Tim Rogers’ early ideas for Videoball began as an attempt to make a single-button StarCraft. He wanted to create a spectator video game sport as popular as StarCraft, but simple enough where any player or viewer could understand and quickly embrace it.
Videoball is far removed from those early single-button RTS ideas, and has evolved into a fast-paced cross between 2D soccer and air hockey. Players control their player (an arrow) with the left control stick and press a single-button to fire off a projectile. Depending on what mode you’re playing, there could be one or multiple balls on the court and you are attempting to push into the opposite goal. Holding down the button releases a stronger projectile, and if you let it go at just the right moment you release a super-powered spike. You can also hold down the button longer to create a block that will impede the ball from entering your goal, or just get in the way of other players.
It’s very simple, but as senior associate editor Tim Turi and I played against the game’s creator, we quickly found ourselves taking on tactical positions like goalie and forward like you would in a game of soccer.
It only took a few minutes for us to move from projectiles firing off everywhere in utter chaos, to getting the timing on the powerful spike projectile down, and working with and against each other to accomplish and block goals.
During our playtime we played games with multiple and single balls on varying courts. Some were small with accessible goals, while others were large with barriers in the way of the goals, but all took place on a single screen. Placing the game on a single-screen helps the spectator sport aspect of the game and helps alleviate confusion for all involved.
Along with the local multiplayer, Rogers is promising a campaign, single-player training, and online multiplayer. He also says the game will run at 300 frames-per-second on a 4k television (if you have access to one) and the font used for the final version of the game looks, “way more expensive.”
“If it’s one word, it’s a real sport,” Rogers says in regards to the game’s name. Rogers wants it to be a game anyone can watch and understand, but can still be fun with a high level of strategy for those playing. We won’t know how it will be embraced until Videoball releases, but my time with the game left me wanting more.