We don’t really have much in the way of hockey on the Nintendo Switch. Come to think of it, we really don’t have anything at all, do we? There’s no officially licensed NHL game to speak of; and I don’t see Blades of Steel in the Nintendo Switch Online library, though it definitely deserves to be there.
Fortunately, there is hope, hockey fans. Developer Loren Lemcke and the team at Digerati have brought forth the hilarious 8-bit style Super Blood Hockey, a game that relies just as much on its hard checks and blood effects as it does about offensive and defensive play. It’s a bit on the comical side, but it’s just the thing to scratch that hockey itch, especially if you’ve been waiting a while to do so…
The game features a bunch of no-name teams and players going at it for hockey glory, able to violently check other players with quick shoves in an effort to get the puck back. It’s not exactly overflowing with strategy, but, then again, neither did Blades of Steel for that matter.
Super Blood Hockey provides quick, enjoyable hockey fun. You can get an idea of how the controls work with the game’s opening tutorial, along with its fighting system. With this, you can deliver painful blows to pretty much everyone on the team, as long as you don’t get too easily surrounded. As for passing, it’s simple, as you automatically shovel the puck off to your nearest teammate. There are times that this can call for an accidental interception by the other team, so maybe get some practice in before you start working on those one-timers.
The goalie behavior can be a little erratic at times, but for the most part they’re tough, and defend like no one’s business. I would’ve liked an option to take control of one at one point, but you can’t have everything.
The game offers up some solid controls for the most part, though the general nature of hockey remains the same, with very little change-up. Fortunately, Super Blood Hockey’s modes make up for this, particularly with Franchise Mode. Here, you’ll run through a full amount of seasons, guiding your player to glory – even if that means having to balance diets and budgets to do so. Franchise is surprisingly in-depth, and a lot more enjoyable than I was expecting.
What’s more, you can also buy drugs – something we haven’t seen aside from Blitz the League, I believe – to enhance your players’ skills. However, you also need to keep an eye on your health, lest you suffer a horrifying injury on the ice. And this is before the Zamboni gets a chance to run you over. Yes, it happens in this game.
There’s also a general Exhibition mode to take on, as well as a fun Tournament mode, with brutal execution thrown in for good measure. Like, ouch. And you can also take on four players at once in local sessions, or see how you compare to others through online leaderboards. No online multiplayer, I’m afraid – again, though, can’t have everything.
Throw in some good sound work (despite repetitive music) and the cutest little characters that some can’t wait to bash apart, and you have a clear winner with Super Blood Hockey. It’s definitely not for the kids, nor the squeamish, but if you can accept some tongue firmly in cheek and enjoy the somewhat limited gameplay it has to offer, it makes up for it with a ton of extras and some great local versus action. Hopefully we’ll be seeing more of this kind of action passed around sooner rather than later. 3.5/5 Stanley Cups.