iPad Speedball 2 Evolution Review

Speedball 2 Evolution is a remake of the The Bitmap Brothers’ classic sports game for the iOS. Nope, I’m too young to be able to tell you that I have enjoyed playing the classic back in the old days but I can tell you that I did enjoy playing the remake version for the iOS. Speedball 2 Evolution, as described by the developers, is a mix of football and hockey. After playing, I must say it is more like a mix of hockey and handball instead. There is the physical play of hockey plus the handling and scoring like handball except that you can simply carry the ball while running without the need of bouncing the ball. This isn’t walking down memory lane for me but how exactly does the game fair? Read on for the full review.

Each match takes place within an arena. Within the arena, you get two goal posts, one for each team, bumpers that when hit give you points, side walls that can give you bonus as well and holes that transfer your ball from one side to the other. It is a rather cool arena designed to bring lots of fun and brutal physical play. To win, you simply have to score more than the opponent. There are 3 ways of getting points. Firstly, by scoring a goal gives you 10 points. Secondly, you can hit those bumpers for a mere but game deciding 2 points. Lastly, you can beat the daylight out of your opponent and as soon as he runs out of stamina and gets knocked out you get 10 points. Interesting sport eh?

When you get the ball you get to do a normal pass or a high lob pass. Without the ball, you get to tackle and body check your opponent. Whether they have the ball or not you can simply tackle and attack them to decrease their stamina. Be extra careful not to spam the tackle button though as each tackle executed reduces your stamina. So yeah, beat the crap out of your opponents if you don’t want to score goals. It helps to win matches too. Of course the opponent can do the same to you, so be sure to try dodge those flying tackles!

The gameplay is extremely simple. All that is described above is all you need to do. There are no complicated button combinations pressing to execute special moves or any need to switch player etc. It works well for a game developed for the mobile platform without dedicated keys or buttons to press. The simplicity of controls and gameplay mean that people can simply pick up the game and enjoy it as it is. There is one problem however, is that the game is just too plain easy. The AI ain’t very smart and once you get used to tackling, you’ll never be able to lose. Scoring is extremely simple as all you need to do is bash your way through, including bashing up the goalkeeper, and all you have is an empty goal to throw the ball into. Some difficulty or challenge would be greatly appreciated. Still, there is much fun to be obtained from playing the game. Besides winning is fun too right?

There are a few modes available for you to choose from. One of which is the quick game mode where you simply start a match. Second is a tournament mode where you can play your custom created tournaments or the preset ones which require unlocking for some. Thirdly is the career mode where you manage your team from the lousiest of divisions to the championships within a maximum of 10 seasons. The career mode is what I enjoyed most. I mean I’m kind of the guy who loves simulation and management and the managing of the team is fun. There isn’t very much depth but is sufficient to keep you interested and playing for a few seasons.

Within the career mode you get to spend cash, which you earn in matches, to upgrade your team. You get to either train your existing player or trade them for better ones. All of which requires you to spend the hard earned cash from matches. The training and transferring of players gives the game a little depth, not much but sufficient to enhance the gameplay and keep you going. Whether is it training your existing players or trading existing players for better ones, it is extremely satisfying to see your team grow from weaklings to champions. As your team slowly gets stronger, you can feel their power as their stamina and strength overpowers your opponents. Of course that means with the easy difficulty, there is no challenge at all within a match as soon as your team gets better. Nevertheless it is rewarding to feel the power and stature of the team you build as you thrash your way through the matches.

Lastly, we have the multiplayer mode where you get to play against your friends via the internet. I haven’t been able to find anyone to play with so I can’t tell you how much fun it is to bash your friends up. I do know however, is that there is going to be loads of fun and obviously a better challenge as compared to the AI.

The graphics of the game is good. The retro like characters and arenas all look fantastic on the iPad and iPhone 4’s retina display. There are also special graphical effects within a match (when you pick up some power ups or something) that keeps the game exciting and action packed. Sound effects are great as well and complement the fast paced action and brutality of the sport well. It can, however, get repetitive after awhile because there aren’t any variances in the background sound or sound effects within different matches. Thankfully, you have the ability to play your own music while playing the game. I’ve read other people’s comments and found out that the game stays rather closely to the old version so yeah probably all you older people might relive that happy childhood memories of yours.

Overall the game is fun to play. Whether or not you have played it back then in the older days Speedball 2 Evolution is sure to entertain. The career mode makes the game very addictive and fun to play otherwise the match concept itself does keep gamers interested and there is definitely some enjoyment in it. The only major problem of the game is the lack of challenge but other than that the graphics, sound department and gameplay all come together to make Speedball 2 Evolution one wholesome fun game to play. For the price of $0.99, this is a great game to have on your iOS device.

iTunes Appstore Link: Speedball 2 Evolution ($0.99)

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