Ball Grabbers (PC) Review with Stream
Easy to understand
NO ONLINE MULTIPLAYER
Control scheme issues
There are so many types of video games in the world, not just differentiated by genre like adventure, sport, or fantasy but also whether or not its multiplayer, or if it’s a solo campaign, or if its mean to be played with lots of friends or at a party. Party games are big business with Nintendo usually taking the crown. However, that’s not stopping Part Time Monkey with their new party game Ball Grabbers.
Party games don’t usually attract hardcore gamers, and instead make for a much more visually appealing and casual feel to the gameplay so as to entice people of every skill level. With that in mind, there is no story or characters, other than the slightly different avatars from the character selection screen. You are essentially playing a soccer or rugby-esque game in which you take a glowing orb from your opponent and try to score a goal. To do so you have to tackle them and knock the ball out of their hands and then score when you can.
Check out my stream below:
There are further controls like jumping and throwing the ball to score but the basics are the tackle and the grab, beyond that its situational movements. Each battle takes place in one of five rather small arenas, making for tight quarters and direct confrontation. There are also environmental dangers such as bombs, traps, and animals that can get in your sway or knock you down if you are not paying attention. This adds to the already frenetic gameplay which sees both characters jumping around like a kid on sugar rush. The glowing orb is a nice touch, since in many party games it can actually be unclear as to the object to find or the goal to accomplish, but this is set right out in the middle for all to see.
The entire game is actually quite pleasing to the eye, and the animations are smooth yet simple. The gameplay is fast and fun, but there is a huge downside. This game as of writing this review is only local multiplayer. With all these great design choices, this hampers it in so many ways making it near unplayable unless you have friends or roommates to play with all the time. Not even having an AI to play with is just sub-par in this day in age. Even if you could find the people to play with, you would have the daunting task of finding a control scheme everyone can agree on. In my testing, I found that playing with the keyboard is clunky at best, and while it is clear that 2 people can play on one keyboard, the controller support makes that idea laughable at best. The incredible speed and dexterity you get from having a joystick will make you the winner every time, and totally ruins any kind of challenge the game might have had.
To be clear, I think this could be a great fun game, with strikingly smooth animations and easy to discern maps, arenas, and characters, that’s also cheap and perfect for parties. However, not having anything other than local multiplayer is just the worst idea. If it had online multiplayer, or even an AI to play with I could absolutely see this game being fun for everyone, especially considering the $5 price tag, but as of right now I just don’t see that happening.