Pale version of a classic board game
Games Workshop's legendary board game of fantasy sports violence hits small screens in this adaptation which retains the feel of its inspiration but which unfortunately lacks its gleeful sense of dark humour and simplifies proceedings somewhat. It remains fun for those who have never played the board game and for anyone looking for a more strategic version of Speedball, but is far from a classic. The basic premise is straightforward enough and sees two teams of fantasy creatures taking part in an American Football-style contest where the goal is simply to score more points than the opposing side. The twist here is that violence is encouraged with injured players an alarming, but highly amusing, regular feature of most games. Each race has its own skills and style of playing and with the game itself playing out in turn-based fashion, with each player having a certain number of action points per turn, which are used to move, tackle, pass or use other special abilities. Games are viewed from a top-down perspective which takes some of the board game's personality away, as the overhead sprites are lacking in detail and character, rendering the game somewhat colourless. The computer version also removes or changes some important features, like the special cards which added in some random entertainment to proceedings, while the new abilities which are available to players are assigned randomly which does prove frustrating. Blood Bowl is by no means a disaster, and is certainly fun for a while, with some tactical gameplay and with the league providing some challenge. However, it pales when compared with the original board game and must be considered something of a wasted opportunity. The similarly themed Brutal Sports Football and M.U.D.S are worth playing, but are likewise lacking in excitement.