It’s crazy rewarding to chuck a ball at your friends face, but the repercussions are always the worst. Instead try Stikbold!: A Dodgeball Adventure! It’s got all the co-op and multiplayer action you could want and no one has to get nailed between the eyes.
Right off the bat, the PlayStation version of Stikbold is super charming. A great surprise was it was fully voice acted – it was all in Danish – but still nice. The art and sound design were clearly well thought through to compliment the gameplay and the story. There’s a joviality to all of it and that influences how you’ll play the game.
This isn’t going to be a big time commitment or an in-depth story line, but it is a fun and quirky game about dodgeball that clocks in at around 2 hours of game play with room for replayability. Player modes include Story Mode, which can be played co-op or solo, and Quick Match – your multiplayer option – which can be played solo against some bots or together with some buddies. The entire game, however, loses a lot of fun without a friend to play with on the couch. Stikbold is a throwback to playing games with friends in the same room, making it about laughing and having fun.
It’s a great party game and one that’s easy to pick up and understand for any level of gamer. Even if you’re not great, it doesn’t matter. This game really does give you that “it’s just a game” mentality. That being said the console controls, although simple, are difficult to master. If you really want to play to win you’re going to need to maneuver both joysticks to move and aim at the same time. Sounds easy, but it’s actually pretty tricky. With so much action going on on the court it becomes difficult to not get shoved by another player.
But even if you do get knocked out in multiplayer matches, you can still influence the game from the side lines; depending on the arena you can run down players with a floor waxer, hit them from underneath with a rock or drop a whale on them. That level of absurdity brings smiles to every face in the room, even if it isn’t the deepest mechanic.
Stikbold isn’t about the story and it knows that. It’s a very light-hearted quest about friendship, nothing too inspired, but it doesn’t have to be. The key feature that they drive home is team play; this is a friend game… for friends.
If you and some buds want a fun little break from Dark Souls or Fallout take a peek at Stikbold. It may not offer much in the way of story and the controls can be a bit vexing, but it’s certainly going to make you and your friends forget about your troubles for a little while.