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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Blood Bowl!

Back in the 90s, some friends of mine started playing a table-top game called Blood Bowl. This game was surprisingly fun, addictive, and potentially expensive depending on the number and quality of playing pieces that you used and customized. Although I was never the greatest player in the world, my Undead team of Blood Bowlers won their fair share of victories over the years.

So why am I brining this up now? Well, it looks like there is another Blood Bowl video game in the making!

To help explains things a little better, here's what Wikipedia has to say about Blood Bowl:

Blood Bowl is a turn-based two-player board game that typically uses 28 mm models to represent players on a board containing a grid of squares representing the field. Using dice, cards, and counters, the players attempt to outscore each other by entering each other's endzone with a player who carries or receives the ball.

The "Blood" in Blood Bowl is represented by the violent actions available to players. Game play is based on a hybrid of American Football, Rugby, and ultra-violent fictional sports events such as Rollerball. Players may attempt to injure or maim the opposition in order to make scoring easier by reducing the number of enemy players in the way.

The players themselves are drawn from the ranks of fantasy races and have characteristics that reflect the abilities of those races. Elves tend to be agile and good at scoring, while Dwarfs and Orcs are more suited to a grinding, physical style of play. Players are also divided up into positions, typically noted by their most suited role on the field including Throwers, Catchers and Linemen.

In league play, the players may gain additional skills and abilities based on the accumulation of experience points and also can pick up injuries or even die, and teams can improve by the purchase of off-field staff such as cheerleaders, assistant coaches and apothecaries.

I really enjoyed the game when I played it all those years ago. In fact, I still have the box sitting in my family room. The game remains unplayed but you never know when visiting friends will feel like breaking out a classic.

I mentioned earlier that the upcoming release of Blood Bowl is not the game's first appearance in video game format. Back in the mid 1990s, Blood Bowl was released for PC. The game was pretty good for fans of the game, but there was much left to be desired. Just take a look at the intro to the game below to get an idea of Blood Bowl's last appearance:

In late 2008, France-based games developer Cyanide (makers of the game Loki and a slew of other forgettable titles) plans on releasing a brand new version of Blood Bowl. Early screenshots and video look alright given that the game's release is still a year away, assuming that things get cleaned up and pretty-fied. I think Blood Bowl deserves a solid video game port of its excellent table-top game play.

It would be awesome to have an online Blood Bowl league with stats, news, and scores of all the Blood Bowl games happening across the globe. If the Games Workshop could come up with some big tournaments and prizes, Blood Bowl could be great! Realistically though, I think that this game will most likely suck when finally released. Unknown developers who make under-whelming games do not come through in the clutch very often and I highly doubt that this IP is Cyanide's golden ticket to video game riches. But I'll hold out hope!

In any case, here's the most recent video that I could find of Blood Bowl's game play. It's a little last-gen looking but much better than the nineties version of the game:

And feel free to visit GameSpot for some new screenshots from Blood Bowl.


Okay, back to Assassin's Creed...