When I first saw Eendhoorn Games sports/action local multiplayer game “SpiritSphere”, I didn´t quite know what to make out of it (at least not at the time). As the game seemed to be anything but my cup of tea. However, when I started to play the game for myself. I soon started to realize that “SpiritSphere” is like a mix of old-school “Zelda”, “Windjammers“, air hockey,” Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe” and “Mutant League Hockey”. Simply put, I got pleasantly surprised by the game´s simple, but yet addicting and entertaining concept (all you have to do is to score points against either the computer or human opponents, and you do so with the help of different kinds of balls, attacks and items).
Furthermore, “SpiritSphere” is really easy to learn and play, but it´s also rather hard to master. In other words, it takes quite a lot of skill to play through the whole game on the hardest level (I tried to achieve that on normal, and that was a pretty rough job I have to say). In the matter of fact, even though I “only” played on normal, it still took me a lot of effort to beat the two last opponents in my tournament (I played as the fire girl Taya). So don´t expect to experience a “walk in the park” kind of challenge (I did try to play on the hardest difficulty level, but I didn´t stand a chance in hell against the harder opponents).
However, just like in the case with everything else. Nothing is impossible if you just put your mind to it. So if you got the time and effort for it, then you could give the hard mode a go (I´ll give that one a pass for now, as I need to rest up after my “SpiritSphere” playthrough video *cough cough*). A fair warning though, do not even think about doing that if you suffer from anger-management problems. As you might actually end up breaking your keyboard in pure anger and frustration. It´s also worth pointing out that there are currently seven playable characters in the game (I could be wrong, but I think each character also offers a different set of stages throughout that person´s tournament?), and each one of them offers a rather distinct gameplay experience (unique abilities, strengths and weaknesses).
Even so, I have to admit that I like Lin (she´s like the female version of Link) and Taya the most. As Lin can weld a sword like a boss, and Taya uses fire to score goals against here opponents. Keep this in mind though, it´s extremely likely that you will face the very same character that you picked later on in the game. So it’s most definitely a good idea to become as good as possible at mastering your favorite character, because the computer version of your character will show you no mercy at all. I mean, sure, there are in-game items that could help you win your matches, but those items could also be used against you by your opponents. So don´t fall for the false sense of security, as it´s something of an double-edged sword.
I would also like to point out that a “SpiritSphere” match could be turned on its edge rather quickly (I have won matches when I was two goals behind, and I´ve lost matches where I was two goals ahead). So don´t EVER put your guard down, and don´t think that the game is over before it´s over (most matches end in just a couple of minutes). Other than that, it´s a big plus if you have cat (or jedi) reflexes. You see, “SpiritSphere” is a really fast-paced game (I´m not even kidding, because the longer a match goes on, the faster the ball will bunch around). So it´s crucial that you have your eyes on the ball (s) at all time, otherwise your going to end up losing your match faster than you can say Game Over.
So, what´s my overall expression of “SpiritSphere” then? Well, despite the game´s flaws (such as the lack of an online multiplayer mode), I still believe that “SpiritSphere” is a really pleasant retro-like sports/action game. So if you enjoy air hockey and games such as “Zelda”, “Windjammers” and “Shufflepuck Cafe”. Then you´re going to enjoy “SpiritSphere” a whole lot with no doubt.
+ Easy to learn, hard to master
+ Extremely addicting and entertaining
+ Plenty of different characters, items, balls and stages to pick from
+ The controls are rock solid
– No online mode
– The soundtrack leaves a lot to desire
– High levels of anger management moments
– The 8-bit graphics might not be everyone’s cup of tea
Replay value: 4/5
Eendhoorn Games “SpiritSphere” is a really entertaining and addicting sport/action game (think old-school “Zelda” meets” air hockey and “Speedball 2”), and it´s even more fun when you play the game together with friends in the local multiplayer mode.
Developer: Eendhoorn Games
Resolution: Highest possible for PC
Release date: 2017-01-24
Spent time: +3 hours
Average grade internationally: 50% (PC preview) Gamerankings.com
PEGI age rating: E
Price: 4,79 Euros
The review code was provided by Eendhoorn Games.
Robin “V-Act” Ek
The Gaming Ground
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