Korea-based Reality Reflection released Speedball Arena, a VR-based adaptation of American Speedball, on Steam today. To be honest, I watched the trailer before I found out that there actually is something called American Speedball. The trailer is a bit frenetic and all I could glean from it was that Speedball Arena is some kind of mix between soccer and lacrosse.
After watching the trailer, I was curious about where Speedball came from. I googled it so you won't have to:
The game was invented by Elmer D. Mitchell in the early 1920s at the University of Michigan. Elmer was a physical education professor, who sought to develop a game that was not restrictive to the rules of any one sport. He also created the sport to involve more students, especially those who were not as athletic.
The main objective of speedball is the same objective as soccer/football. There are two goals, each guarded by the opposite team members or a goalie. Each team attempts to throw the ball into the goal. However, unlike soccer, there are multiple ways goals can be scored. Goals can be scored by kicking the ball into the net or through goal line markers with one's feet or throwing the ball into the goal. "Kicks" are worth two points while "throws" are only worth one. The team that scores the most goals by the end of the match wins the game.
Yeah, wow. I'm just going to let the game keep score for me. This is why I could never play cribbage - too much math.
Speedball Arena adds nifty things like hoverbikes to the game in an obvious nod to keeping the adrenaline flowing, something the VR environment excels at. This is a boon to people that find watching soccer to be a lot like watching road construction crews: a bunch of people standing around, but only two or three doing anything interesting. And no telling when it will ever end.
Naturally there will be online multiplayer, but there will also be matchmaking. The neat thing about the matchmaking is that it is headset agnostic - Rift and Vive players can finally work out their mutual animosities on the playing field.
Speedball Arena is available at the Steam Store for $9.99 USD.