Free Loaders: Super Blood Hockey Is Pucking Violent

As we all know, ice hockey was discovered accidentally in 1923 when Theodore Hockey attached two knives to his boots in an effort to make ice farming more efficient. He discovered that competing farmers would often attack each other and the sport of ice hockey was born. Almost a century later, we are thrilled to see that the sport has come a long way. And there’s now a videogame that remains faithful to Mr Hockey’s violent vision, full of blood, punching and goals.

Super Blood Hockey by Loren Lemcke

Violent ice hockey shenanigans. Face off on the ice against the dastardly national teams of your childhood. They are all there, even Finland. Plug in a controller, plug in two controllers, plug in four controllers. Bash your opponents to the slippery surface of the arena with the ‘B’ button, pass with ‘A’ and charge up your shot by holding ‘X’. A shouldering, punching mess of sports, in which you can reliably floor not only your own team members but also the referee, if you really want. I laughed out loud multiple times during my Canada v Russia playoff. I scored a goal by shooting it forcefully at one of my own players, who crumpled to the ground in a bloody mess but also acted as a kind of ricochet surface, sending the puck flying into the goal. Later, when both teams tried to exit the arena, the ice machine came rolling in and wordlessly battered them all out of the way. This gets two broken thumbs up and a toothless smile from me.

| by tak

It’s pronounced ‘Pipe’. Probably. A difficult title to explain but perhaps a little easier than the cat symbol of the creator’s previous game. Pipe is a speed-runny hover-platformer in which you play a sentient pipe who must escape the scientific facility in which you were created by hovering uncontrollably through the hallways. There are some turrets that want to keep you here and others that are malfunctioning and just like to watch you leave. It’s very short but the controls are mmm-mmm-MMMM. And once you complete it you can try for a better time, taking advantage of all the angular corners to speed up your escape, aided by the fact that, once you gain some momentum, the pipe moves tremendously fast. Off you go, bouncing off the walls and zooming down hallways like some sort of cracked-up ghost.

Karambola by holypangolin

You’re not going to believe this, but the dark bird-thoughts have struck again. They have harassed and belittled the fruit people into feeling down and lonely. Some of them have turned to drink, others to weeping on windy, isolated hillsides. It’s up to you as screen clicker to alieviate their troubles and make the fruiters happy again. There’s a distinct taste of Amanita’s bizarre point and click adventure games to it. Like Samarost and Botanicula, the solution to problems sometimes requires some silly thinking. One puzzle sees you clicking to remove the shadows from three glasses of liquid, for example. But each scene is also small and self-contained. A colourful collection of conundrums.

Sunward by Graeme Borland

I see you, creeping through the undergrowth with your spear, trying to hunt the red-eyed buffalo creatures and take their souls for your little spirit circle, or whatever it is. And frankly I’m disgusted. The whole plain is catching fire and night is closing in and what do you do? You go out to hunt and kill the herd. It’s typical, just typical. You go out there with your arrow keys, holding down ‘X’ to charge your spear and taking careful aim at just any old animal, don’t you? Well, I hope you’re happy. I hope you’re bloody well happy.

Ancient Warfare by JNI

Countrymen, friends, brothers! There have been those who have said the blue box people would perish! That the kingdom of the red box people would triumph and leave nothing but ruins and burning homes. But I ask you: are we not blue box people? And do we not stand before their forces, stronger than ever? Look at our champion, look at his shield, activated by pressing the right mouse button, and his sword, swung limply with the left mouse button. Perhaps there will come a day when our people disappear, when we enter paradise as warriors or marksmen. But it is not this day! Today we fight! Today we send That One Guy to battle! Today, the blue box people WILL PREVAIL.

Celusta by Alex, Katy, Miguel, Sebastian & Kim

Row, plebs. Press left and right in time with the swinging drumstick to make you go forward, or strike a double beat on one side to make the boat turn in the direction you want. Avoid the ice, get out of the storm, and do it quickly because there’s a shadow under the water and it wants to wreck your ship.

Want more free games? Check out the Best of Free Loaders collection. Got a free game yourself? Give it to @Brendy_C for safekeeping

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25 Comments

  1. Axyl says:

    Okay, Super Blood Hockey looks fantastic. Like Speedball 2 on Ice almost.

