There is a small group of Facebook gamers, mostly refugees of FarmVille
, that has been clamoring for a game that requires real skill. While there are plenty out there already, Bodyboarding Battle
, by French developer YouRiding
, is a worthy addition to that small list. The game doesn't look the best with its plain UI, and it appears that the major focus in its graphical push was toward the look of the waves--so much so that the other elements, such as your rider, lack detail. Regardless, Bodyboarding Battle rises to the challenge in gameplay, although there is a steep learning curve.
Luckily, anyone who has played games like Trials will feel right at home with the general idea of this game. Players, using the arrow keys, must out-board a wave while maintaining a balance between speed and, well, balance. It sounds easy enough, but the game reads extremely subtle key presses, meaning that delicate control is the key to victory in Bodyboarding Battle.
Your rider appears in the distance, approaching the wave in the foreground of the scene. As he nears the crest of the wave, you must hold the "down" key and then the "right" key to take off ahead of the way. However, if you don't quickly establish a balance between speed and footing, you'll wipe out for sure. This is done by, while holding the right arrow key at all times, pressing the "up" and down arrow keys with slight, rhythmic strokes that both keep your boarder afloat and ahead of the wave. While it makes for a brilliant test of skill, the whole scheme takes some time to grasp.
If you're interested, the controls go even deeper to reveal tricks that players can perform while outpacing the wave. You can go into a tubing position while underneath a wave crest or even perform aerial tricks using the "R," "E" and "D" keys at the precise moments for major points.
When you feel confident in your virtual surfing abilities, you can test those skills against opponents. However, the matches are asynchronous exchanges of best times rather than real-time races to the finish. Players perform their best runs, tricks and all, and compare the results to determine the winner. As you win matches and improve your skills, your rating will increase. But the more matches you lose, the more your rating will decrease, creating a sort of balance in the matchmaking system for everyone. In other words, you'll almost always compete with players of your skill level.
Players can buy boosts to their skills through either a credit card or PayPal to temporarily increase their speed and reduce their likelihood of wiping out, though nothing will do you better than practice in such a game. You can battle opponents 10 times a day at no charge, but after that matches will either cost money or require you to request them from friends. Boosts can be requested via friends as well, but focusing on requesting more matches to gain more experience looks to be a sound decision.
YouRiding has struck gold when it comes to skill-centric Facebook gaming, but Bodyboarder Battle could benefit from better visuals. Regardless, if you're looking for a social game that's going to test your abilities rather than your patience or dedication, then this is a fine place to start your search.
Click here to play Bodyboarding Battle on Facebook Now >
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