#IDARB Xbox One Review
Free for limited time
A new sport has been invented
Multiplay can be a blast if you can find players
The hashtag feature is unique
Online can be laggy
Can be difficult to find online players
Giving literal definition to the term “e-sports,” #IDARB creates a new type of digital sport mixing in social media features that add creativity and frenzied humor to this unexpected electronic competition.
#IDARB is a team-based side-scrolling sports title that blends basketball, hockey, Mario Bros., and soccer with Atari-like pixelated graphics. Like a multi-berry smoothie, the end result is addictive, tasteful, and will have you asking for more.
From a simple 2D perspective, the goal is to grab, pass, and shoot a ball into your opponent’s goal. But instead of a flat court, gameplay takes place on a symmetrical platform heavy stage that feels like something out of the original Mario Bros. More points are awarded for shooting the ball from a further distance or for pulling off creative alley-oops. Like a hockey check, players can attack opponents by bumping into them or even smashing from above to set the ball loose. The controls are easy to understand but the speed of gameplay is always overclocked. Reaction time and quick reflexes are powerful attributes when it comes to heated matches.
Designed with Twitter and Twitch integration in mind, viewers can tweet during games in real time to make messages instantly appear onscreen and even affect play. One hashbomb, for example, #fizz, will cause players to shoot sparkles like a Roman candle firework. It is even possible to make the platforms explode. Because of these crazy and unpredictable rules, each match is different and highly chaotic.
The downside of all this commotion is the occasional lag that appears when playing online. At the time of this review, not many players are playing online pre-release. However, the matches that connected had spotty lag that held back the entire experience, causing stutters and even pauses that lasted for a few seconds. Hopefully these connection issues are ironed out by the time it officially releases in February. Like Smash Bros., same sofa multiplayer is the preferred option if available.
The old school Atari-like graphics add to the overall presentation and humor that is #IDARB. The developers also included a sprite editor, making it easy for players to express their creative muscle to make an entire team of whatever they want. In other words, the online #IDARB community is about to be flooded with penis teams as soon as the game goes live. Further, there is even a music editor so players can create a team anthem if so inclined. I am not going to say that these creation tools are the next Mario Paint, but the robust and easy to use features make this one editor each player will want to spend some time with. There are even Achievements tied into making characters, teams, and music tracks.
From beginning to end, #IDARB puts humor at the forefront. From the FBI warning screen before the main menu, to the live Twitter feed and goofy announcer, to the halftime Atari Combat segment with ricocheting shots, this title is self-aware and doesn’t take itself too seriously. The end result is a memorable and entertaining experience.
Even though the overall concept is simple with straightforward controls, the craziness of this new e-sport is never dull thanks to explosive effects and thoughtful social media integration. If the online lag gets ironed out, #IDARB is probably one of the best games you never thought you wanted. In order to fully understand #IDARB, you just have to play it for yourself. The good news is, all Xbox Live Gold Members will be able to download this title for free in February 2015 as part of the Games With Gold program. Be sure to experiment with it when available.
Reminds Me Of: Rocket Riot
Better Than: foosball
Also Try: Griffball
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com