Image Source: PlayStation on YouTube
Super Blood Hockey combines retro graphics, simple controls, the sport of ice hockey, and lots of blood, violence, and drugs into a surprisingly comprehensive and hilarious sports simulation game.
The game is developed by the one-person indie studio Loren Lemcke, from Oulu in Finland. As you can tell by Super Blood Hockey and Loren Lemcke’s other games, Over 9000 Zombies! and the upcoming Terror of Hemasaurus, the developer is heavily influenced by classic 80s and 90s games.
The 16-rated Super Blood Hockey was initially released to PC in August 2017, costing £12.49, then coming to the Nintendo Switch for £13.49 ($14.99) as well as the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One for £11.99.
This Super Blood Hockey review is completely spoiler-free, and despite delving into the pros, cons, and appearance of microtransactions within the game, it only takes up to five minutes to read!
Super Blood Hockey review in five minutes
Super Blood Hockey looks like a little indie hockey game with retro graphics, but it offers so, so much more.
The developer does stay true the retro age with charmingly pixelated graphics and classic retro chimes for the soundtrack, but Loren Lemcke has also added in a hefty dose of modern sports game mechanics, and plenty humour for good measure.
We’ll start in the standard Exhibition Mode, in which you can play against the computer up to three other friends in a couch co-op match of 4-on-4 ice hockey. The controls are nice and simple with the games being fast-paced, absurdly fun, brutal, and surprisingly tactical.
You can pick your favourite ice hockey nation – from Canada to North Korea – adjust aspects like the amount of blood and time per period, and see all of the important game stats after the final buzzer.
Tutorial Mode is quite helpful to get you started, with Tournament Mode offering you a different way to compete, and Challenge Mode also being very entertaining.
But the crown jewel of Super Blood Hockey is, without a doubt, Franchise Mode.
Super Blood Hockey’s Franchise Mode is hilarious and challenging from the get-go.
Once you’ve paid up to own a franchise, you have to build your team by selecting inmates with heinous criminal records who you must bring together to forge a competitive team.
From the start, team-building is very important, and you’ll get to continue to build your roster and tinker with which player types you use to find the perfect line-up for your style of play or to counter your opponents.
Then the games begin. They’re certainly not easy, but your players will gain experience and develop their attribute ratings and overall rating depending on their performance after each game.
On the flip side, the very regular fights can result in your players being injured for the remainder of the game, for several games after, and sometimes they’ll pick up a fatal injury. In Super Blood Hockey, fatal means fatal. If you don’t have the money to buy a new player to have five on the ice for the next game, it’s over.
If you want them to improve faster or reduce their brain injuries quicker – the greater the level of brain injury, which increases each game, the greater the chance of injury – you can just go out back and purchase some drugs from the trusty dealer in the shadows.
Franchise Mode is incredibly in-depth, requires you to make strategic decisions, play tactically, and, due to budgetary reasons, sometimes decide if it’s time to pull the plug.
Perhaps the only downside of the game is if you’re a player of EA Sports’ NHL series as the controls are a bit difficult to adjust to. This is primarily due to checking being ‘A’ (on the Switch), when usually that button is reserved for shooting. As you play the game, though, you understand that checking needs to be that button as it is much more frequent than shooting.
Franchise Mode is very enjoyable, far more in-depth than an indie sports simulation game should be, and, at times, is nothing short of wonderfully brutal. It takes skill, smarts, and a bit of luck if you want to make it past your first season, or even your first few games.
Does Super Blood Hockey have microtransactions or loot boxes?
Once you purchase Super Blood Hockey, you get the whole game. There aren’t any microtransactions or loot boxes. The only locked items are unlocked by completing in-game trials in the Challenge Mode.
Super Blood Hockey is a fantastic indie hockey game
From playing in quick games with your friends to going all-in on Franchise Mode, Super Blood Hockey is a very fun game. Perhaps most surprisingly, the humour and gameplay doesn’t lose its charm or entertainment value and can be replayed over and over.
There’s so much depth and just good fun that you’ll want to keep coming back for more, building your team, developing your skill, and uncovering the next superbly odd injury to occur in a game.
Super Blood Hockey review recap
- Absurd amount of depth for an indie game.
- Quite possibly the most entertaining gameplay of any modern ice hockey game.
- It’s hilarious and it takes experience to get good at the game.
- Might be a bit tricky for some ice hockey game fans to adjust to the controls.
Super Blood Hockey does not feature any microtransactions or loot boxes.