Rolling back the years

Having used to work at Games Workshop many moons ago as a Saturday job, and having grown up playing their games with my brother I always like to try my hand at the games that are fashioned out of their various licenses. Usually it is fairly hit and miss, a few rare gems of genuine greatness, a lot of average titles and the odd stinker. The latest release, a version of their fantasy football style game, Blood Bowl, manages to be hit and miss within the one package!

I am loving playing the turn based campaign mode of the Blood Bowl game. In it's turn based incarnation it is a exceptionally faithful recreation of the board game. It is a virtually perfect copy of the board game experience (aside from what I suspect are weighted dice rolls across the difficulty levels). Every roll means something and there is the same sense of tension as you wait for the computer to make the 'dice rolls' for you as you maneuver your team around the board. Everything that makes the board game great also makes the turn based mode great. So if you want the same experience without having to play the board game, or to match your wits against online players this is just what you have been waiting for.

The menus though could have used a little more work, intuitive isn't a word I would use to describe the interface.

Then you have the action real time mode, which is an almost polar experience to the tension of the turn based version. For some reason, at least for me, it just doesn't work. It is chaotic, you feel like you only have a very loose control over your team, there is obvious imbalances and the speed of the players is almost impossible to judge...I just didn't find it very fulfilling. Even when routing other teams (which I did while trying it out) I didn't feel any sense of accomplishment because I didn't feel particularly in control of events on the screen.

So whether you might enjoy Blood Bowl very much depends what you might have been looking for. A faithful recreation of the board game? Check, perfect for you! No hesitation in recommending it. An action packed sports title inspired by the original? Not so much, and I would very much say you should try and find a demo (not sure if there is one yet) or watch a friend play before committing to it.

I am happy with my faithful recreation of the board game, this has the same appeal to me as the online version of Magic the Gathering, I can play a game I enjoy without the hassle of having to collect things, find opponents and go out and play it. I do miss that a little, but these are busier days and a title like this is perfect for my schedule where I can just play a quick game, enjoy it, save the campaign, and get back to whatever the current distraction life is throwing up is.