Developed By : High Horse Entertainment
Published By : High Horse Games
Category : Arcade, Sports, Multiplayer
Release Date : 02.08.2018
In March of 2017, Disc Jam launched on to PS4 and PC for players to experience. Eleven months later, almost exactly to the day, this frisbee tossing game made it’s presence known on the Switch!
The goal is simple. You’re on a tennis-like court with either two or four players total (half and half on each side of the net), and a frisbee spawns in the middle. Each side must throw the frisbee and make it past their opponent(s) to the back side of the court to score a goal. How many points you score is determined by the length of the rally before a score. Points start at five, and whoever receives the first toss has a chance to double it to ten if they can score an ace. If not, then each pass over the net will increase the potential score by one, continuously climbing until a score occurs.
Controls are pretty fun and unique in Disc Jam. when it’s your turn to hurl the disc, you can either throw it by using the left joystick to create a spin pattern, and the B button to throw it. You can also use either ZL or ZR, and doing so will add an additional left or right spin (respective to which button you use) when your throw happens. Other than actually throwing the disc, you can lob it as well with Y for a drop shot. Depending on where and how you’re holding the left stick, this will place a glowing white circle on the court where the disc is intended to land. If the disc hits before your opponent can grab it, you’ll get the score.
Defense can be a bit tricky, but just as fun. You really only have one goal : catch the disc. Your opponent has the same capabilities you do, so you’ll either have to read the spins and deflections to cut off a shot, or race to the target for a drop shot in order to save yourself from being scored on. Your character can slide with the Y button, allowing you to cover a bit more ground and maybe, just maybe, make that last second nab. But, be careful because the disc can knock you down if it hits you in the back, and there’s no coming back from that.
While on defense, you have a chance to activate your characters special throw. There’s one of four to choose from, and they can be really tricky to pull off. By pressing B before you have the disc in your hands, a small shield comes up, and there’s a few things you can do with this. It can deflect the disc, which usually makes for a guaranteed score if you’re close enough to the net when you do it. However, it can be charged as well if you start using it early enough. If you can manage to get it to a full charge, and catch the disc (your mobility is completely nullified while using the shield) this will trigger your special throw. The specials take on a fast and unpredictable pattern that, while not impossible to stop, will feel like it when you see it happen.
The other thing Disc Jam offers is a ton of customization options for the player. There are half a dozen different characters to choose from, and plenty of options for changing their outfit, their taunt, the disc itself, and the special throws. During games, depending on how you do, you’ll earn points that can be used on a prize machine to randomly win any number of these items for you to use.
As great of a game as this is, I was skeptical about it on the Switch at first. I got Disc Jam right off it’s initial release on the Playstation 4, and since then it’s been an online-multiplayer only game, with the exception of some offline training modes. Now, granted the Switch is still a home console, its also a portable device. So, my skepticism revolved around the fact that a mostly online-versus game was coming to an on-the-go system.
Recently, though, an offline mode has been added to the game in the form of a gauntlet mode. You’ll face off against CPU ghosts in an endless play-until-you-lose mode. What’s cool about this mode is not only does it give this game a bit of extra life for players who don’t use online modes, but if you are able to play online at all, the game collects data from the people you play against and builds the ghosts based on them.
If it weren’t for the added gauntlet mode, it would be harder to shout this game from the rooftops. Disc Jam is a ton of fun whether you play on or offline, and is definitely worth a buy on the Switch if you’re playing on the console a lot at home. If you use the Switch mostly on the go then this one might be harder to justify until if/when an offline single player experience is expanded upon.
Handheld – Great
Detached Joy-Cons – Great
Joy-Con Controller – Okay
Pro Controller – N/A
Docked – Great