Oddballers is a game that harkens back to the simple five rules: Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive and Dodge. If that reference means nothing to you, I will make it simple. It is a fun little multiplayer game about dodgeball from Ubisoft. But is it any good?
Dodgeball at its core is a rather simplistic game. You pick up a ball and try to hit your opponent, whilst trying to avoid being hit. In this game, however, they have added a tonne of little variances to each match in order to keep each game fresh.
Oddballers is odd-ly satisfying
They can range from catching and throwing chickens, and goals, such as breaking the other team’s portable toilet and collecting honey. Suitably wacky and bizarre and has a welcome amount of variation.
The game types are single-player or team-based matches that are never less than frenetic. Even when you are eliminated, you can still control your character in some form to wreak havoc among the remaining players.
The different stadia in the game also have their own unique individual game styles and features. This ensures that each game feels slightly different but also somewhat familiar. It strikes a nice balance so as not to feel you need to relearn the controls after each game.
Speaking of controls, they are very user-friendly, and simple. You use the analogue stick to move your player and throw items with one of the buttons or the shoulder buttons. No surprises, no convoluted combos, and no unnecessary faffing about, making it accessible to games of all ages and skill sets.
The graphics are bright, fun, vibrant and cartoony. That is pretty much what a game like this needs. You are able to customise nearly every aspect of your player’s appearance by buying accessories with earned XP. It is very reminiscent of the way the customisation in Fall Guys works.
The sound design is fine. Nothing too remarkable but it is in keeping with the fun and wacky atmosphere the game evokes. Plenty of grunts, fast passed music and strange sound effects.
Playing with yourself
As with most sports-based games, Oddballers is at its best when played with other people. This is the main problem with the game. Even though Oddballers offers crossplay functionality across all platforms, there, unfortunately, does not seem to be a regularly active userbase which can lead to disappointingly long waiting times when searching for a game. Sometimes you cannot find a game at all.
But there is a local multiplayer option so if you have someone with you that is up for some dodgeball-related hijinks, this game offers a lot of fun.
There is a single-player option where you compete against AI opponents, but it does not hold the same appeal. It is not nearly as rewarding to beat the AI-controlled characters as it is to beat actual people. Gloating at lines of code just does not give the same sense of smugness and satisfaction.
Overall, Oddballers is a very competent multiplayer party game. The only downfall is there does not seem to be an appetite for it at the moment. But when the game works, it works very well and is well worth a spin at the €14.99 price tag on the PS Store.