I love finding games that I didn’t know I needed, or even wanted.
A fantastic mix of wizard dodge ball and arkanoid, GrappleHook Games‘ Skorcery was a surprise to me at this year’s Boston Festival of Indie Games. It’s face paced, has a great balance of strategy and blind chaos, and invites friendly competition on the couch. I played a few rounds with the developers at the festival before having to move on, but, quite frankly, would have been very happy to spend the rest of the afternoon playing Skorecery.
Skorecery is a 2D sports-like local multiplayer game built on a strong magic and mysticism theme, where playable characters use agility and spellcasting to defeat their opponent in a closed arena. Gameplay is fast-paced with high replay value, which is thanks to years of playtesting and refinement. Over the course of development, Skorecery has been theme-less, set in space, and magical, but one thing has stayed the same: the core mechanics. While sports-like is a popular pseudo-genre these days (Rocket League, Sportsfriends, Hokra, Videoball), Skorecery ultimately came from a nostalgiac and sincere appreciation for the days of gaming where everyone would be in the same room, enjoying one another’s presence as much as the game itself.
I had the chance to play “two versions” of Skorecery at the BFIG; a classic version and chaotic, crazy version.
Classic was the bare bones game with the most basic rules. While controls took some getting used to, the game is fantastically fun. In it, you control a wizard, and are fighting over control of an orb. If you manage to grab this orb, you can charge it, changing it to your color, and fling it at your opponents skulls. Your opponent can try to intercept, but if it hits a skull, it will destroy it, and loose its charge. This fight over ball control continues until one team has eliminated all of their opponents skulls.
Each player also has one magic ability, adding some strategy to the affair. These range from freeze spells, to summonable magic barriers, to decoy skulls. There’s a great amount of variety already, and it’s very clear that more abilities and wizards are in the works.
To add even more variety, there are a host of options to tweak the game; things like the ball not loosing momentum, or carrying its charge longer, or just needing to touch the ball, not grab it, to change its color. Turning on a number of these created a “Chaos Mode”, where button mashing and blind luck took over. I had incredible fun playing this with Eric Peterson, one of the lead developers at GrappleHook Games,
Skorecery has the makings of a hit local multiplayer “sports” game. It’s fast pace, flexibility and that touch of chaos are a perfect recipe for fun with friends.
While there is no release date yet estimated, you can be sure that we’ll be eagerly awaiting more updated and information.