I would dive right into explaining what Stikbold is, but I’ll let this trailer kick us off:
Stikbold is a 4-player dodgeball game with a few tweaks: namely, that when your character is down, you are far from out. Depending on the stage, players who have been knocked out can assault the remaining players by attacking them with dodgeball launchers, riding in on a waxing machine, streaking across the play field and clinging to their legs like a deranged fan, and much more.
The “story” of Stikbold, such as it is, follows players Bjorn and Jerome as they work on their dream of becoming Stikbold champions, encountering strange figures and uncovering conspiracies along the way. Like most games that focus on multiplayer, the attempt to construct a solid single-player journey is a difficult one. It’s hard to get into a story mode when you know just how much fun the multiplayer can be. Still, their efforts are appreciated, and it can be a good way to kill some time while you’re waiting for challengers.
The controls are about as simple as you can get: you dodge with L2, and launch the dodgeball or push a player with R2. You can use the right stick to “curve” your throw, to snipe cowards who might be hiding out behind a nearby box or obstacle, but other than that slight nuance, it’s pretty easy to pick up and play.
I have to say I’m amused by the art and music of Stikbold. They really commit to this universe that seems forever entrenched in the spirit of the 70s;I half-expected to go through some step aerobics with my characters at some point. The blocky characters might be off-putting to some, especially on the beach levels (70s guys in speedos…shudder), but I found their characterizations to add to the fun of the game. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen Bjorn’s victory dance.
Where the game really shines, of course, is in the 4-player arena mode. You can do a free-for-all battle, or you can do 2v2 in a battle royale across various stages. We figured it would be better to show rather than tell so, enjoy our little gameplay/review video below:
Overall, Stikbold is a really fun game. You can pick it up and rain dodgeball justice down upon your friends and family, and you’ll likely have a blast for a few hours. Are there other titles out there that have more staying power in terms of replayability? Yes. But if it’s priced the same on PSN as it is on Steam ($10), I’d say that it’s worth the investment. Anything more than $10 though, and you might experience some buyer’s remorse.
Note: We were provided a review code for Stikbold! by Curve Digital