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The cuddly yet violent Super Animal Royale is free to play for the next few days

If you've been looking for a sweet and cuddly take on battle royale, your whiskers may be twitching this morning. That's because Super Animal Royale just entered Steam Early Access. It's battle royale with adorable animals as its competitors, such as foxes, tigers, bears, and rabbits. It's still perfectly violent, mind you: these woodland creatures are packing some serious heat. It's also free to play for the next three days on Steam, and having played several rounds this morning I highly recommend trying it out.

In Super Animal Royale you're carried by an enormous duck across the map, then descend using an open umbrella as your parachute. So cute. There are deadly weapons of all kinds to scavenge, including pistols, rifles, shotguns, miniguns, and grenades, plus some cute variants, like a banana you can throw that leaves a peel on the ground for enemies to slip on. There's a vehicle, too, in the form of a giant hamster ball. I hopped in one and got my very first kill by running someone over in it. 

Rather than supply airdrops, crates are periodically delivered by an adorable bespectacled mole who pops out of the ground. In other words, it's a darn cute game and I've been having fun with it. Matches take under 10 minutes if you survive to the end—I've placed second but I've yet to claim a fuzzy victory. Solos and duos are available, and squad play will come along at some point in Early Access.

As you play you receive new cosmetics and animal DNA you can eventually combine in your lab to unlock new furry characters. There aren't a heck of a lot of players in Super Animal Royale at the moment, but as the game is about to begin the lobby gets populated by bots so your match will always have plenty of targets. And as for actual players, when you're not killing each other, they can be your dance partners.

As staff writer, Chris has a love/hate relationship with Early Access survival games and an odd fascination with the lives of NPCs. He learned how to make animated gifs a while ago and now it's pretty much all he does.