Games of the Year

Strikers Edge

Strikers Edge Screenshot 1
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Strikers Edge is a medieval dodgeball with weapons, ancient warriors and special powers. Challenge your opponents in online and local multiplayer, ascend to the top of the ladder and become the best striker! DODGEBRAWL: Strikers Edge is a game of dodgebrawl! Use whatever means it takes to bring your foe down from your side of the rift. GIT GUD: Get your accuracy on point, anticipate your enemies’ trajectories and get the psychological upper hand to annihilate the opposition! ONLINE AND LOCAL: Fight online or locally as one of 8 unique strikers across 4 different arenas. Achieve greatness in 2v2 with a friend or become the top striker in 1v1! PICK AND MASTER: Each striker has its own set of abilities, weapon, stats and playstyles. Which one will you choose and master?
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

No time for Bullshit Review:
Yo Pros:
-FAST&FUN PVP 1v1 and 2v2 Skillshot/dodge gameplay.
-Cool Pixel Style, with legit hitboxes for those Hardcore gamers.
-Twitch implementation which makes streaming fun.
-Multiple Heroes and each have a different playstyle.
-Multiple maps with a variety of hazards.
-Available room at character select...potential for MORE deadly pixel people!!!
-Very Short Campaign for Each Hero but it let's you try them all out decide which you like best with some dialogue.
- PVP Communication funtion - you can use the 1-4 keys on keyboard to control this, and the directional keypad on a controller to use basic comms.
Dem Cons:
-Server issues are to blame for the horrid lag in PVP.
-This client based resolution and Windows/Fullscreen. Listen, if you want to make this an easy to stream game, then make it accessible to the streamers, all options and edits to the game should be under Settings.
-Playerbase is a bit low, sure games can be found but don't be suprised if you hit 8-10 min queue times...hopefully this gets some exposure, IGN. POLYGON where you at, PR team!?
I do recommend, because i enjoy it. and i like seeing fresh games that have "CONS" that can be fixed...you know, that whole procces of staying through it's evolution and seeing it rise like a damn phoenix? Cool, glad we can relate. There is plenty of space for new heroes and maps so it's future is bright. If you believe they can fix the CONS then it's a SOLID pick-up, even if it's just LOCAL PLAY with ur friend who sucks at these games to make you feel better about yo'self.
OH, damn - almost forgot! i even made a video about the game - COME SEE MY FINE FACE and HELLA AMAZING SKILLS BELOW!

Review from Steam


Review by Sven Evil - Steam's best local 4-player curator! See 100s of more local 4-player reviews at my curator page!
Simple dodgeball variant from a medieval fantasy realm... choose between 8 different heroes, play a short single player campaign with each of them - and then DUKE it OUT with your friends!
Kill your foe(s) with lethal medieval weaponry, like spears, arrows, axes or spells. You have 4 different arenas to play in, but they are just candy for the eye and play only marginally different.
1v1, 1v2, 2v2... CPU can take over missing players...
All in all the game is fun for an hour or two when you have some friends to play with (or fight some strangers you met on discord), but it does not come close to the best games of the genre.
Game supports local and online play, XBox 360 and XBox One controllers worked fine.
Conclusion:
Easy to understand, fun to play. Rounds do not take very long. Great party game!

Review from Steam

Strikers Edge is a simple yet challenging and fun game. Perfect for some quick matches in between something else.
Addicting gameplay and gorgeous pixel art graphics. Give it a try!

