Reader Review: Blood Bowl

Do you have what it takes to get a review published right here on Kotaku? Nick does, as he dresses goblins in helmets.

Yes, that’s right, we’re now publishing reader reviews here on Kotaku. This is your chance to deliver sensible game purchasing advice to the rest of the Kotaku community.

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This review was submitted by Nick Durbridge. If you’ve played Blood Bowl, or just want to ask Nick more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Blood Bowl (Xbox 360)

The fantasy-based table-top sporting game makes it to the big league.


Mighty Blow: The problem most board-game-to-console ports have is that they play hard and fast with the rule set, often changing the game’s core mechanics to take advantage of the technology (what’s wrong with dice? Come on!). Blood Bowl side-steps this, by having two game modes, one being a faithful interpretation of the table-top game’s 5th edition rule set. The other mode is a real-time top-down shoulder charge of an affair that foregoes turns for instant impact.

Blitz: Whilst turn-based, players are under the pump as the game counts down the time to an automatic turnover to the other team. Simple mechanics allow even the most complicated play to be refined to a series of selections and button taps on the field itself. The HUD is purely for decoration, making the game surprisingly easy to pick up and learn.

MVP: Just as with the board game, the campaign modes offer you the potential to increase your team beyond their initial humble beginnings, both by gaining “Star Player Points” through skilful play, and by using the team’s funds to purchase better equipment or sneaky tricks.


Stumble: The real-time game needs a lot of work. It’s not great at all.

KO’d: Whilst being able to give my star player a better helmet certainly helps him when being beaten senseless by a Goblin with a chainsaw, the PC versions’ team customisation options would have been a nice way to avoid the eye strain gained by trying to separate the red-livery from the red-due-to-being-stomped-into-the-grass players.

Fumble: The AI has a very limited range of tactics, making campaign games a little too easy to predict the outcome of once the ruckus begins.

Blood Bowl is far from a perfect sporting game, but for aficionado’s of the table-top classic it’ll have you reliving your glory days and swapping new stories of spectacular touchdowns.

Reviewed by: Nick Durbridge

You can have your Reader Review published on Kotaku. Send your review to us at the usual address. Make sure it’s written in the same format as above and in under 300 words - yes, we’ve upped the word limit. We’ll publish the best ones we get and the best of the month will win a Madman DVD prize pack.


    I have been hesitant to recommend the PC version of this title to anyone who has never played the Table-Top Game as the learning curve for turn based mode is quite high. I'm going to guess that real time mode might be more popular on consoles than PC, It leaves me cold however turn-based FTW.

    That being said if you did play the Table-Top version and liked it this is a must purchase game.

      I disagree, never played the turn based game, mate broughthis laptop on the train and we did a turn based game on the way home, it took me about two turns to get the hang of things and I ended up trouncing the mate who owned the game and played the turn based one.

    One critically important note for the 360 version is that the only online game type is the basic multiplayer match. There's no campaign and no tournaments. Since my friends and I bought it to remove the inconvenience of having to gather in one place for a tournament game, this rather defeated the purpose...

    Also, the AI cheats like a bastard and not in the way you're supposed to cheat in Blood Bowl. If an opponent had rolled so many consecutive 6's in a game against me, I'd be demanding a dice change

    You both very valid points - I have to admit that my approach to the game was blinkered and fevered, so I've probably overlooked a few of the downsides such as the learning curve. I haven't managed much online play yet, but if anyone's up for it, gamertag is BBDemus!

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