Happy Wars is a free-to-play multiplayer action game developed by Toylogic and published by Microsoft for the Xbox 360 (via Xbox Live Arcade) on October 12, 2012. In a war between the light and dark kingdoms (caused by no good reason), each battle has two teams of up to fifteen knights trying to siege each other's castle by capturing spawn points and using special class-based powers (including special powers requiring multiple players).
By fighting in battles, players can earn new gear, granting them better weapons, shields, and armor (most of which can have unique buffs). Players also earn Happy Stars, which can also be used to upgrade the player's gear, modify buffs to the player's gear, or gamble in a wheel (to earn new gear). Players can also earn experience points and level up their overall stats, increasing their gear weight limit (allowing them to take more powerful gear), and allowing them to play new single-player campaign missions.
As a free-to-play game, the game also supports microtransactions in the form of Happy Tickets. Generally 10 msp ($0.125) per Ticket (and can only be purchased in 80 msp, 400 msp, and 1200 msp increments), players can use Tickets to buy special gear (from either the Item Shop or by the Happy Cards random sets of items), special player customization options, and gear modifications (as an alternative to Happy Stars). While respawning, players can use a large amount of Happy Stars or Happy Tickets to add a major temporary buff (such as reducing the AP cost of Skills).
The beta of the game was originally released alongside the beta to the Xbox 360 dashboard update for Fall 2012. The game has received a variety of special events and updates after release, adding new gear (including a collaboration with Castle Crashers and ilomilo) and themed game modes.
In Happy Wars, two teams of fifteen players (either humans or AI bots), face off with the goal of breaching each other's castle and taking down each other's "Big Tower". Players earn advantages by taking down each opponent, performing support actions, and capturing "Towers" as respawn points. Each player has the choice of playing as one of three classes:
Warrior - Specializing in close-ranged combat, the Warrior has a powerful sword and shield (which can be held in defense while attacking, unlike the Cleric's shield). The Warrior has a variety of unique special attacks, including a "dash attack" for persuing enemies that are retreating and a "rapid stab attack" for assaulting enemies that are stunned.
Cleric - Specializing in support functions, the Cleric has basic close-ranged gear (including a mace and a shield). The Cleric provides various defensive magic to its allies (which includes healing, resurrecting, armor buffing, and speed buffing) and can provide materials to build special offensive and defensive objects (ballistas and revolver-style cannons for bombarding enemies, ladders and battering rams for castle-sieging).
Mage - Specializing in ranged magic, the Mage carries a basic staff that can deal multiple types of attacks. Mages can also add elemental powers to their allies' weapons (or their own weapons), set elemental traps around the battlefield, and deal very powerful spells.
Players move their knight with the left stick and move the camera (around the knight) with the right stick. Continuously pressing the X button performs a melee attack and holding down the Right Trigger either deploys the knight's shield (Warrior and Cleric) or performs a ranged magic attack (Mage). Ranged magic attacks take up a certain part of the player's AP bar (which charged up over time).
Each class has a variety of Skills, each split up into three categories (based on the buttons that activate them): A Skill, B Skill, and Y Skill. The Y Skill is reserved for special Team Skills, which require other players to join in a specific formation (with some Team Skills being more effective with more players). Players start with 2-3 random skills at Skill Level 1 and earn new Skills by earning experience points. Up to five extra Skills (chosen at random) can be earned (by leveling up to Skill Level 5). Certain equipment have buffs (such as Heal+ and Smash+) that allow players to start with a particular Skill.
Each Skill has a cooldown timer and take up a certain part of the AP bar (which charges up over time).
For the Heal, Resurrect, Dash, Sacred Armor, and the four Enchant skills, pressing the specified skill button once activates the Toggle Mode. In Toggle Mode, the player is stationary and defenseless, and uses the left stick to choose which teammate (including him/herself) gets the receiving end of the Skill. Pressing the button again activates it. Pressing the X button in Toggle Mode cancels it.
- Smash - Knocks any unshielded enemies in front of the user away (an upgraded version of the Shield Smash attack).
- Spinning Blade - Spins around in circles (maintaining a forward momentum), dealing constant slashing damage against nearby enemies. Spinning the Left Stick while the Skill is in effect increases the damage dealt.