Review from Steam

Overview
Strikers Edge is a great game of killer dodge ball that supports between 1 and 4 players. The short campaigns are fun and bots can provide some solo enjoyment. The game shines when there are at least two people in an adrenaline fuelled duel to the death. Each campaign provides the back story of each character and their motivations for fighting. The pixel art is beautiful and backgrounds have easily recognizable, unique hazards. An interesting mechanic is that players can see each other’s aiming reticle leading to fake outs and mind games. The sound design is good and satisfying, especially explosions. The only detraction for this game is that it is multiplayer focused and it doesn’t have many people in its online community to play matches against.
Game Breakdown
Gameplay:
The game consists of two or four participants on either sides of a river that divides the play area of both teams or individuals. These arenas aren’t static however. Each stage has a hazard or obstacle that effects the pace of the match. For example, one stage has two rocks which provide cover. These hazards aren’t always helpful. Another stage has a poison river which spits puddles which damage a player’s character and creates area denial. Since hitpoints are a sacred resource in this game, this is a hazard that is important to pay attention to.
Each character in this game has an equal amount of hitpoints and stamina. If the player’s character loses all of his or her hitpoints the player loses the round, and potentially the match. The other bar, which is blue, beneath the hitpoints is a character’s stamina. By attacking, the player uses up a bit of stamina. This is to combat potential attack spamming.
Attacks come in one of two flavors. The basic attack and the charged attack. A basic attack uses up a bit of stamina but allows the player to keep player movement momentum. Basic attacks simply take a bit of health off of an enemy and is released quite quickly. A full stamina bar allows a good flurry of attacks before it depletes. The other attack that a player can use is the charged attack. While it deals more damage and often applies status debuffs, the player’s character becomes very slow while charging. This gives the other player a chance to attack an easy target, so charge attacks are a tradeoff. Charged attacks can be activated after being thrown or landing using the special ability button. These extra abilities can be anything from creating a line of fire which damages and ignites enemies, to an explosion at a shield’s position. Beware of the tricks an opponent may play on you.
While playing both players can see each other’s aiming reticles to see where attacks are being aimed. This provides a layer of deceit and mind game to attacks. For example, the character Argalus’ special attack allows him to throw a shield which bounces off of walls and obstacles. The player using Argalus could make his or her opponent believe that Argalus will throw below the opponent. Mid charge however, Argalus rapidly aims upwards at the now dodging opponent and releases the charge attack early, creating a basic attack. There are ways to defend against attack.
The first way someone can defend is by using a block. Every character starts a round with three blocks which slowly recharge. Besides negating damage, blocks also provide buffs. These come in three types. A character, depending on who it is, may receive a heal, gain a defense boost so they take less damage, or gains an attack speed buff. Blocks can be used defend against charged attacks. It is a tough decision on when to best block. Instead of a block, the player may also use a roll. A roll allows the player’s character to quickly change direction so they don’t suffer a direction change momentum penalty. Rolls use stamina however, which is the same resource one uses to attack. This creates an offensive and defensive balance that the player must maintain to be effective. Lastly, attacks can block an opponent’s attacks. A basic attack blocks a basic attack and a charged attack blocks another charged attack. A charged attack will destroy any normal attacks in its path.
The movement in the game may feel like one is sliding on ice due to having trouble changing direction. This is based off of a momentum mechanic which balances the mind game aspect of the game. The player must commit to a movement, attack, or action. This creates a strategy layer where players must plan their moves in advance and modify these plans on the fly. While some players may not like this slippery movement mechanic, I felt that it only added to the competitive metagame that this game has.
As for single player content, there are bots of many skill levels to play against. If a player wants some lore with their bot matches, a short campaign is provided for every hero. These campaigns can be difficult, especially when they introduce new challenges to an already simple-yet-complex set of mechanics. Unfortunately, the multiplayer community for this game is sparse and could use some new players. Streamers also have a set of features that help entertain the crowd through powerful Twitch integration. The chat can introduce modifiers to spice up gameplay, throw power-ups to certain opponents, and can cheer and boo to be annoying, a staple of the twitch chat we all both love and hate.
Overall, this is a great competitive couch coop game that anyone who is a thrill seeker can enjoy. The mechanics are simultaneously easy to learn while complex to master. Arenas have varying hazards which create the need for new player strategies. The only sad part is that the game is a bit obscure so its multiplayer community is small at the moment.
Story:
The story of each mini-campaign is great and provides motivation as to why each fighter decides to go on their homicidal journey. While they are short in length, they allow the player to further connect with a favorite character. I appreciate that the developers put work on lore for a mainly multiplayer focused game.
Sound:
Each attack is quite satisfying and recognizable. Explosions sound like they will do quite a bit of damage, which they will, while thrown weapons provide a nice “thunk” when getting impaled in back wall of the arena. Characters sound appropriately burdened by a sudden roll, though rolling is frequent enough that the rolling sound clip can get a bit annoying.
Graphics:
The graphical style is pixel art. The developers for Strikers Edge really know how to cram as much detail into a piece of pixel art as possible. Backgrounds are incredibly beautiful and animations are extremely fluid. While death animations aren’t very violent, the addition of a slow-mo effect makes it look all the more brutal.
Conclusion
Pros:
Great Gameplay
Easy-to-Learn, Hard-to-Master
Excellent competitive game
Local Multiplayer
Breathtaking visuals
Cons:
Small Online Multiplayer Community At the Moment
Rating
9/10.
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Review from Steam

