Switch version tested
Review code provided
Ouch! I think I slipped a disc!
I want to fully admit that I don’t think I’m in target demographic for Discmaster. That being said, I’m not really sure who is? Maybe kids who have accidentally bought it during a 12-hour journey to Milton Keynes on a urine-soaked National Express with nothing better to play on their Switch. Outside of that niche window, I’m not sure if I would choose to play this game.
Discmaster is, essentially, an upgraded version of Noughts and Crosses, by Black Zeppelin Studio. Yup. You just paid 8 dollars for that game you can totally play for free. “WAIT!” I hear you cry. “You forgot to mention that this game adds to more than that!”. That’s true Oh goodness, I’m sorry and I stand corrected. Please explain: how does the game add to the classic Tic-Tac-Toe? “Well, erm, you can attack other people’s tiles on the board to get rid of them?”. Well, holy heck! How hasn’t this game been made before?
Sarcasm aside, I genuinely don’t mind simplicity in a game, and it’s a novel and sweet concept. But there seems to be some major errors with this game as it gets very bland very quickly and it’s an unenjoyable experience. I’m unsure what I wanted out of this game, but I know what they have delivered is not it.
Discmaster, unfortunately, is not a good game. I think I could have easily got past the fact that it was a variation of a classic game, but somehow everything about the game stupendously annoyed me. I feel bad being mean about this game. Whenever I’m being critical about games, when reviewing, I always feel sympathy for the people who have put in work into creating a game. Sadly, their effort doesn’t really show. I think there are definitely good intentions here, but it doesn’t equal good gameplay.
The longevity of the game is short-lived. There is very little engagement here. I think this game could actually be a nice to pick-up and play with a friend on multiplayer, but for no longer than a coffee break. It’s novel, but the excitement dies quick.
The single-player story is non-existent. Genuinely, there is more story in the description of the game than in the game itself. There is such a lack of depth and that means that the gameplay is the only thing holding the game together, and there is very little of that going around. They stretch out the gameplay in a profoundly uninteresting way but it also stretches it out due to the infuriating lack of help and knowledge.
This game is so rare in the fact that they really tell you nothing about what the game is about or what you how it operates. It took me, a grown adult, about 35 minutes to realise it was about Noughts and Crosses. I am happy to be seen as an idiot, but you think they may have wanted to mention that before gameplay. NOPE! They just drop you in the middle of it with no explanation whatsoever of what the game is or how to play it. That is fair on some games, like with tough games like Dark Souls. There is a “Get Good” attitude with some games, and that’s valid, but I don’t think that is applicable for this game. If it was intentional, then who is this game for? Eight year olds with a masochist complex?
Funnily enough, the game does get incredibly difficult. I feel like a terrible gamer for saying so, but the learning curve is sharper than chef’s knives. I got to the lava island, which is about 10 levels in and I found it virtually impossible.
You can’t use skill or tactics, and you anticipate how your opponent can play. It feels like it’s more down to luck than gameplay. There is no upgrading you toggles in the main game, which seems like a missed opportunity and it means the latter levels are superbly unfair and incredibly unfun. I wouldn’t be upset if it was a challenge, but it is clear that the house is against you. It’s like trying to win money back at a casino. This game doesn’t have a lot to keep me playing and no reason for me to come back to it.
When playing, you get to choose between three character groups which are indistinct and highly unnecessary. There are the Hero Dogs, Wizard Hogs and some kind of ninja cats? There is very little difference between the three, including occasional creepy designs on some counters. These characters are the pinnacle of generic and quickly forgettable.
Also, there are some blatant rip-offs in terms of imagery. They literally use, as their main image, a pig dressed up as Harry Potter. So much so, it imitates the Gryffindor scarf. I don’t understand why they made this choice? To sell a few extra copies? It adds nothing to the content of the game. Maybe I’m bitter, but it’s just very peculiar why they have a magical boar. In all fairness to Discmaster, having a swine wizard is far better than whatever bullshit J.K. Rowling is spouting these days.
The more I play this game, the less I enjoy it, despite really wanting to give it higher marks. Everything about this game is infuriating and is poorly conceived. This could have been enjoyable, but this game has nothing beyond the surface with few redeeming features. I wish I could give it a higher score, but there is nothing in which I think I can credit it other than for sympathy.
TBG Score: 2/10
Release Date: 14/05/2020
No. of Players: 1
Category: Board Game, Puzzle
Developer: Black Zeppelin Studios
Download link: eShop