Brawl Stars is a game that I've been eager to write about since I started playing along with the soft launch beta back in May. During that time, the game has improved and evolved leading up to its global launch this week that was paired with a major update to the main screen interface and the in-game graphics. In my opinion, Brawl Stars has never looked or played so well.

Developed by now Tencent-owned Supercell, Brawl Stars is a fast-paced MOBA that combines the colorful and cartoony art style the company is known for with a varied roster of playable characters. It's a nice departure for fans of Supercell's other games like Clash of Clans, Boom Beach, or Clash Royale as the player finally gets full movement and attack control rather than just sending troops onto the battlefield.

I always appreciate mobile games that give full control to the player, and Brawl Stars' gameplay really shines. Each new character offers a unique play style and strategy to experiment with, and each match plays out differently based on your selected character, the game mode and map, and your PvP opponents. Brawl Stars is perfect for quick gaming sessions, with game modes and maps set on a 6-hour rotation. That means every day there are four fresh game modes to play, with Supercell occasionally offering community created maps and match modifiers to spice things up.

Brawl Stars features addictive gameplay that gives full control over to the player to play your own way.

You're also able to create custom game rooms so you can team up with two friends and strategically pick your characters to maximize your effectiveness as a team. I've admittedly used this feature sparingly, though, because the randomly generated matches are just as fun.

Since this is a Supercell game with in-app purchases available, you might be wondering how the progression system works. Rare content can be earned randomly in reward chests, bought using gems or coins in the in-game shop, or earned through collecting trophies from battles won. You earn up to six trophies for each win and lose up to three trophies for each loss. Early on, the game rewards you frequently — you unlock three common brawlers by the time you reach 250 trophies — but eventually those larger rewards are replaced with in-game currency or character upgrade cards with new characters only unlocked at every 1000-trophy milestone.

Your brawler's stats increase every time you level them up, which requires cards and coins collected from chests. Once you've maxed a character out at level nine you unlock the brawler's Star Power, which is just there to give you some added motivation to max out all your characters. You do not have to spend money in Brawl Stars to have fun with it, but I did end up spending $3 on a starter pack of gems that let me afford to buy a new character from the shop. I think that's a fair deal to support a game I love this much, and I really appreciate that Supercell hasn't done anything that just time locks you out from playing the game.

In my opinion, Brawl Stars is one of the best games of 2018 and I'm so glad that the whole world can get in on the fun. Whether you're a casual gamer or looking to sink some cash into a new mobile obsession, you've got to check this one out for yourself.

Download: Brawl Stars (Free w/IAPs)