    *Downloading Intensifies*

  2. MajorLag says:

    Super Blood Hockey makes me imagine the ridiculousness of Mutant League Hockey, but with the mechanics and art of the old NES Ice Hockey.

    Please oh please let that be exactly what it is…

    • Baines says:

      From the video, it looks like NES Ice Hockey, except with a smaller arena and pixelated excessive blood spray on contact. I’d guess the smaller arena is to increase the rate of content, as the game is selling itself on the blood effect.

      Honestly, it looks like it might be a decent game. A shame that it has to rely on what seems to be an overdone distracting blood effect just to get attention.

  3. Zankman says:

    I tried out Super Blood Hockey – and I have to say, I am VERY impressed and pleased!

    I did not have high hopes going in – NES-era inspired graphics and audio is something that I do not care for (nostalgia? NEVER!) and I thought the “violence” aspect was going to be a gimmick to cover for a mediocre or poor game.

    Boy oh boy, was I ever wrong!

    First of all, I am, again, not someone who is heavily into the nostalgia-inspired audio-visual presentation – yet, the aesthetic is cute and well-drawn while the music is catchy and appropriate; the animations, especially for post-goal celebrations/tantrums, are an additional highlight.

    But the gameplay – it is marvelous! It took me no longer than 2 minutes of the first third to see that the gameplay is totally awesome and incredibly compelling.

    Yes, there is loads of violent pushing/checks going on, however, it doesn’t disrupt the overall flow of the hockey at hand – your players either get kinda dazed for a half of a second or fall to the ice for a second and a half; but they quickly get up and continue like it was nothing, allowing you to continue to enjoy the core hockey gameplay.

    And said gameplay is great! The players have weight to them, just enough to sell the ever important “skating on ice” vibe while still being easy and pleasant to control; the puck flies around at a fast pace – fast enough to make proper passing and off-puck movement relevant while being slow enough to allow you to enjoy the action and remain focused.

    Speaking of passing, the simple one-button system for passing and shooting feels just right, as does the expected “hold down to charge-up” mechanic; charged shots really feel powerful, with the sound of charging up a shot being akin to a revving a motor engine, after which you unleash a powerful howitzer of a shot – these may not be practical but are still fun to do, especially to do some creative passing or to knock down opposing players.

    Finally, the actual design of scoring in the game is perfect – even with Goalie difficult set down to the minimum of 1, scoring a goal is challenging; however, in my estimation, it is balanced in a near-perfect way: it is challenging to score a goal, requiring good positioning and quick 1-2(-3) passing – but it does not feel impossible, unfun and frustrating… Needless to say, this leads to an AMAZING feeling once you actually manage to score a goal!

    In my first match, I played as Finland against Russia (while setting all of my skaters to be of the “all-around variety” in terms of stats) in a 3-minute per Period Match.

    After getting used to the game, I mostly took control of the match, however, the 1st Third remained scoreless.

    In the 2nd, my initiative payed off with an incredibly satisfactory goal after numerous attempts; Russia was still aggressive, though, with some solid attempts.

    In the 3rd, much was the same – and then, BAM, the moment I thought that the AI was not that dangerous, they score a goal…

    .. And then another, with just 25 seconds to spare.

    I tried to attack some more, but, I was unable to score – and a quick “1-2” of goals thus allowed the Russians to seal the comeback victory.

    (Having to quit out of the game after the match ended was a bit lame, tho).

    For reference, I played with the mouse; it actually felt completely appropriate, allowing for accurate passing.

    I am looking forward to see where this game goes in terms of development – especially if we get some long-term single-player modes (with AI levels and improvements), more teams and/or the ability to make them (I would love to create my own fictional league) and, maybe, Online multyplayer.

    For now, I am also looking forward to trying it out in Local multyplayer.

    All in all, it seems like a fantastic little game, a true gem with loads of potential.

    It, IMO, goes for the very difficult to attain balance for all sport games: the balance of being a fun and enjoyable arcade game that actually feels authentic AND challenging enough, possessing both a low skill floor for ease of entry and a (relatively) high skill ceiling…

    … And it succeeds at doing so!

