When it comes to party games there are two elements that are vital. That the game is fun and that the game is easy to pick up. Stikbold! A Dodgeball Adventure is able to deliver both of those things with aplomb. Yet it’s much more than a fun multiplayer party game, which makes it all the more impressive. Stikbold! A Dodgeball Adventure does exactly what it says on the tin. It is an adventure in which you play dodgeball. Amusing cut-scenes and premises see you progressing through an intriguing string of events that introduce some delightful boss fights and characters.

Yes, that’s right, boss fights in a dodgeball game. It’s quite a feat actually how much variety the developers fit in to the story mode. Some levels feel like padding, but all of them offer something different. That’s in part down to the game only loosely being based on the actual sport of dodgeball and probably why they call it Stikbold.

The story mode will only take you a couple of hours to complete, but it should keep your attention until the end and has challenges to encourage you to go back to it. Not only that, but it will help familiarise you with some of the maps, giving you the edge on your peers. It can be played singleplayer or with a partner, but I found it a much better experience playing through the story mode solo.

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This is in partly down to how fiddly the co-op controls can be in the game. Passing requires a fairly decent aim, which the AI can do with minimal problem. The real fun begins when it’s all against all on the court. It’s incredibly addictive and reminded me of sessions playing the likes of Bomberman and Power Stone 2. Each map is littered with things that can aid you in eliminating your opponents, from hot dogs to tidal waves. If used correctly it can really provide you the edge. If, however, you fall early on in the game you can then lurk around the outside, using weapons to try and eliminate your friends (or the AI). I did find, however, that some of the courts offered more fun than others after elimination. In fact, it was the first court that I spent most of my time playing on.

The other courts bring with them a bit too much clutter, which took away from the experience I was enjoying the most with Stikbold! That experience being playing dodgeball (or Stikbold… whatever). The first court offers just enough clutter and things to do once you’ve been eliminated, making it the most fun to play. Regardless of what court you take a shine to the most, the game will descend in to the same sort of thing, especially at the beginning. The second the ball is in play you will go for it. Some will be brave and try and push the holder off the ball and try and take it themselves. Sometimes this will work; sometimes it will see them with a face full of rubber.

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The less brave players will cower away to the edges, trying to make themselves a harder target. Maybe hiding behind some of the inanimate objects that litter the court in the hope the opponent won’t curve the balls trajectory post throw. As the match wears on staying at the edges could leave you prone to attacks from your eliminated peers.

This is where some of the most amusing moments can happen. The remaining competitors clamouring for the ball whilst trying their hardest to not leave themselves open to an attack from the sides. It will nearly always lead to a hilarious mistake as the amount of carnage on the screen just gets too much to keep track of.

Stikbold! A Dodgeball Adventure is an oddity. A game where I feel that the price they’re asking for is incredibly generous for what you get. There is a solid story campaign that offers laughs and variety. Not only that, but there is a wonderful multiplayer mode that leads to some of the most addictive party gaming available on this generation of consoles at the moment. Its lack of online is a shame, but it’s not something to dock any points for. If you are looking for the next game to put on when you have friends round, then Stikbold! A Dodgeball Adventure is definitely worth the gamble.



Author

Brett Claxton

I like video games. That's why I write about them. I've played them for years and in that time I've found a love for creepy horrors, indie darlings and the oddities that come out of Japan. Although my main purpose on the site is to write up news and reviews I'm also one of the main Let's Play video creators of the team (or, as I call them, Brett's Play videos). You can check them out here: https://www.youtube.com/user/Bretteh2