I can still remember playing DodgeBall many a year back on the school playgrounds. At the risk of showing my age, it was a game that could make grown men cry. We didn’t use those soft sponge balls that any sane person would, no we used mitre dimple balls. You know, those balls with the dimples that left imprints if hit hard enough? Yeah we used those balls and it could be brutal but “nothing that kills you makes you stronger” and all that malarkey. If we didn’t have balls it would be down to anything we could throw really, evens cans of ginger. Well this week all those memories came back as I took to the court, beach and more in Stikbold A DodgeBall Adventure by Game Swing.
If you have seen the 2004 DodgeBall movie then you will have an idea of the 70’s slapstick comedy in Stikbold A DodgeBall Adventure. I have to congratulate all the various references in the game from Abba to Grease Lightning and what I think is even some Baywatch. You take to the tennis shoes of Bjorn and Jerome and begin a journey of some good old fasion bromance. As you are gearing up for the championships the love interest of Bjorn and her dodgeball partner is kidnapped from the Devil, yeah even the Satan is addicted to some DodgeBall action. Putting the championships on the back burner you both head out to save the damsel in distress and her partner.
The way to save your princess is of course to play games of dodgeball but you are not just limited to the gym hall. In fact you will be going on quite a journey from a beach to oil rigs and even to the scorching depth of hell to take on the Devil. Here is me thinking school yard dodgeball was dangerous. There are twelve levels in total and not all are just straight out dodgeball games, there are boss battles that include a hippy fan and a whale. There are also obstacles in a lot of the settings from surf boards to over zealous fans and people walking around with hot dog carts. What is great about the hot dog carts is that you can use hot dogs to hit your competition. On the beach level you have to stop Miguel coastguards from getting to the inflatable whale. This type of challenge is just one a many that break up the normal dosgeball action. On each of the levels there are three mini challenges that you can try and achieve which range from hitting people from a certain distance, getting eating and spat out by a whale and much more. The games story mode is short however there are three difficulty settings each opening up after playing through the previous. The rules also change slightly the higher the difficulty meaning no pick-ups allowed etc.
The controls in Stikbold A DodgeBall Adventure are simple and very easy for pick-up and play gaming. It does feel that the game is aimed at the younger audience but adults can have fun as well. Your left stick is movement, right stick is for aiming/curving, LT is dodge/attack and RT is throwing. And that’s all there is to it. The only thing missing that would make this title better than it is, is online multiplayer. Alas just like the 70’s era there is only local multiplayer. You can play through the main story alone or in co-op, the A.I will take care of your team mate if playing solo. If you get knocked down you will automatically take control of your team mate. Games in story mode are first to three games. In multiplayer you can change a host of settings including Win Conditions, General conditions, Harassments and Level Hazards with games supporting up to six players. This does make for some fun times and really does make the games more competitive.
It is obvious that this is a retro style title and the games graphics complement the 70’s style setting perfectly. We are talking very hippy and colourful style graphics with the characters having the paper folding style appearance showcased by their blocky figure. There really isn’t anything to complain about in this department, the soundtrack does get repetitive quite quickly though. There are eighteen characters in total to unlock and play in multiplayer all with their own unique look, from Sandy (grease) to even a skeleton.
The Good Things
- Fun DodgeBall experince.
- Nice 70’s retro feel to the game.
- Easy pick-up and play controls.
And The Bad
- Only local multiplayer.
- Best experienced with friends.
- Stikbold A Dodgeball Adventure is a fun, charming game with a great retro feel to it. I like the 70’s style setting and the story does have its moments of pure comedy charm. The slapstick comedy and references to Abba and Grease Lightning are commendable. This is a great title and challenging for kids without parents worrying about them going online for multiplayer. The only thing holding this title back is the lack of online multiplayer. It may only have team or free-for-all multiplayer but you can change a host of settings to make the games a bit more interesting. That said if you game local with your mates then get a takeaway, slap on the sweatbands and have some retro fun.
Easy pick-up and play title full of 70’s wit and charm.