Stikbold! A Dodgeball Adventure - PlayStation 4 Review

Stikbold! A Dodgeball Adventure

Quick Glance:

  • Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

  • Players: 1-4 (Local Only)

  • Achievements: Yes

  • Steam Trading Cards: Yes

  • Controller Support: Yes, Full

  • Retail Price: $9.99

 

High Level Premise – Adventure through a 1970’s themed fantasy dodgeball tournament

Graphics/Style – 70’s themed top-down dodgeball

Music/Soundtrack – Retro-inspired melodies

Story – Join Bjorn and Jerome on a quest in becoming world renowned dodgeball athletes.

Replay-ability – Moderate, achievement system gives the player incentive to revisit the story a second time through

Time Commitment – 4 hours, however dependent on skill

Value – Moderate, There is a fair amount of work to do for the trophy hunter & perfectionist.

Favorite Element – Great concept & genre that is rarely seen in video games!

Dodgeball in the style of a twin-stick shooter is quite fitting in Stikbold!.

Sean says:  Stikbold! A Dodgeball Adventure brings a new concept to the twin-stick top down genre. Whether you aim to tackle the short-lived campaign, or compete with friends in couch competitive multiplayer, the game brings a few hours of fun & laughs to the table at a budget price.

The game tells the story of two professional dodgeball athletes, Bjorn & Jerome.  Each level plays as a chapter in their story, complementing the game with a wide variety of retro 70’s themes.  While progressing through the story alone isn’t terribly difficult, it’s clear that Stikbold! was meant to be played with a friend, as you attempt to fulfill the challenges among each level.  These stage specific challenges come in the form of three daisies, each of which must be fulfilled to unlock the corresponding trophy/achievement for that level.  The challenges vary in difficulty, and do not need to be fulfilled all within a single play through.  The achievement system is quite beefy for a $9.99 digital download title, adding quite a bit of replay value as you revisit each stage on multiple occasions.  The platinum trophy is a welcome addition in the PS4 version that was reviewed. The controls will exceed your expectations, as you begin to realize just how much control you have over your character when advancing through the game.  Somewhere along the way, you begin to find your style of play, at which point everything seems to click, and challenges that were once deemed difficult become a breeze to complete.

Just like in gym class!

Competitive multiplayer is certainly not a strong point for Stikbold!, as the game lacks any sort of online multiplayer component.  This was rather disappointing, as it once again felt like a missed opportunity in creating something more meaningful and memorable for an indie that thrives on competitive gameplay. A variety of multiplayer modes or even leaderboard support would have been welcomed, and may have helped to spread further awareness of the games existence.  While the option to play local is available, this unfortunately feels more like an obligatory addition than anything else.

Stikbold! is a game that never takes itself too serious.  While the thrills are short-lived, there is a lot to love in this package, especially for the completionist.  If you can look past the lack of an online multiplayer component, you can hardly go wrong with this budget priced title.

Stikbold! contains a charming 70’s style among its character design and story.

Gareth says:  I can’t help but to begin this review with a bit of a sarcastic undertone.  I am continually reminded recently of days when 4 player games required an attachment plugged into a controller slot.  How great was it when the 64 had the feature built within the hardware!  I have fond local multiplayer memories of games like Mario Party, Star Fox, Goldeneye, etc. I would like to think that we have moved on but it seems we have not.  Couch co-op is not a requirement these days, as we’ve been blessed with online gaming.  Now I can game with Sean from halfway across the world, except in the majority of the indies that have been releasing.  I cannot understand this!

With that out of the way, Stikbold! was a quick laugh with a bit of replay-ability in the story mode.  This comes from the three stage specific challenges for each level that a completionist can aim for.  My online complaint comes here – I would have loved to play this with a friend, however I was instead forced to play with the AI. The multiplayer is where my opening statement comes into play.  I could see this being a fun campaign to play around with.  To be honest it probably would not be that fun online via competitive multiplayer.  I just don’t know when I am going to be able to get 4 guys in their 30’s in the same room to play it.

For the right price, Stikbold! isn’t bad, however I can see this game getting lost in the PlayStation Store until it becomes a PlayStation Plus addition, or heavily discounted within a flash sale.

Stikbold! is a groovy 70s-themed single and local multiplayer fantasy dodgeball game with intense, quirky arenas and chaos-inducing random events which change the outcome of each round. Out now on Steam! http://store.steampowered.com/app/429330/ www.stikbold.com Coming to PS4 on April 5th & Xbox One April 8th

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