- Charged Attack - Stores energy to be used in a damaging uppercut. While walking slow, holding down the A Button allows the user can charge up to five stages (each stage adding to the damage dealt for the uppercut).
- Rush - Runs forward while slashing around, knocking enemies back.
- Stone Throw - Throws a stone (or other random object, such as a baseball) at the enemy. Has a chance to knockout enemies (especially when hit from the back).
- Roar - Performs an agonizing roar, stunning unshielded enemies around the user for a short time.
- Super Guard - Boosts the user's shield, allowing them to block more powerful attacks (including meteors and cannon fire) while blocking those behind them.
- Rocket Man - Flies like a missile towards a nearby enemy (after charging for a short time), dealing an explosion that knocks enemies back (while dealing heavy damage).
- Cheer - Temporarily boosts the maximum HP, maximum AP (slightly), and attacking power of all participating players.
- Group Rush - All participating players automatically perform a longer version of the Warrior's Rush skill. Requires 3 or more players to perform.
- Iron Phalanx - Deploys shields to all participating players (including Mages), granting them the Warrior's ability to attack while shielding. A large circle follows the user, boosting defense to all participants inside the circle.
- Heal - Casts healing magic that fully heals the selected player (either the user or nearby allies in the user's range).
- Sanctuary - Casts a circle around the user that speeds up HP recovery of all allied players inside. Over time, the circle shrinks and then disappears.
- Resurrect - Casts magic that revives (with full health) the selected dead teammate.
- Dispel - Casts a blast around the user that negates the positive effects/enchantments of nearby enemies, the negative effects of nearby allies, and nearby enemy summoned materials.
- Summon Materials - Summons materials (when used at certain points throughout the map) for constructing certain objects, including ballistas, cannons, ladders, and battering rams. If materials are left untouched after a certain amount of time, they disperse automatically. Finished objects can be destroyed by attacking them.
- Sacred Armor - Casts a temporary armor buff on the selected ally (or the user) which resembles a drink carton. All damage is negated until a certain amount of hits on the player.
- Dash - Casts a temporary speed boost to the selected ally (or the user).
- Wall - Casts a long temporary stone wall to block access (which can be destroyed by constant attacks).
- Sacred Song - Temporarily boosts the maximum HP (slightly), maximum AP, and defensive power of all participating players.
- Happy Miracle - Resurrects all nearby dead teammates and temporarily transforms all nearby enemies into harmless flowers (which is killed in one hit and cannot attack, block, or use Skills). Requires 3 or more other players to perform.
- Transport - Teleports all participants to an allied tower or castle of the user's choosing.
- Wind Enchant - Grants a temporary wind enchantment to the weapon of the selected player. Normal melee attacks have a high chance to stagger enemies backwards.
- Ice Enchant - Grants a temporary ice enchantment to the weapon of the selected player. Normal melee attacks have a low chance to freeze enemies in place.
- Fire Enchant - Grants a temporary fire enchantment to the weapon of the selected player. Normal melee attacks deal more damage.
- Lightning Enchant - Grants a temporary lightning enchantment to the weapon of the selected player. Normal melee attacks have a high chance to slow enemies down.
- Lightning Strike - Casts an area-of-effect lightning strike that damages and knocks nearby enemies away.
- Blizzard - Casts a large area-of-effect ice blast that damages nearby enemies while having a chance of freezing them.
- Wind Trap - Casts a hard-to-see proximity-detonated trap on the ground that throws nearby enemies around (while dealing damage).
- Magic Napalm - Casts a hard-to-see remotely-detonated trap on the ground that throws nearby enemies around (while dealing damage).
- Lightning Arrows - All participating players launch a hail of magical arrows across a long distance. Each participating player controls the general direction of their arrows by their current direction. They are also immobile and defenseless while the hail is active.
- Meteor Storm - Drops numerous meteors around the user, each large fireball dealing massive damage to nearby enemies. Requires 2 or more other participants to perform.
- Tornado - Creates a large, slow, controllable tornado that picks up nearby enemies and throws them around for an instant kill. All participating players are immobile and defenseless while the tornado is active (or until they get knocked back by an attack). The tornado's direction is determined by the direction the main user is facing (with little effect by the direction the participating teammates are facing). Requires 3 or more other participants to perform.