    • Baines says:

      While you don’t like retro graphics, the gameplay itself dates back to NES era. That isn’t a bad thing.

      Perhaps too many of the modern “retro” games are just interested in the idea of the look. That, and the ones that use the idea that “classic games were really hard” to justify making “really hard” modern “retro” games. Neither really understanding what those games did and why they were loved.

  4. ButteringSundays says:

    Is ancient warfare essentially TABS? If so then that’s great – I have to say I think TABS makers have ballsed-up its release – as I’m almost fatigued on it already just from watching let’s plays from the few youtubers denied important enough to play it. I can’t understand why they didn’t just charge a few quid for what’s already there, they’d have made an absolute killing.

    Some games benefit from pre-release hype, youtube teasing etc, but games that focus around watching things play out are essentially letting people play it vicariously, which I think must dull early sales, rather then boost them. The sweet spot from seen-on-youtube to available-to-public needs to be short.

    / vaguely off topic rant

  5. PersianImm0rtal says:

    Thanks! This hockey game looks great, downloading now!

  6. Murtle says:

    This is literally an exact copy and paste of the N.E.S game from 1988 “Ice Hockey” developed by Hideki Konno and Published by Nintendo. The only thing he has done is add some new animations to make it more violent.

    Way to steal someone else’s work Loren Lemcke, I think you owe 98% of the credit to someone else you have directly lifted from. (You didn’t even bother to change the sound effects!)

    Don’t support thieves people.

    • Murtle says:

      I bet RPS doesnt even call BS on the guy either. A quick google search of both games by anyone puts this to bed.

      • Premium User Badge

        zapatapon says:

        Way to get riled up about nothing. It is a free game that describes itself as “a violent homage to classic 8-bit and 16-bit ice hockey games.” What did you expect?

        And no, it is not a “literal copy paste” of that NES game. I’ve looked at the videos and the graphics are different, the gameplay appears to be significantly improved, nothing is “directly lifted”. It is a modern iteration on an old formula with a deliberate vintage look. There are hundreds of indie games doing modern versions of old classics and the best ones are extremely enjoyable — why would that be wrong?

    • Che Eder says:

      Are you talking about this game that looks and sounds completely different?

      • Murtle says:

        Music is different and that’s about it. Like I said, a few added animations to make it more violent. What you linked is an emulator playing at about 1/4 of the real games speed.

        • deadlybydsgn says:

          Look at the game’s clock, though. If it were going 4x faster, it would counting every .25 seconds.

          • Baines says:

            It is more a matter of players, perhaps. If you play NES Ice Hockey against another person, it will look faster than the linked video of NES Ice Hockey. 1/4 speed is a major exaggeration though.

    • Sin Vega says:

      THE WELL GOES DEEPER

      Hideki Konno’s game is based on a Canadian game from 1768 called “hockey”. All It plays the exact same way!!! All he did was add some computer noises and colours, it is SCANDALOUS. I am writing to my MP

  7. invitro says:

    So it has Russia, good, but does it have the SOVIET UNION?

  8. Premium User Badge

    magogjack says:

    What a great collection this week!

  9. Akakabuto says:

    “Face off on the ice against the dastardly national teams of your childhood. They are all there, even Finland.”
    Wut?

    • Sin Vega says:

      Finland was disproved in 2011, but it’s a popular enough concept that many people want it to be included in some games anyway.

      • Akakabuto says:

        What? :D Disproved? (I don’t know what that means) Finland won the world championship in 2011? I don’t understand what you mean. And what do you mean by popular enough concept?

        Also, are you from the old SoRR forums?

        • Sin Vega says:

          I dont’t know what SoRR is, so probably not, but given the state of my brain I wouldn’t entirely rule it out.

          I am pretending the Finland is a mythical country, because I am a cheeky post-modern racist.

          • Akakabuto says:

            Oh OK now I get it. Nice one! =) Yes it is very mythical in here. We mostly live in the forests and hunt bears with elven long bows. I hope people won’t stop believing in us or otherwise we would disappear.

            And it was me that probably got mistaken then, apologies for the confusion.

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