Blood Bowl is a niche game that is hardly for anyone, but it does offer a unique and colorful experience
Blood Bowl is a full featured game with multiplayer and multiple single player options including campaign and quick match. There isn't a story to the game at all. In the campaign a player chooses a team which starts off with a bunch of grunts and horrible players. The object is to complete all the arenas and eventually have the best team. The multiplayer is a simple match up between players.
At the start of the campaign, the player has a certain amount of points to spend on different players. The players range from small, quick runners to huge, hulking line backers. Each race has very unique characters and they also have abilities and attributes unique to that race. As the player progresses, his team players level up depending on their actions on the field. They get experience for actions such as killing other players (yes, your players can die), intercepting, making a touch down, completing passes, running the ball, and many more. There is gear that can be purchased with sponsorship moneys and bribes can be given to officials to effect the outcome of games.
The object of a single match is to, of course, score the most points or touch downs. The action begins with a coin toss. The winner picks receive or kick. After the kick off the player must position his receiver under the ball and the character must pass a roll depending on their abilities and skills to catch the ball, every action requires a roll to complete. Each turn the player may move the characters around the map using action points. Tackles, blocks, catches, and movement require a number of points. Once all the points are doled out then the turn is over and the next player must begin their turn. The game ends after a set number of turns agreed upon at the beginning of the match.
There is a lot of strategy that goes into the game by the way of setting up defensive lines, positioning players around the guy with the ball, knowing when to tackle and when to sit still, and other techniques. The game can be very rewarding by making a perfect line straight down the field with expert blocking. However, it can also be very frustrating since the computer almost seems like it cheats on some of the rolls from time to time.
The graphics are very colorful and of high quality for a game like this. The animations are great, the crowds are fun to watch, the characters are highly detailed, and over all it has a wonderful appearance. The sound is decent, but nothing stand out. Overall, the graphics and sound are just fine for a game like this.
With the price hovering around 29.99 right now, there is a lot of game here for the money IF you are the type of person that enjoys these types of games. I would think you would probably need to be a fan of the series or of weird strategy games. This is not a hack n slash adventure and it is not a game of world domination. There aren't awesome cut scenes, crazy gore, or anything far out.
My main problem with the game is that it loses a lot of what made the table top game so great... playing with a friend. Sure there is multiplayer, but the game's greatest strength is creating a major competitive spirit in the players playing the game which in turn makes a face to face (real life) match up extremely entertaining. This game takes the social aspect out of the game and it, IMO, neuters the experience. This isn't a problem that the videogame can fix, it was, however, intrinsic with the concept of the original game.