Dodge-enthrall
The keyboard layout displays itself helpfully at the bottom of the screen alongside the countdown for the hundredth game you've played. "Just in case you forget", it smiles (and I anthropomorphise). No one's to be lost on their umpteenth game here.
It's because, like many competitive games, Strikers Edge's core arcade gameplay is actually very simple; with the potential, of course, for self-taught improvement and eventually mastery. It's at once a jump-in game - "here are the controls before you, have a go" - and a game bordering on self-abuse whilst tackling the toughest AI opponents, or vying for tactical multiplayer domination.
In a real sense, if you've played one match, you've played them all. Strikers Edge's playful bleeding of medieval fantasy projectile throwing into dodgeball principles is a good one, but apart from some minor environmental hazard differences, modifiers, and character special abilities, the hundredth match you play will be the first. Depending then on your affection for the core gameplay loop repeating on a match-basis, and perhaps your willingness to venture into the potential of the eight characters, your mileage may vary. With a demo available, that first match is definitely worth a try!
Presentation is simple but pleasing in some impressive pixel art environments, detailed characters and good visual feedback. The music didn't seem diverse but was a suitably exciting accompaniment to tense matches. Sound without any character verbal exclamations is otherwise all good feedback for the various, hits blocks and dodges, etc.
To give that core gameplay its due, there is some satisfying design here. You and your opponent(s) (either 1v1 or 2v2) are placed on parallel sides of some form of arena, complete with destructible objects acting as cover and some kind of environmental hazard to be cognizant of. Whittle off the enemy's health fully in two rounds (so comebacks are possible) and you can call yourself a winner. Standard throws of your character's weapon or dodges eat into a stamina meter that restores with time. Thankfully charging an attack or blocking don't do so, but come with their own drawbacks. Charging an attack leaves you exposed, unable to block or dodge, but both deals more damage and has triggerable character-specific special abilities like triggering an area-effective electric shock in your sword you've lodged in their back wall. Whilst dodging comes with an anti-abuse, post-use delay and its meter, blocking has its own timing to nail and three uses that recharge on a separate meter. It also comes with its own character specific traits on a successful block, like reflecting the projectile back across the arena or health regeneration. In this way, it never feels like you're out of options and there's a definite flow to be achieved in recognising the action for any scenario. The ability to headshot for major, often match-defining damage calls for a particular accuracy that allows higher tiers of play and gives incentive to stun your opponent with abilities to achieve it.
A particularly nice design touch is the slow-mo zoom granted when one player is a hit from death and within a glancing blow of a projectile. It gives a repeat second wind to dodge, move or block that can swing the match if used well. Also great is the UI fully exposing your opponent's meters and even their aiming course and cursor to you. Since everything is known to both players, games are almost a tactical full-divide of attention. On one side you need full awareness of your diminishing abilities to throw, dodge and block, as well as your condition and position relative to where they're aiming. Concurrently, you need to take on the exact same mental load in information on your opponent's side to be effectively proactive and reactive. The real core of the game, then, is in your ability to juggle these responsibilities and mentally surmount the physical chasm of the arena and your screen. I think that in particular is brilliance.
So the core gameplay is well designed and fun, undoubtedly. Sheer value proposition content, however, is lacking, admittedly. Eight characters is a fine number given that they sufficiently diversify themselves offensively and defensively in their special abilities. The arena number being limited to just four, though, is a particular shame - especially given the great potential for more environmental meddling in the mix. Eventually, as with any competitive/multiplayer game, it just comes down to visual weariness more than anything else. The single player campaigns are a good idea and add text-based narrative justification for three or so consecutive matchings of opponents for each character. It ends up feeling mostly in name only given the small roster of environments, lack of audible dialogue and the sheer brevity of each. The difficulty setting is a very good touch, though. Particularly as the hardest setting AI is remarkably effective and feels virtually exploit-resistant. The hard setting is the biggest test you'll likely face in-game.
That's because the reality is this game is positioned as online-focused. Like with Left 4 Dead or any brawler (probably a better example!), a single player campaign is a poor stand-in for human face-offs and should be taken as good practice material and little more. It's a massive shame that an online opponent appears currently unattainable. Be it that the numbers are just too low or servers focus on matching you with someone local, I was unable to meet a human being. I came close it seems, but I was connecting for yonks and a day to the point that I just had to give up. In the likely event of a dearth of humanity, then, they automatically match you with an AI opponent that seems set to pushover difficulty. A good way to solve the issue of unattainable achievements, but the diametric opposite of a human challenge. It would be nice to toggle this off so you can at least give waiting a chance. Local play is, of course, available and largely the biggest draw. Complete with four player play and modifiers not found in the campaigns, if you have the people, it's ideal.
This is a slight recommendation with some provisos, then. The core gameplay is one of incredibly good design, but with online unlikely to be sufficiently populated, this is effectively a local multiplayer or even singleplayer offering. Content, as with many fighting games, relies on your full exploration of the characters, their abilities and strategies, and can otherwise be quite thin on the ground. If you can surmount these points, there is a somewhat exciting competitive arcade experience here that is well worth throwing your hat in the arena for, if not mastering. I'm just not certain it's quite enough.
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Review from Steam

