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Super Slam Dunk Touchdown Hands-On Preview from PAX South 2015

by Kyle Hanson

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As we said in our review of #IDARB, the frenetic multiplayer game genre is in somewhat of a renaissance. Games like Sportsfriends, Nidhogg, and Super Smash Bros. have brought back the glory of local, couch multiplayer. This resurgence looks to be reaching a fever pitch lately, and Super Slam Dunk Touchdown is poised to stand alongside these greats as another fantastic game in the genre, while adding in a ton of crazy elements that make it stand out from the pack.

The best way to describe Super Slam Dunk Touchdown is to simply say that it is a combination of hockey, football, basketball, roller derby, soccer, and a few other sports. This isn’t some off-hand comment meant to simplify the gameplay. That is actually what the game is meant to be. Six players form up into two teams in any combination. After that they choose which type of sports star to play as, choosing between the aforementioned sports. They then take to the field, or court, or ice rink, and try to score goals against the opposing team in any way they can.

Each player feels different from the others, as they are totally built around the strategy of their particular sport. The hockey player can charge up a shot and fire it across the field, hopefully into the goal. The football player can tackle other players, and run the ball into the goal with relative ease. The basketball player can score goals easier since his shots go up in the air, but can easily have the ball stolen away from him if he’s not careful. Having all of these various players on the same court feels odd at first, but eventually starts feeling more familiar as you think of them more as classes from other games. Using these various strategies you can score goals in tons of different ways.

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The physical goal perfectly exemplifies the entire experience of Super Slam Dunk Touchdown. It is a strange combination of a basketball hoop, football goal posts, and a soccer goal with a lacrosse goalie in front. Your aim is to really just do whatever it takes to score points, toss the ball in the hoop, kick/hit it into the goal, whatever you can think of is probably an option here.

The joy of Super Slam Dunk Touchdown can easily be seen when a group of strangers get to play the game together.

And of course this applies to the defense as well, where duking it out with the opposing team is not only an option, it is a full blown strategy. In one particularly tight match one team intentionally started a fight away from the ball, causing a few other players to get sucked in, this allowed them to run out the clock while all of the players fought instead of shooting for the goal.

The joy of Super Slam Dunk Touchdown can easily be seen when a group of strangers get to play the game together. Amid the confusion of the PAX South 2015 convention hall people were yelling at each other for passes, screaming in frustration as their shot missed, and eventually literally jumping for joy at their triumph. Super Slam Dunk Touchdown quickly brought these players together in the same way those other great local multiplayers games have in the past.

The game is currently in a pre-alpha state, so there is much work to be done going forward, but the core gameplay is definitely good enough to warrant the attention of anyone remotely interested in some fast, fun gaming action. The game will certainly be heading to PC at some point in the future, but consoles are a definite possibility if the team can get it going. Hopefully that will happen soon and the team can keep on track for their currently planned release later this year.

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