by Emily Reuben
Disclaimer: This playthrough was performed on an Intel i7-6700 with a GTX 1080 graphics card. This review is based on alpha build 1.2 of Decksplash.
From the folks who brought the world the physics-based fun of Surgeon Simulator and I Am Bread comes Bossa Studio’s newest foray into the gaming market: Decksplash. The concept lies somewhere between Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater’s Graffiti mode and Splatoon. Teams of three funky, riderless skateboards are matched together online to see who can cover the most ground in their team’s paint. The bigger the combo, the more area is covered once the skateboard lands. Careful not to let that combo go on too long though, because every player has a strategic combo breaker that radiates out from the player’s board, and if an opponent is caught in the blast mid-combo, the whole combo gets restarted.
Alpha build 1.2 featured one small map of a skate park with various rails and ledges to grind, some quarter pipes, and even a few gaps to clear. After selecting “play online match”, the player’s lobby has free roam of the skate park, allowing players to familiarize themselves with the precise details of the competitive arena. While matchmaking took much longer than it should have, it was apparent it was because there were too few people playing at once and not the result of server issues or laggy connections.
The physics of the game is definitely arcade, something to expect from Bossa Studios’ previous work. However, the physics don’t always feel natural. Jumping provides a lot of vertical lift, but traversing a halfpipe is nearly impossible. Luckily, the combos are based around grinds and flips, which can be linked quite expertly after a bit of practice. Landing was always difficult to get right, but never felt unfair.
All in all, Decksplash looks like it will be a good game. If the full game plays like this alpha, with exciting matches that come down to the wire and even more amusing designs, this could fill a niche similar to Rocket League.
With a little bit of polish, Decksplash may emerge as the next big online arcade versus game. If they can fill their lobbies faster and iron out a few physics-based inconsistencies, Bossa Studios and gamers everywhere will have a true gem on their hands.
Ryan is a Music Media Production major who wrote the first ever Byte music review and has been involved with nearly every other section at some point. He is also an event planner at Village Green Records and the primary booking coordinator for the store’s outdoor concerts.