At first glance, it’s easy to draw comparisons between the Disc Jam beta and Rocket League. For me however, Disc Jam distinguishes itself as an excellent couch co-op arcade experience.
Welcome to the Jam
Disc Jam, from High Horse Entertainment, feels like a cross between tennis, Rocket League, and American Gladiators. In Disc Jam, you play either or single or doubles matches against opponents in a tennis-like game. A glowing disc spawns and, using a variety of timing and directional controls, the player throws the disc across the net for the other team to return. The faster you are with your button press, the more speed your throw has. Take too long, and your warrior slowly and gently tosses the disc back to the other team.
Using directional input, you can throw the disc to different corners of the opponents’ field: Throwing it straight, bouncing off the walls, curving it around, or just a fling to a corner of the field if your opponents’ defense breaks down. On defense, you must grab the disc out of the air without allowing it to touch the ground from a fling, or striking the back wall from a more traditional throw. If you miss, it explodes and your opponent is awarded points. The points awarded increase with each volley until someone misses, meaning even if you fall behind you’re one well-timed volley away from a comeback.
Your characters are somewhat comical caricatures with a series of unlockable skins, taunts, and victory poses. Other unlockables are included for user emblems or tags.
I had a lot of fun playing this beta, especially when my daughter grabbed a controller and joined me for some couch co-op. This is where Disc Jam truly shines. There is no split screen to compromise your view of the playing field, and it’s easy to coordinate strategy and celebrate.
I did have a few criticisms of the game, but it’s important to remember that this game is still in beta and may not be what ends up in the final product. When playing co-op, I sometimes found myself watching the wrong character. Both characters have the same color reticle highlighting them, with a faint P1 or P2 under the player’s feet. It would be easier to keep track of your character if this was floating above the character’s head like it is in more traditional multiplayer games. Also, some of the directional controls when throwing feel very sensitive. It can be hard to place your throw exactly where you expect.
Disc Jam is a ton of quick, arcade-style fun. Matches come and go fast, and it’s very easy to find yourself saying “just one more game” over and over.
Disc Jam is currently in open beta on both PlayStation 4 and Steam. If you want to try it for yourself and form your own opinion, go ahead and sign up while you still can!
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