Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
At least once a year I like to sit down to a crazy and quite unrealistic sports game. Realism is fun but let’s be honest for a moment that “reality” is what we each live every day in our own fashions. Graveball coming to us from Goin’ Yumbo Games, is all about some good 3v3 handball to the death. Repeatedly.
Imagine for a moment that you are on a court staring at three other goblins wearing a variety of bone masks and holding clubs. To the left and to the right the same can be seen. Now once the whistle blows, there’s a skull to be picked up and brought into the enemy’s endzone. I say enemy because you won’t simply be running with the skull or tackling an opponent. Oh no. Instead, you’ll be running and jumping while swinging your club in order to make them meet their maker! Just be careful though as death isn’t the end and taking your own life can be a valid strategy.
Graveball loosely plays with the handball rules. If you catch the skull you don’t need to worry about dribbling or only being able to take three steps. You just run with it and hope that you don’t die along the way as death comes rather easily. Pretty much using sudden death rules, all it takes is one hit regardless of how proper it is to send you to the grave. Once you die, at least a normal death and not a smooth move, it’ll take three seconds in order to allow you to respawn as a ghost. One a ghost, you can respawn into a goblin and take back to the field to grab the ball and score or to deny your enemy the pleasure.
What is interesting with Graveball is that there’s a game being played on two levels. The first is in the mortal realm where you can grab the skull, score points and eliminate the opposition. The second is being dead an a resident of the spirit world. While as a ghost, you can only see other ghosts but you move extremely fast and can be on the other side of the court in a manner of seconds. Furthermore, there’s Death’s scythe, yes capital D, that is just floating around and waiting to return to the mortal realm to wreak some havoc. Each form has it’s obvious advantage and disadvantages but while playing with others these is where some pretty interesting strategies could be formed as long as the other team hasn’t tuned into your plan.
Helping along these plans is the ability to allow yourself to die and become a ghost on your own accord. Doing this is as easy as pressing a button and the advantage that this has compared to dying at someone else’s hand is that there’s no countdown for respawning. The switching is easy, and hopefully painless, allowing you to try to pull off the move that you had been wanting. The only issue is that because you can’t see what is going on in the mortal realm, you could pop back out, die to a club, and have to wait out the respawn timer essentially foiling all of your once brilliantly thought up plan.