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Twitter Fight

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    #IDARB

    Rating: 4.0 – Great

    Twitter Fight

    The weirdly named #IDARB is a game born through the power of social media. It represents what happens when a game developer uses Twitter to ask gamers what they want from a game. The end result is #IDARB (or I Drew A Red Box), which is a multiplayer sports game that is absolutely, utterly insane.

    The game supports both online and offline multiplayer. There are two goals on either side of the screen. A ball spawns in the center of the area, and the goal is to throw the ball into the opposite goal. The action is extremely fast-paced, and is like a high-speed combination of basketball and soccer, in many ways. Players can pass, shoot, and ricochet the ball off of platforms to build up a combo, which, if the ball goes in the goal, results in more points.

    There is only one stage, but variety comes in the form of different characters. The game comes stuffed with a hefty amount of playable characters, from breakfast items to presidents to game characters (including multiple ones from Halo). Not only that, but the game has an extensive character creation system, allowing players to throw together a pixelated version of pretty much anything they can think of.

    Players can share created characters with one another through a QR code scanning system. Every time a character is made in the game, a QR code is made as well. If someone prints off that QR code, they can scan it using the Kinect. This then puts the character into the game. A way to be able to simply download characters from an online server would have been preferred, but there’s still some goofy fun to be had using QR codes.

    Speaking of QR codes, they are actually made whenever anything is created in the game. Besides characters, songs can be made, logos can be made, and banners can be made to represent your team. A seemingly infinite amount of teams can be put together as well, which can be customized with their own banners, as previously stated, along with their own names.

    #IDARB can be played both online and offline, with offline players that can be taken online. The online multiplayer is often very laggy, but when you find a stable game, the action is hilarious and awesome. During half-time, players compete against each other in funny mini-games, which are inconsequential, but still very amusing and varied.

    The game was born through social media, and social media also has an influence on the gameplay. Players are able to get on Twitter and influence the game with Tweets. This is one of the most creative uses of social media I’ve ever seen, and most certainly the most creative way that social media has been used in a video game, ever. It’s not just little changes either. With the right keyword, drastic changes can be made to the ongoing match.

    The visuals are very basic, but that’s part of the charm. The retro, pixelated graphics are great, and work perfectly with the tone of the game. There should be more than just the one stage, but what’s there is fine, and it’s constantly decorated with billboards advertising either Xbox games, in a tongue-in-cheek sort of way.

    The audio is also awesome. The announcer shouts out a variety of pop culture references and jokes that never even seemed to repeat for me, which was truly impressive. The background music is catchy as well, making the presentation really come together.

    The weak part of the game comes from its replayability. All the achievements can be unlocked without much labor at all. It’s extremely easy to 100% it. There’s only one stage too, and a single game mode. One of the driving forces of playing the game is to see all the different half-time mini-games, which are an absolute blast. Messing around with the creation features is also a lot of fun, and those that are especially creatively-minded will be able to create just about anything that comes to mind.

    #IDARB was initially available as a free Games with Gold game. However, it’s worth the price of admission, offering fast-paced, frantic multiplayer action that is incredibly fun. While there’s not a ton of content to explore, what’s there is really tight and a lot of fun. For those that have friends to play with, #IDARB is one of the better multiplayer experiences available on next-gen to date.

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