Ever wondered what you’d get if you mixed up the rules of frisbee, air hockey and tennis into a new competitive sport? That’s what High Horse Entertainment tried to answer with Disc Jam, taking some inspiration from Windjammers in the process, when it released on PS4 and PC last year and on Nintendo Switch last month.
The game features a selection of local modes such as a standard arcade mode, where you can play up to 2v2 locally, whether on the console itself or with ad hoc local multiplayer for up to four consoles – this is great considering you can split the Joy-Con for this. In addition to this there are two online modes, ranked and unranked, but it was surprising that I ended up winning in quite a lot of the competitive games I played. Luck is still a big factor when playing matches in Disc Jam.
While the gameplay itself is easy to pick up and understand, it can be a bit too simple. Sometimes the winning play of the game felt cheap due to the fact the disc will ricochet edge-to-edge. It’s part of the game’s rules for sure, but this doesn’t stop people playing unskilfully and winning. I suppose, it gives everyone an opportunity to see glory, but it would have also been nice to include a replay feature for those perfect plays that merit it.
The game crutches on each player using the disc to bounce off walls, or to time catching the disc correctly to throw it back with more power. You can also slide, which definitely comes in handy for the wider plays of the game, but I would have liked to see each player add something a bit more dynamic to the mix. Everything feels a bit too balanced and simple after playing many consecutive games. There also aren’t different courts to play on, so consecutive matches spent looking at the same visuals can get boring. However, the game has a wide variety of character customisation options to give players something to work towards.
While the game is available on PS4 and PC, Disc Jam performs extremely well on the Nintendo Switch and looks beautifully crisp in both docked and handheld mode. I personally had more fun playing this on the go than I did at home, purely from the fact that the game features local split Joy-Con support, meaning I can easily play with friends who are sat next to me. The game also has a great interface for the most part, but when in portable mode text can be quite small.
Disc Jam is a good attempt at combining multiple sports inspirations into a video game, and for the most part Disc Jam achieves this by delivering a solid competitive experience with simple mechanics. The only things that I feel let this game down are its lack of real differentiation between playable character and lack of court designs. The game is good, but it feels a bit simple and safe.
Version tested: Nintendo Switch