-Quick Review-
Strikers Edge is a face paced 1v1 or 2v2 arena fighting indie game developed by Fun Punch Games and released in early 2018.
-Detailed breakdown review-
Story: There is a campaign and tutorial which has some world building and lore stuff, but basically it's a contrived reason to make the various characters fight each other... ...Something about you being a vessel of the "godsblood".
Gameplay: Movement with WASD, dodging with spacebar, click to throw an attack weapon, and the other click to block. Getting a feel for the game takes a bit, and I did get frustrated when attacks from the NPC would get me when I feel like I'm standing behind cover, but as a whole Strikers Edge wasn't unpleasant to play.
I was worried I'd only get a few achievements because of the lack of playerbase; but you're limited to a que time of a minute before you're paired up with an NPC. So you don't sit in que lines for days and days wishing someone would load up the game.
Conclusion: Strikers Edge doesn't have very much to write home about... but I haven't ever played a game quite like it, and I could see people getting invested in it if they had friends to play with.
I think on your own, there just isn't that much to keep you around for very long; but Strikers Edge is worth checking out of you're browsing through games and just looking to try something.
Thanks for reading my review, if you'd like to see gameplay, feel free to check out the attached video at the bottom.
Unscripted Thoughts Video:

Review from Steam

A very solid and fun party game. Essentially it's 1vs1 or 2vs2 dodge ball. It also reminds be of Pudge (Hook) Wars - custom game in Dota 2.
It's not a perfect game, there might be a room for improvement in attack animations and their timings and risk-reward for using the ultimate abilities. The campaign was extremely short and not quite challenging on normal difficulty.
Steam Controllers were kind of ok with this game, but the default mode for the right 'stick' doesn't feel perfect. I haven't played 2v2 yet but I expect the game to shine in that mode.
I've received Strikers Edge for free for review purposes.

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