22/10/2019

๐Ÿ๐ŸŽถ Super Dodgeball Beats - REVIEW - "To Dodge Ball or To Not Dodge Ball?" ๐Ÿ๐ŸŽถ #GameDev #IndieGames

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Super Dodgeball Beats is a simplistic game that, whilst having a great aesthetic, ultimately just felt too bare bones to be engaging.

When I first received this game for review, I assumed it would be a rhythm-based sports title that saw you moving around a dodgeball court to a beat, gaining benefits and bonuses for shots played at a perfect time, whilst this does describe the game, the design makes it feel stiff and uninvolving with hardly any real reason for the word ‘Dodgeball’ to be in the title. 
The screen is split into two halves and the teams of four act as the face-buttons on the controller. The player must either press the corresponding button as the circle closes around a specific player or hold the thumb-stick in a direction should a ‘dash’ light up.

This straightforward approach means that you have no impact on the opposing team at all, beyond occasionally charging up your combo meter which allows you to do things such as having a floating icon move over the opposition, blocking their view of the actions they need to press or giving them a sugar rush which removes all of their icons altogether, temporarily.
The game is really nothing more than this repeated. There’s no real joy in pressing the buttons, in the same way, there’s no joy in playing Dance Dance Revolution with a controller, as there’s no ball in play (there’s a meter at the top of the screen that shifts slowly left / right depending on how well either team is doing and the half it’s in at the end of the song, wins) you just stare at your (mostly static) players and press buttons at the right time.
The music is energetic if generic and whilst the unlockables add a small amount of variety, the visuals and presentation are really the best aspects, the staid gameplay really lets it down.

I played the game both alone and with two other people, one of whom is a fan of the rhythm game genre and none of us gelled with it because it feels so bland to play. 
Summary
The company behind this, FinalBoss Games, clearly have a good eye for visual flair and character design but the rhythm genre is a really tough one to make engaging when using a standard controller as all too often (as it does here) it just feels like tapping buttons.

I’m intrigued to see what they come up with next, hopefully, a genre that’s more suited to their talents.
๐Ÿ’ง RATING: MELTED ๐Ÿ’ง

Ratings Explained
ICE COOL (Great Game Recommended)
MELTING (Recommended with reservations, one to consider if you are a fan of the genre)
MELTED (Not A Recommended Purchase)

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