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Robot Roller-Derby Disco Dodgeball (PC) artwork

Robot Roller-Derby Disco Dodgeball (PC) review

"The game I never knew I needed to play until I played it!"

This game is exactly what it says it is; a trippy, fast-paced, sci-fi sports game where funky robots throw balls at each other. Sounds simple, right? Honestly, it sounded like it might be too simple for me, or even boring, but trust me - It's not.

This game reminds me of the days when games were built for fun, when small studios would simply think of a good idea and run with it, without worrying about whether or not it fit the current market trends. This game is surprisingly original as a result; I can't think of any other game like it. It scratches an itch that most other games simply don't.

Robot Roller-Derby Disco Dodgeball (PC) image

I was also pleasantly surprised by how robust this game is. The map designs are highly varied, there are tons of powerups to grant your robot different abilities (flaming balls, homing balls, giant balls, and boomerang balls, to name a few). Your robot will "level up" and unlock new cosmetics, there is a crafting system, and there is a plethora of different game modes which serve to keep you adapting to new styles of play. There's just so much here to keep a person entertained, but for some reason none of this came across to me when I watched the trailers. Truly, this is a game that you have to play for yourself in order to understand how awesome it is.

To try and describe it though, this game is all about skill, and learning how to react quickly and precisely is the key to victory. The matches are fast and furious, but at times feel like a ballet - occasionally your robot will drift, skid, or soar through the air, and you will find that it takes some careful tactics in order to avoid becoming exposed and killed. You will also find, occasionally, that you will be in the "zone" and, as if in a trance, start to rack up massive amounts of kills while jamming to the beat of the killer soundtrack.

Speaking of which, this game has some of the best music I've heard in recent memory. Finally, I've found a game where I don't have to turn the music off and listen to my MP3s! If you like electronic music at all, I can promise you that you will fall in love with the soundtrack immediately. To make things even better, the psychedelic arenas visually react to the music and change colour when the songs turn over, which only serves to enhance the whole experience. "Stimulating" is the word I would use to describe this fusion of sights and sound, and it is a stroke of pure brilliance.

Robot Roller-Derby Disco Dodgeball (PC) image

I really can't think of enough good things to say about this game, but with that said, there are a few downsides that I feel I should mention. Firstly, the community seems to be very small, and this can lead to a deficit of viable servers, or servers that are crowded with bots. It's easy enough to use the server browser to find out where all the human players are at, but if you elect to use the "quick match" feature, be prepared to be thrown into the ring with bots every time.

Secondly, if your ping is higher than 100, you will quickly find that you are at a marked disadvantage against people who have, say, 30-50 ping. Joining the right servers is crucial for this reason, but it's a bit disappointing that the netcode doesn't do anything to compensate for this.

Thirdly, you will encounter the occasional hacker. It seems that the community is largely hacker-free, but this unfortunate element does seem to exist to some degree. Thankfully, the game has a votekick feature so that troublemakers can be dealt with swiftly.

Lastly, I feel like the game needs a teensy, tiny bit of polish. The UI and menus are a bit ugly, and while the arenas do look great, there are some rough visual edges on a few of the maps. These are small gripes, but they are gripes nonetheless.

Regardless of its minor issues, I am already hooked on Robot Roller Derby Disco Dodgeball, despite having played very little of it. This game "grabbed" me right away and refuses to let go, and that is an impressive feat to be said for any game. I am planning to play a lot more of it, and I hope you will take the plunge and do the same!


Nightfire's avatar
Community review by Nightfire (December 29, 2015)

Nightfire is a reclusive dragon who lives in a cave with internet access. Steam ID here.

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