I can honestly say that I’ve never played nor seen a dodgeball video game before, so that makes Game Swing’s Stikbold! A Dodgeball Adventure ever more interesting and unique. This is even more so thanks in part to its wacky twist on the game along with its equally zany humor that make this a fun time for anyone to enjoy.
While there isn’t much to it, the story follows two guys named Björn and Jerome who are getting ready for the finals of the Stikbold tournament. When they learn that their opponents have been kidnapped by the devil (yeah, told ya it was wacky), the two of them take it upon themselves to find and rescue them, much to the dismay of their coach that thinks the guys should just sit back and be champions by default.
Fortunately you can play solo with an AI controlled partner or team up via local co-op with a buddy and get to saving the opponents. The gameplay consists of three teams made up of two people that are trying to knock out opposing players with the dodgeball in a circular arena. If you manage to hit a player once, stars will appear above their head. Hit them again while the stars are there and you’ll eliminate them, and the first team to win three times wins the match. While the game may feature simplistic rules and controls that anyone can pick up and play, the tactics and fast-paced action will take some time to master. You’ll want to be constantly scanning the field to always know where your opponents are, your teammate and especially where the ball is to make sure you take advantage of every opportunity that arises.
To add even more challenges to the matches, each stage has obstacles you’ll have to work past, such as fire cannons and even vehicles trying to run you and your opponents over. You can use these to your advantage in many ways to give you and your teammate the winning edge or you can even turn these off in the options if you wish. If you’re looking for something besides story mode, you can select quick match mode where you can make all sorts of interesting challenges such as two on two and free-for-all play with four players and and two AI players. Another great thing about this game is that even when you’re down, you’re never out as you can still move around and do insane things such as grab an opponent’s ankles to slow them down or even run around as a streaker to distract others. Couple this with the comical, blocky artstyle and fun sounds, and you have a hilarious good time that’s made even better with friends.
If you’re looking something completely different to try out, Stikbold! A Dodgeball Adventure should fit the bill quite nicely. It could’ve used online play and maybe a few extra modes, but there’s still plenty of fast-paced fun that anyone can pick and play. And while it may take some time to fully get the hang of things, you and your friends will have loads of laughs as you do so.