Behold the Kickmen
Developer: Size Five Games
Publisher: Ant Workshop
Genre: Sports, Arcade
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: PEGI 16
Release Date: 18/06/2020
A code was provided for review purposes.
Behold the Kickmen is a parody sports game developed by someone, who like me, does not understand football. I cannot remember watching a game of football in its entirety. In PE I have always been picked last for the teams and to be quite honest I can think of a lot of other things I can do in ninety minutes. You’ve heard enough about me but with this background in mind, what did I think of the game?
Play of the Game
Before starting the main story campaign, I was urged to play the tutorial. This tutorial taught me the basics of Behold the Kickmen’s take on football. If you know the rules of normal football, you’ll need to relearn them for this game. The pitch is circular, different points are scored depending on how far the ball is to the goal and of course there’s an offside rule which, even after playing the four-hour campaign, I don’t fully understand, so I guess the game succeeds in that regard. Additionally, there are new abilities such as dashing and advanced tackling which are unlocked by winning the first few matches. Aside from those pretty big changes, the basics of football withstand: shoot the ball into the enemy goal and defend your own.
Controlling the players reminds me of FIFA; a game which is only played when my cousin visits. The football is passed to each player and enemies must be avoided or tackled. The gameplay is surprisingly developed with a good level of difficulty. I even found myself getting annoyed when the enemy scored. Perhaps this football thing is growing on me? In a parody game like this, I was expecting some poor gameplay but the basics of Kickmen hold up very well.
The Beautiful Game
Behold the Kickmen isn’t just impressive on a gameplay level, it also features a pretty wild story with some great humour. In between games, there’s some conversation between the star player and someone else: usually the coach. These dialogues are full of sarcastic hyperbole talking about “the beautiful game” and the “adoring fans”. In between these funny sections, some surprising moments of warmth are present as well. The writing is simply brilliant throughout the game, not just in between “cutscenes”. Of course, there’s a lack of dialogue during the football games but the humour extends to the menu as well. On startup, you agree to ignore the “mistaks” in the game and there’s plenty of these moments throughout.
Other Ways to Play
Although I spent the majority of my time in the classic football style, Behold the Kickmen also features a “bloodsport” mode. This mode changes the game into a brutal dystopian sport with blood effects galore. It was certainly a surprise when I enabled this mode and although I don’t think this addition changes too much of the overall experience, going the extra mile to what is needed is always appreciated in my book.
Behold the Kickmen was a delight from beginning to end. As someone who is not a fan of the sport, I enjoyed it a lot and appreciated some of its humour. I know a 4-star rating may seem high for a parody sports game but the value-for-money, humorous writing and gameplay isn’t to be missed.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can purchase Behold the Kickmen here .