Disco Dodgeball – REMIX Review – PlayStation 4

Once, every few years, a game comes along that is so quick, casual, and addicting to play that it dominates all those nooks and crannies between playing other games; the kind of game you can play when you have 15 minutes before dinner or you’re waiting for another game to download or update or when you just want to play a game without having to “think”.   For the past three years that game has been Rocket League, a deceptively innocent and casual “sports” title that I have spent nearly 600 hours playing. That 7200 5-minute matches since its release in 2015.

I’m here to say that Rocket League may have just been dethroned as my go-to causal game moving forward, and by the unlikeliest of titles; Disco Dodgeball – REMIX.   Known primarily for their equally addicting pinball games, Zen Studios is the publisher of this 82 Apps masterpiece that blends the sport responsible for terrorizing middle schoolers with a funkadelic light show and some thumping techno and EDM tracks. Toss in a ridiculous amount of highly competitive game modes and a metric ton of unlockable rewards and robot upgrades to customize your player and you have a game that will eat away hundreds of hours without you even knowing.

Disco Dodgeball – REMIX follows the rules of dodgeball loosely, in that you want to hit other players with the ball to take them out and score, but things quickly evolve from there depending on the current game mode that you can select directly or have pop-up in a randomized playlist. With support for up to 2 players locally or 12 online with any missing spots filled in by selectable skilled AI bots, you have a solo based campaign and quick play options as well as online team events. There are matches where once you are hit you are out of the game until the round is over unless a teammate can catch an incoming ball to bring someone back in, and other events where you continually respawn.

But the modes and rules get far more creative when you start to explore the expert games that turn the dodgeball venues into Mario Kart-style race tracks or turn off gravity forcing you to move with jetpacks. There are even a few variations of basketball thrown in where you must get the single gold ball and toss in through your team’s goal. There are CTF modes where the “flag” is a cube, and a Kingpin mode where one player becomes the target of all others, and a mode where teams try to get and hold onto the gold ball as the timer ticks up to the winning goal time.

The presentation for Disco Dodgebally – REMIX is simple yet dazzling in an original TRON movie sort of way. The various arenas range from simple spaces to complex multi-level designs with ever-changing neon lighting that pulses to the beat of whatever energetic tune is playing. The players are represented by red and blue robots that glide around on a single wheel. These start off as simple designs that can customized through a robust series of cosmetic rewards. This game desperately needs to be in VR.

Controls are simple with analog movement and a rechargeable boost for periodic bursts of speed. Jump height is based on how long you press and hold the X button but you can never get much height without an actual jetpack. Simply touching the ball will grab it then you can throw with variable force based on how long you hold down the R2 trigger to charge your shot.

There is a large assortment of timed power-ups that do everything from boomeranging the ball back to you after throwing to target-locking an enemy player for a guaranteed hit or simple things like speed and jump buffs. With all these modifiers combined with so many game modes and creative venue designs, no two games of Disco Dodgeball are going to be the same, but they are all going to be exciting, especially when you throw in some booming-voice commentary from the announcer.

If I had to complain about anything I’d probably say I wished this game had more actual disco music. There is literally only one song in the entire track list that even hints at authentic 70’s disco. Everything else is modern rave, club, EDM, which all sounds great – don’t get me wrong – but when your game’s first name is “Disco” I expect that genre music in the actual game. Aside from that nitpick the game is virtually flawless and wickedly addicting.   Most matches are over in a few minutes which lends to that “just one more game” mentality which leads to “it’s 4am and I have to work in the morning!”

For $15 you won’t find a more entertaining, challenging, competitive, and addicting casual game than Disco Dodgeball – REMIX. Whether you are playing with friends, strangers or just grinding for XP in the solo game against the challenging AI bots, prepare to lose yourself in the neon glow of the arenas and the entrancing tunes of the game.

And always remember the five D’s of dodgeball: Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive and… Dodge. – Patches O’Houlihan

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