After hearing a lot of good things about High Horse Entertainment’s new cult classic Disc Jam, I decided to turn on my PS4 and see what all the hype was about. With the Beta release last week, it seemed a good time to see what all the buzz was about. After all, I’m a big fan of Rocket League, so I was cautiously optimistic that this too could live up to that kind of hype.
As sports games overall continue to improve, my own personal expectations for what is possible even with smaller indie projects also has continued to rise. Psyonix showed that not only the big companies can make great sports games and that’s exactly what High Horse Entertainment sets fourth to do. Here are my early impressions of Disc Jam.
What is Disc Jam?
Disc Jam is a game where “air hockey meets tennis”, as the developers poetically put it. It is an online game, consisting of 2-4 players. The premise of the game is to throw a frisbee (disc) past your opponent, or have it land on your opponent’s side. Users are given an array of different shot option and have the ability to bounce, curve and bend the disc, ricocheting from wall to wall. It truly is an air hockey/tennis/frisbee hybrid.
Players are able to do “super shots”, which are far more difficult to defend. If you can manage to stop a “super shot”, you likely will return one of your own to your opponent.
Defensively, the objective is to catch the disc before it reaches the goal, or lands on your defending side. Players are given the ability to block shots, and can slide from side to side to defend. Super shots are obviously much more difficult than the other shot types to defend. More times than not players are unable to catch these shots, and the disc will bounce aimlessly into the air. Catching a shot and immediately returning it to the opposing team improves your chances of scoring. Also, the speed of your shot is often dictated by how quick you can return a shot back towards your opponent. The hardest part on defense is anticipating where the disc may go. I continuously struggle with curved shots and ricochets, as it is very difficult to judge their trajectory.
A Surprising Experience
The game is much deeper than what it seems on the surface. With a rather steep learning curve, I would strongly recommend progressing through the tutorials before playing the game online. Here, users will learn the ins and out of the game which will give you a bit of a head start. Whether it’s how to shoot, curve your shot, or slide aimlessly around the court, Disc Jam is more than meets the eye. It’s still early, but based on my time with the beta, Disc Jam has the potential to be a sports-game juggernaut as Rocket League did prior.