It’s not officially called Speedball mode because that might cause upsets down the line, but Dan Marshall’s Behold the Kickmen [official site] now has a menu switch that turns it from a highly accurate football simulation into a highly accurate grim futuresport simulation. I say “highly accurate” with tongue in cheek as Kickmen is the project of Dan Marshall (he of Ben There Dan That and The Swindle), a man who does not understand or care for football. What began as a joke is now close to release and to my fooball-lovin’ eyes, it actually looks like an extremely entertaining arcade game.
The futuresport mode is a menu toggle that can be switched back and forth at any time. It doesn’t change the way the game plays, but your little kickmen will wear helmets and the field is chrome rather than grass, and – oof – look at those bloodstains. Behold The Punchmen.
My favourite thing about Kickmen is the arc that appears when you’re passing or shooting. I like the idea of a football game where the ball is a little bit chaotic, and a forward pass can easily turn into a sideways slice, and scrabbling about with sliding tackles and overcharged players is par for the course. Of course, Dan probably thinks “par for the course” is a footballing term so don’t tell him that he might have accidentally created something that captures the spirit, if not the letter, of football.
It’ll be out soon apparently, and I can’t wait.