Stikbold! A Dodgeball Adventure (PS4 review)

Stikbold! Coming April 2016

Recess! My first initial reactions of Stikbold! was that it’s an alternative version of a poor man’s Rocket League. Developed by Game Swing, a Danish company from Denmark, Stikbold in its own right, deserves a little more credit than that. It’s an arcade-style dodgeball game. It’s simple, funny, and downright fun to play. Unlike Rocket League, there iare no rocket-powered cars, and it doesn’t offer as much depth as Rocket League, but it’s a game that is easy to pick-up and hard to put down especially if you’re playing with friends.

Story and Level Design

The story is quite simple. Two friends try to pursue a mysterious villain while trying to capture a championship trophy. Each cut scene is surprisingly entertaining while its humor is easy to follow and fun to read. You can tell the creators of Stikbold! made this game with a lot of tender love and care. It’s both original and aesthetically beautiful to look at. Each level feels cartoony but has mayhem written all over it. In some levels you could be dodging crates full of TNT, and in other levels you could be dashing away from the waves of the ocean.

The boss fights can be challenging, however, it is rewarding to know that you mastered each dodge and technique after slaying away the toughest bosses in the level.

Stik Together

Playing the campaign with one other friend is the best experience. You guys could team up and pass the ball with precision. The A.I. isn’t exactly the best; it’s actually one of the worst computer controlled bots I’ve played in a while. They’ll stumble and sometimes stand around and do nothing. Other times they’ll get in your line of fire as I threw the ball countless times into them instead of the enemies. Despite all this, playing with your friend via local multiplayer is incredibly addicting.

No One Is a Team Alone

My biggest complaint about Stikbold! and what can be a deal breaker for some is that there is no online multiplayer. The game is simple but after you finish the campaign you might not want to come back for more. There are over 12 characters, all unique with their own look; however, there is no advantage between picking the Coach or Jerome. I wish each character had their own special ability because it would have kept me around longer. With that said, this is a great party game with up to 4-player local play.

The 4-player brawls can get downright chaotic. You could get eliminated within a few seconds or you could accidentally fly off the cliff. What makes this even more appealing is that you could pick up different items in the game such as a rock or flower, and use your environment to your advantage. It’s definitely more addicting playing with friends via free-for-all or campaign.

Final Reaction

Stikbold! is a very good game. It’s simple but yet each campaign level can get challenging. Don’t underestimate this game; you could fight some of the toughest bosses in one of the least complex indie games out there, and that’s a good thing. Although the lack of online play was disappointing, thanks to the 3 different gameplay difficulties, nice level design, and playing with friends, it made me come back for more. Comparing this game to Rocket League could be unfair; however, it’s a game that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Ratings: 4/5

NR 4 Atoms - B


Stikbold! is now available.


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