The scene: a neon-drenched arena of the future, pulsating with bright colors and thumping music. You: a gentlemanly, rectangular, rolling robot, somewhat like a neon, mustachioed version of Borderlands‘ Claptrap. The game: Robot Roller-Derby Disco Dodgeball , a new multiplayer arena first-person-shooter of sorts from developer Erik Asmussen. Your mood: exuberant.
After floating around Steam’s Early Access paid-beta section for a while, Robot Roller-Derby Disco Dodgeball officially released last week for PC, Mac, and Linux, and it’s as fun to play as its name is awesome. At its core, technically you could classify it as an arena/deathmatch-type first-person-shooter, like Quake or Unreal Tournament. But RRDDD riffs on this in a number of creative ways.
For one: movement. The game is played on wheels, so everyone has momentum, maintaining movement even if you stop holding that directional key or look somewhere else. Also the arenas are designed like futuristic skateparks, and moving up a ramp will launch you slightly into the air. It’s an odd shift to traditional movement methods that takes a bit of getting used to. But just like other control styles, it’s the kind of thing that with time can be mastered, allowing for sliding trickshots and other advanced movements.
More importantly, Disco Dodgeball‘s first-person combat is wildly unlike traditional shooters. There are no guns, obviously—your weapons are balls. It’s also a one-hit-kill game, putting it in line with recent local multiplayer favorites like Towerfall and Samurai Gunn. It plays like dodgeball—pick up balls around the arena, fling them at your opponents to knock’em out, catch an incoming ball to eliminate the thrower in turn.