Videoball: Simplicity Done Right

In the age of high profile games with photo realistic visuals, we have unique experiences such as Videoball, a simplistic, easy to play sports title that will grab hold and never let go. It’s as if Super Hexagon merged itself with soccer, creating a masterful combination that will entice everyone to call up their friends and play hours on end. We were able to get some hands-on time with the upcoming game at GDC to better understand just what Midnight City and Action Button Entertainment have.

The mechanics are so simplistic anyone with a fraction of motor skills can play Videoball. While on PC, we were using Xbox 360 controllers, and it’s as simple as pressing A to shoot and twiddling the left thumbstick to move. There’s nothing else to it. The main goal is to take your triangular avatar and use its push abilities to send the balls on the field into the opposing net. With teams of two or three, locally and online, it can come down to utter anarchy if games aren’t planned correctly. For the first couple of matches it was just that, but after getting our bearings together, it became a much more strategic game than once anticipated, assigning different regions to each partner along with who goes on the offensive and who plays defensive.

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There are three levels of charge for a push. The first is a quick tap mainly used to subdue your opponent and put him or her in a stasis for a couple of seconds. The second is a slightly more powerful blow that will continuously strike forward until it runs out of juice. The final attack is a giant push to throw the ball to the other side of the field, but be warned, this technique can be easily countered if the opposing team uses the same move. The different levels are controlled by how long the player holds down the A button, and if you hold it down too long, you will set up a defensive block, something that should be utilized in front of the goals. On larger fields it’s a little more difficult to gauge how long you’ve been holding down the fire button, but otherwise it’s a simplistic way to communicating to the player what level of push you have.

There are various setting to make things more chaotic, if you want. These include adjusting the time limit, the number of balls on the field, and various other aspects. This allows for a lot customization when it comes to the matches. While we only played on four different fields, we got a look at the plentiful lineup of altered stages. It’s not as simple as one big goal on the sides of the map; sometimes there’s blocks in the middle of the stage that will stop and ricochet shots.

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It’s easy to explain, but only playing the game will do it justice. We experienced Videoball for less than an hour, but that short time wasn’t enough. With simplistic yet addictive mechanics, we were hooked after the first match. Even without a concrete release date in sight, this is definitely one to watch out for.