Frisbee, Tennis + Air Hockey = Win? A Disc Jam review.
Disc Jam may remind you of another game, guess which one?!
Windjammers! And in all honesty, it’s pretty damn similar. Disc Jam is developed by 2 guys that’ve worked on multiple Triple A titles that finally went alone. Believe it or not, this is their first game they’ve released since teaming up.
A smaller team makes the development process a lot slower and may also mean that this game is not the finished article. In fact the Disc Jam devs said that there’s a lot more to come. Maybe think of it as a game in Early Access.
Not only is there a lot more to come, you can get Disc Jam free. If you own a Playstation Plus membership, Disc Jam comes free for the month of March and you get to keep it!
What Game modes does Disc Jam have?
It’s fair to say, Disc Jam is lacking in this area. As of right now you can play a Single or Doubles online match, Private Match or enter one of three Training Modes.
Online Singles/Doubles matches are a best-of-3, first to win 2 games wins the match. To win a game you have to score 50 points, you get 10 points if you score straight from a serve and after that it’s based on the rally between you and your opponent. In doubles you can pass to your teammate using Circle (PS Controller) in an attempt to throw off your opponents.
Private matches are the same as above, only difference being you’re able to have up to 3 spectators. I’d say this is so that down the line, Disc Jam can venture into esports tournaments and productions. I’ve already seen a handful of community based tournaments!
Training offers you 2 set tutorial sequences where you can learn the ins and outs of Disc Jam, apart from doubles exclusive features such as passing. As well as an option to jump into free play, throwing your disc against a wall, similar to what you’d do as a child playing Football or Tennis alone. Well, maybe not, if you had friends…
In terms of third party competitions there isn’t really any as of yet. I know GamerSaloon is considering it and who knows, ESL may be interested too.
I’m absolutely loving Disc Jam’s game play
There’s definitely a lot more to disc jam than just throwing a disc back and forward. In fact, there’s many different shots with many different variations. That’s not all, characters come in different shapes and sizes adding a complexity to both the singles and doubles games.
The Characters are called Gator, Haruka, Makenna and Stanton. All of these have different strengths and weaknesses. Unfortunately there’s not a character drafting screen, I’d love to be able to pick based on character match ups in a 2v2 at least.
- Gator – A solid all rounder, has good speed and good throws. Doesn’t excel in any particular area.
- Haruka – Is very fast, you’re not going to get lobbed using her as she covers the court well. However her throws are weak so you have to be very smart to win points.
- Makenna – Not as fast as Haruka but still fast. Makenna is also very technical and is able to throw very good curve shots. If used correctly, can be a pain to defend against.
- Stanton – The slowest character in the game but his strength in throws definitely makes up for it. Great for doubles, not so good for singles.
It’s fair to say the variation adds a tactical element which makes gameplay much more enjoyable. It hasn’t been announced but I’d be surprised if there isn’t anymore released. Especially if this game turns into an esport title.
P2P in 2017?!
Unfortunately right now Disc Jam is played on P2P connection. It’s a little disappointing but understandable really.
I feel like I keep giving them a free pass for being only a 2 man team, however it’s true. The amount of time and money that would have been put into dedicated servers are probably better of spent elsewhere. It’s definitely something that High Horse Entertainment are looking into though.
Dedicated servers are definitely needed if this game is to become competitive. You may have seen some lag in the gameplay above and it can really make or break a match. You happen to be running towards the disc however it teleports and goes a completely different direction.
While it’s definitely an issue and will maybe even lose you points, it’s not something that should stop you from playing Disc Jam. This is maybe one of the reasons GamerSaloon wouldn’t pick disc jam up this early.
Customisation is nice and paves the way for micro-transactions.
There’s a bunch of customisation options for every single character and even items for your profile. While the customisation is nice, it definitely comes with the possibility of micro-transactions.
As you can see you get to customise you Identity (Profile), Character and Disc. Each category has at least 10 different items already, I imagine there’s a plan to release more in the future as well. While they’re not necessary, it’s a nice little addition and makes the game a little more fun.
I wouldn’t be surprised if High Horse Entertainment added micro-transactions where you could buy credits to open these items. As long as they keep them purely cosmetic, I don’t really see an issue with that, especially if they were to re-invest the money into the game (dedicated servers for example).
How do I unlock character customisation items on Disc Jam?
Currently there’s only 1 way to earn and that’s by playing. After every game you’ll receive at least 200J (credits).
Once you earn 1000 credits you’ll be able to purchase one random prize from the prize machine.
If you receive an item you already have, you’ll receive 250J back from the 1000J you paid.
Ideally the developers would get rid of duplicates, pay out more if we get a duplicate or even integrate a trading system much further down the line.
Disc Jam is a very promising game and I hold high hopes for it. Since it’s free on PSPlus I’d definitely pick it up. I will probably end up buying a copy on PC as well. It’s definitely good value for money.
While the game has a lot of potential and could easily explode like rocket league, there’s always a risk it folds. There’s been a lot of unfortunate developers with good games, so make sure to support what is a truly wonderful game.
From what I’ve read, the PC player base is lacking. If there was to be a Free Weekend, I’m sure that’d make people that were on the fence make the plunge and buy the game.
Make sure to get involved with other Jammers on Reddit!