Stikbold! A Dodgeball Adventure (PC) Review

By Thom Compton 27.04.2016

Review for Stikbold! A Dodgeball Adventure on PC

In the 90s and 00s, sports games came in the form of baseball, basketball, American football, and proper football (or soccer). Then, indie games came along and challenged the sports genre. With games like Sportsfriends, Nidhogg and Rocket League, sports games became just as much about inventing a sport as making it engaging. Stikbold! is another ample attempt at taking an obscure yet already-founded sporting event and giving it the ole' video game makeover treatment.

It would be all too easy to complain about the game's heavy focus on using a controller, but the PC controls are actually really good. The player will run around the current field of play, avoiding and grabbing dodgeballs to lob at their opponents. Even if you don't have a proper controller, the controls are very easy to pick up, provided you have a mouse. The track pad on laptops is fundamentally too sluggish to move around as quickly as you need to when firing off attacks, so a mouse is definitely the best option.

Like many of its brethren in the indie game sports arena, Stikbold takes a simple concept and stretches it out to the point of almost being absurd. While the rules are simple, they exist on a very bizarre playing field. The player needs to grab the ball before their opponent does, and use it to stun them. Once the opponent is stunned, the player can turn around and deal a death blow. All fairly simple, until you realize the arena itself is also out to get you. It's genuinely fun trying to chuck a dodgeball at an opponent while dodging a bus driving around or a beehive flying at your head. It feels like a goofy couch co-op 90s title, and it's hilarious fun.

Screenshot for Stikbold! A Dodgeball Adventure on PC

The game suffers only a few missteps, and some are bigger than others. The art style seems to mix Minecraft-style characters with cartoon play areas, and it won't be for everyone. Too often, the playing field can get chaotic, and feels like it's just as hard to locate the ball as it is to accurately hit your opponents with it. The biggest issue plaguing the game is its long load times, especially at the beginning. When first loading up, it can take several minutes to just begin. It really holds the game back, as it breaks immersion having to watch a screen load for up to 2 minutes between levels, or even when just starting.

Fortunately, what's on the other side of these atrociously long loads is a solid sports gaming experience. Not everything has to be perfect, and while Stikbold! isn't very close to the line for perfection, it's still a proud example of marching confidently in that direction. The team behind the game should definitely be proud, as this is a powerful piece of work, and for all its blurred components, it's still a charming piece of nostalgia no PC sports fan should overlook.

Screenshot for Stikbold! A Dodgeball Adventure on PC

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Indie games have come a long way, but it's still obvious they are viewed as the lesser option when it comes to gaming for a lot of gamers. It would be a mistake to overlook Stikbold! because it's an indie game. It has its share of hiccups and can falter from time to time, but gamers don't play games for the amazing loading screens. They play them for the game, and once the game is loaded, it is a charming, easy-to-control experience that ensures hours of enjoyability, with or without a partner. Don't overlook this tiny gem because it has these faults; instead, push past them to a solid game that is genuine and truly fun.

Developer

Game Swing

Publisher

Curve Digital

Genre

Sport

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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