Sports video games don't always have to be based on reality. Videoball combines retro Asteroids-style shooting with pushing balls into nets to create one extremely enjoyable competitive experience so get your monochrome jersey on and let the games begin!
Videoball is played by moving a triangle around and pushing any button to shoot. If you hold the button, you can charge your shot to be a lot more powerful. Once it charges all the way, you generate a brick that can be used as a temporary guard until someone shoots it down. Anyway, you use your shots to both push the balls into the opponent's goal and shoot at your adversaries to stun them for a brief moment. The best way to use this to your advantage is to shoot an opponent when they're charging their shot. Matches are played with two teams of one, two, or three players. Playing one on one is kind of boring and three on three can be a little too chaotic, yet two on two feels just right. As you can probably already tell, the simplistic gameplay is very easy to pick up and play yet there are so many nuances to master that being the best player in town will take a lot of practice.
Looking at the screenshots of Videoball doesn't really do the visuals justice. This is the sort of game that you have to actually play to appreciate its graphics. Sure, they're stylish and colourful but you can't see how smooth everything behaves until you play it for yourself. Everything is displayed so intuitively that it's difficult to lose sight of the action which makes gameplay all the more streamlined. When it comes to sound, most indie games of this genre have minimal audio yet Videoball boasts an enthusiastic yet never annoying announcer, a soundtrack full of energetic tunes, and constantly charming effects. Whoever designed the sound for this is a master of their craft.
Videoball can be played in either local or online matches as well as an arcade mode with a set of stages to complete. Playing against computer-controlled opponents is a ton of fun whether you're by yourself or with friends because they each have their own strategy and are named accordingly. Imagine you and two friends take on a team consisting of Striker, Fencer, and Ready. The possibilities are endless. Additionally, there are dozens of arena styles to compete within including ones where one team clearly has an advantage. Of course, you can adjust the rules as well to set the score limit, time limit, and how many balls can be in play at any given time. If the graphics are getting tiresome then you have the option to swap colour palettes, arena features, and ball designs. Finally, there are many types of shots that can be made (such as slam dunks, home runs, and touchdowns). I'm not entirely sure how to get each one but you can change how many points they're worth. It's fantastic to be able to tinker with this many options.
Although Videoball is one of the best competitive indie games that I've ever played, I still can't imagine it remaining fun after playing more than a few matches at a time. It's definitely one of those titles that's best suited to be on a list of games to play with friends as opposed to it being the main event. This is most likely due to its simplicity which leads me to my next point; I wish there were more variations on the core gameplay. If there was a mode where you just shoot each other with no balls involved or one where you can't shoot and have to push the balls by smashing into them then there would be a lot more replay value.
If you're looking for the next great competitive indie game then Videoball is a must-have title. Whether you have friends to play with or not, you're bound to have an awesome time on the road to becoming a Videoball superstar.
- + Simple competitive gameplay that's extremely fun for up to six players
- + Stylish visuals and top-notch audio
- + Loads of options to customize each match
- - Basic gameplay only stays fun for not much more than a few rounds at a time
- - Could use additional variations besides the available options to extend replay value