Super Dodgeball Beats – A Super Game Indeed.

Super Dodgeball Beats is a rhythm and music based game brought to Nintendo Switch in August 2019 developed by Fireboss Games. The game is what you would expect – hitting the notes in time with the music in order to defeat the opposing team in a dodgeball tournament – is that not the expecting setting for a musical beat game? I wouldn’t have paired these two themes, but I have to say it works exceptionally well. This unique blend is only improved with the excellent art style and the original music, which all compliments the unusual premise. Truly a super experience and fun for all ages!

Super Dodgeball Beats presents a series of unusual and challenging teams going head to head in the hope that they will win the dodgeball tournament. In the story mode of the game the player controls a team of kids who have left school and are aiming to become the next dodgeball champions. They have to defeat O.A.Ps, vampires and aliens to get there but with the right moves and a bit of rhythm they will take first place. Well at least that is the plan. This game has an addictive quality in that when you lose you don’t get to play that one person again, you have to take your points and move on, the more points you have the higher the chance of you winning the overall competition and so forth. When you complete a match – win or lose – you move on to the next opponent.

The controls for the game are easy to pick up but difficult to master, and the difficulty settings are pretty intense, even on the ‘rookie league’ levels this is no easy game to complete, especially as in order to earn an ‘A’ ranking you have to have a pretty much perfect score, only one missed note and you’re down to a ‘B’ straight away. The power-ups are also spanners in the works because once you unlock a power-up so does the opponent. This means that the distractions put in place to help you get ahead of the other team are also available for the other team to make your life hard – and trust me they do. Between floating heads blocking the screen, poison forcing you not to hit notes and bombs going off if you hit a note incorrectly, there are plenty of power-ups designed to mess with your game too.

Super Dodgeball Beats provides lasting enjoyment for both individual and multiplayer gaming. As with most switch games, part of the fun is plugging in and screening the game. For this reason I find one of the most important elements of all switch games is their compatibility both as a handheld game and for multiplayer. The multiplayer mode allows 2 players to go head to head to claim victory in a music and rhythm based fight. In this mode it is not dis-similar to other music based games such as guitar hero or rock band, whoever gets the best streaks and the highest score wins. Its a fairly simple game to learn and play and works well for a multiplayer audience.

The only real criticism of this game that I have is that the beats don’t always go in time with the rhythm of the songs. The expectation for a music game is to play in time with the music but in some parts of the game this has fallen short as notes are added to increase difficulty but this doesn’t always fit well within the song. In my experience some of the extra beats and changing rhythms can throw the whole song as failed notes are hard to come back from with the perfect notes being worth only a fraction of a failed one. This means that when you miss one note, you have to make it up with several perfect notes, and if you fail notes at the end of the song there is no coming back, even if the rest of the song was pure perfection.

This game may not be what you expect from a beats game, nor what you expect from a dodgeball game, but it is none the less a thoroughly enjoyable experience and definitely worth the £11.99 price tag on the Nintendo Switch.

A Review Code was provided by Indigo Pearl. Also available on PS4, Xbox One & PC.