By Phil Schipper / February 5th, 2015
|Title||Robot Roller Derby Disco Dodgeball|
|Release Date||March 28, 2014 (Early Access)|
I must say that out of all the game titles I’ve seen, Robot Roller-Derby Disco Dodgeball does one of the best jobs of describing exactly what happens in the game. There really are robots, rolling around a disco arena (though it’s slightly more rave than disco) and playing dodgeball.
Like real dodgeball, there are two ways to get an opponent out of the match: by hitting it with a ball, or by catching one of its throws. Throws charge the longer you hold down the left mouse button, building greater speed and distance. Catching, on the other hand, is pretty tough. You have to get the ball more or less centered in your first-person view and click just at the moment it’s in front of you.
However, unlike in the real-life sport, you are a robot with wheels after all. Movement is a chaotic dance of acceleration, brakes, boosts and jumps. Your momentum determines whether you make a rolling charged jump straight across the arena over all obstacles, or just hit a wall, and you have to pay attention to it while keeping track of where nearby balls and opponents are. (Being a robot also means you explode when you’re out.)
Out of all the various modes in this game, Elimination sticks most faithfully to the rules of dodgeball, but it is probably one of the least fun to play. Most of the modes are closer to staples of first-person shooters, like Deathmatch or Capture the Flag. Score matches are based on points from “trick shots” such as ricochets, midair shots and the like. And, finally, there are the unusual ones, where you race around checkpoints or play basketball with a special golden ball, all the while trying to thwart the other team by getting them out. Players respawn in every mode except Elimination, but getting them out still buys crucial time.
The list above only covers the normal match types, which you can play as online multiplayer or just against the AI. The single player experience offers more, with four challenge modes — complete with leaderboards — that feature unusual rules and powerups. There’s also an arcade mode, which takes you through multiple levels and waves, giving you only five lives to clear all of the opponents. Luckily, as you progress, you’ll get points from trickshots just like in the score mode, and you can spend them on special powerups and bonuses.
Needless to say, the variety of modes and settings in this game is really impressive, ensuring that you can play for hours on end without repeating the same gameplay more than once. Combined with the crazy fast pace and tough-to-master mechanics, it makes for endless fun and challenge. I can definitely say it’s worth it to buy this game in Early Access, the way it stands right now, for its $9.99 USD price. Otherwise, the official release comes out on February 19 for $15.00 USD.
Review copy supplied by the publisher.
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