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Overview

A screenshot of a battle against one of the enemies that appears later in the game.
A screenshot of a battle against one of the enemies that appears later in the game.

Sonny is the first commercial release in Krin Juangbhanich's series of indie RPGs. It was released 1/12/2017 on iOS and on 04/18/2017 for Steam. An Android version is in the works.

It functions as a sort of remake of the series up to this point, though while it features some of the same characters and several similar plot points, it acts as a completely new, self-contained and complete story. It's a combat-focused game, with turn-based battles against waves of enemies that must be completed in order to advance the story. Sonny places a heavy emphasis on choosing the right party members and skills with various buffs and de-buffs as you progress to defeat enemies. Before each battle, players can swap out skills they have learned in order to handle each unique situation. Sonny is meant to be a turn-based RPG that relies on strategy and planning rather than level grinding, with a significant difficulty curve.

Plot

Kara confronts an enemy.
Kara confronts an enemy.

On a ship under attack in the middle of the ocean, the hero, Sonny, is brought back to life by an injection administered by a man who introduces himself as Louis. Sonny discovers he is now a zombie, but unlike the other creatures swarming the ship, he is capable of thought, speech, and reason, though he can't remember anything about his life or who he was before he died. As Louis teaches him how to defend himself, Sonny comes to realise he's caught up in something big, and ultimately sets out on a journey to find the source of the zombie epidemic and discover who he is and what happened to him. Along the way, he meets an unlikely group of allies, including a battle-suit wearing and gruffly spoken combat medic named Veradux, and becomes embroiled in a bizarre conspiracy.

Gameplay

Sonny is broken up into a series of chapters, each taking place in a different location, and advancing through them requires you to win a series of battles against waves of enemies. During combat, party members and enemies have a bar that fills up to allow them to act, though the player can only control Sonny directly. Tapping to select an enemy will bring up a radial menu with all of Sonny's available abilities, and tapping on one of those icons will execute the skill.

An example of Sonny's combat options. Faded icons represent passive skills.
An example of Sonny's combat options. Faded icons represent passive skills.

Most skills have a basic cooldown period of several turns before they can be used again, necessitating players to think carefully about when and how they use them during many battles. While most skills deal a basic amount of damage, all of them have secondary effects that need to be taken into consideration to maximize your chances of winning. An ability might temporarily stun an enemy, for instance, causing them to fail to execute a powerful attack, or it might make them more susceptible to damage of a specific type for a few rounds, or even have a chance of applying a buff to Sonny.

Later in the game, Sonny gains the ability to temporarily "evolve" skills for the duration of combat. When the evolve gauge below Sonny fills, he can tap and hold on any of his skills to be presented with three choices for evolution. These selections are random, and can range from increasing an ability's critical hit percentage, to applying defensive bonuses to Sonny himself. Sonny can evolve multiple skills throughout battle, but all evolution bonuses are wiped when combat ends.

One of Sonny's skill trees. The radial menu on the left shows his available slots and the skills he has equipped.
One of Sonny's skill trees. The radial menu on the left shows his available slots and the skills he has equipped.

As Sonny levels up from winning battles, you earn skill points you can put towards unlocking more abilities from his skill tree, or enhancing those you already possess. While Sonny can only have a certain number of skills "equipped" at a time regardless of whether they function as attacks, healing, or passive boosts, players can freely swap any learned skills in and out between battles. They can also pay using gold earned from enemies to reallocate all points previously spent.

Since Sonny's focus is on strategy, grinding levels for your party often isn't the answer. Enemies are frequently more powerful and often more numerous than your party, and come with their own skills and abilities. Players will need to discover how to exploit weaknesses and the best skill and character load outs to handle increasingly difficult battles beyond the tutorial stages, where enemies can deal massive damage or apply devastating status effects unless kept in check. As there are no consumable items to be used to heal, players must take note of which characters possess healing abilities and when to use them.

Outside of combat, Sonny can choose to train, which allows him to fight against a random assortment of enemies for that area to gain more experience, gold, and items. He can also visit the shop to purchase equipment. Party members can equip a weapon, a piece of body armor, a helmet, and an accessory, all of which influence stats like speed, strength, defense, and so on. From the inventory screen, players can spend gold to enhance any item up to five times each, which increases a random stat or potentially even applies a buff such as Haste. As more characters join the party throughout the story, they can be freely swapped in and out of formation between battles, since only three (including Sonny) can go into combat at a time.

History

The original game released in 2007 in Flash.
The original game released in 2007 in Flash.

Sonny began as a series of free Flash browser-based RPGs released on Armor Games. The first game, also called Sonny, was released in December of 2007 and has been played over 10,000,000 times on Armor Games alone. Sonny 2 was released on Armor Games in February of 2009, and has been played nearly 25,000,000 times since then. The series gained an enormous fan following over the years for its complexity and strategic focus, with players creating and sharing strategy guides for playing the game using various character builds and skills.

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