Smash Ball, developed by Game Pill Studios is another addition to the fast-paced and over the top non-traditional sports genre. Scheduled for release sometime in the second quarter of 2020, Smash Ball offers a competitive environment where you’ll go head to head with other players in either 1v1 or 2v2 match ups, defending your goal while trying to score as many points as you can on your opponent.
While most sports games inherently involve some strategy to them, whether you’re playing aggressively trying to overwhelm your opponent or focusing on a strong defense to stall out the game in your favor, Smash Ball adds a few more layers into the mix. You can also win by simply destroying your opponent (literally) giving you a clear shot to the goal.
There are three base models to choose from when picking your Mechlete, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. There’s the speed model which focuses on mobility and score potential, but lacks durability, the combat model which can hit the ball (or your opponents) harder but isn’t as mobile, and the defense model which is built like a tank and comes with some crowd control options to boot.
While the three base models offer some choice in play-style, the choice options don’t end there. There are five parts manufacturers that will supply you with upgrades you can unlock and purchase throughout the game to give you an even bigger edge on the field.
You can either use them to help balance out your weaknesses to make your model an all-around good choice, or lean heavy onto your advantages. On top of this, you have access to five lockers to save different load-outs, so that you’re prepared for any situation.
The other players aren’t the only dangers during a match. There are a variety of different arenas which each come with their own hazards, ranging from explosive mines, flamethrowers, and even goo to slow players in their attempt to reach the goalpost. This only adds to the chaos and one wrong move could turn the tides for either team.
A Little Something For Everyone
While the main focus of Smash Ball is certainly its multiplayer, it does have a series of single-player campaigns that come in the form of tournaments sponsored by the manufacturing companies. This offers players a chance to learn or just hone their skills against AI opponents without having to jump right in to playing against people and offers something a bit more engaging than a training tool as your only option for practicing.
Pay to Win?
When it comes to multiplayer games, the one thing on everyone’s mind is if there are going to be micro-transactions and if they’ll make the game pay to win. As of right now, the role that micro-transactions will play is still unclear, but there are two potential pricing models on the table. There’s the low-cost paid option which will provide more upfront content with the release of more content added on, along with DLC micro-transactions.
The other model is the Free-to-Play model we all know and love, which will be completely free to start but won’t offer the same initial upfront content. Which route they plan on taking, as well as what exactly you’ll be able to purchase through micro-transactions is still unclear. You do earn both parts and in-game currency after each match though, so even without the paid starter option, the progression system won’t be that much of a grind.
Where Can I Learn More
The game is already listed on Steam if you’re interested in following it or adding it to your wishlist, and should be coming soon to early access. It certainly looks like it’ll be a blast, either playing competitively and climbing up ranked or as a fun casual game to play with some friends.