Call of Duty-like gameplay. And on top of that, the game lets users connect their Solana or Ethereum wallet to buy and use NFTs of weapon and character skins.
It’s a simplistic shooter, as the web-based approach suggests, but it’s still pretty amazing that you can hop on from nearly any modern computer for some competitive thrills. And the NFT elements are a fun sweetener, albeit not essential to the experience. Still, some quirks and hitches keep Mini Royale from being a consistently good time.
Game Modes and Weapons
Mini Royale: Nations is relatively streamlined, with only two current play modes—team deathmatch and capture-the-flag—which play exactly how you’d expect if you’re familiar with other modern first-person shooter games. But additional modes are “coming soon.”
You can wield a total of 10 weapons in the game, with a variety of assault rifles, SMGs, a sniper rifle, and a shotgun—most of which you unlock off the bat. Before you drop in, you’ll pick your loadout including player model, primary and secondary weapons, and a smoke grenade.
Once in-game, the weapons feel nicely responsive with manageable recoil, and have decently detailed models, while the maps are solidly designed and feel natural to explore. Early on, you’re put into lobbies full of unskilled bots, which make your first few games exhilarating while you dunk on easy opponents. That said, it’s hard to know when lobbies are no longer loaded with bots.
Player Movement and Game Balance
Mini Royale’s player movement feels a bit like Counter-Strike, with bunny hopping in the mix—but unlike in Valve’s smash team shooter, there’s little skill to it here. Just spam the spacebar and you’ll continue jumping at speed. Even so, I found this to be a fun and effective way to get around the map while using a close-range weapon.
That said, due to the relatively slim number of guns, it’s very easy to figure out which ones will dominate. The AK47 and MK18 feel like the strongest weapons overall, as both have great short and medium-range damage. The SMGs are also effective, but you have to adapt your play style to get up close and personal—they’re awful at medium range.
Meanwhile, smoke grenades render a truly pathetic puff of smoke, making them almost completely useless. Don’t bother with them. The time to kill (TTK) mark for most weapons is super low, especially if you hit an enemy in the head. However, sniper rifles aren’t very satisfying due to a lack of one-hit kills to the chest, plus small maps that limit their use.