Videoball has been described as a minimalist sports game, as Asteroids meets soccer. Developed by Action Button Entertainment and published by Iron Galaxy. With the rise in competitive indie games being released, people may know Iron Galaxy from publishing games such as Capsule Force and Divekick. Videoball is the next game of this genre to come out, but it is its minimalist approach and refined mechanics that allow it to stand out.
As is the case with minimalism, Videoball eliminates the nonessentials in all aspects of the game. Its visuals consist of simple shapes making for a unique art style that in instantly recognizable. Its controls are simple, using one stick and one button to play the game. This philosophy even extends to the game mode. It is a simple concept that leads to a highly competitive game.
Each game involves two teams competing to hit a circle into the other teams area. Every game is an eruption of chaotic ball bouncing, as each team tries to redirect the momentum of the circles. Even though the concept is simple, the game is still skill based. You can customize aspects of the game such as the size of the court or add in obstacles or variables that can be changed to offer variety, things like how many balls are on the field or the score limit.
The gameplay just feels so refined it doesn’t have any unnecessary baggage when it comes to playing. You charge up a triangle that you fire at the circle, the longer you hold the button, the bigger the triangle, the bigger the triangle, the faster the circle will move when its hit. Most of the skill comes from using the momentum of the circles or hitting shots from across the court. If playing on PC, I would highly recommend using a gamepad. I used a PS4 controller with no problems.
The minimalist visual and bright colors on display allows you to concentrate on the chaos that erupts on the screen during every game. It is an explosion of color with balls bouncing all over the court with you the orchestrator of this madness. The music is also great. It manages to create an identity while also reminding you of a Super Nintendo game.
Videoball has an arcade mode which allows you to play through maps against AI. This mode is fine but mostly serves as practice for the games main draw, the multiplayer. The game has both online or local, allowing for 1v1, 2v2 and 3v3 matchups, although the PlayStation 4 does not permit 3v3 matches locally.
When it comes to a lot of competitive indie games, if you can’t get a group of friends together it will often hamper the experience due the fact that an online option is often absent, this is not the case with Videoball. The online allows for Ranked and Exhibition and offers a good alternative if you can’t get a group together to play. The game is at its best, however, when you are playing with a group of people in the same room. The fast and chaotic gameplay lends its self to local multiplayer extremely well and is frequently met with an eruption of laughter.
Videoball manages to strip away all the unnecessary elements taking a minimalist approach and leaving an extremely refined end product. Its simplicity allows its game mechanics to be picked up quickly and its visual style to be instantly recognizable. All this together creates a game that is incredibly fun and sports a concise vision for what it wants to do.
Videoball manages to strip away all the unnecessary elements taking a minimalist approach and leaving an extremely refined end product. Its simplicity allows its game mechanics to be picked up quickly and its visual style to be instantly recognizable.