Gaming's greatest blood sports

Proof that the most dangerous game is also the most fun to murderize

Blood Bowl (1995)

Blood Bowl is a DOS adaption of the figurine board game of the same name. Again, it’s a more violent version of American football, except this time with fantasy characters and dismemberment.

Above: Since when is having more limbs than usual a “skill?”

A modern version is in currently in development by Cyanide Studios (based on the board game, not the original videogame).

Above: The latest adaptionis to be released this year

Bill Laimbeer's CombatBasketball(1991)

It would be pointless to write a synopsis of this game when it is so well encapsulated by this product description, which seems to appear everywhere the game is referenced:

"When Bill Laimbeer played in the NBA, he wasn't exactly known for his sportsmanlike conduct. Now he's brought his rough-and-tumble style of basketball action to the SNES with BILL LAIMBEER'S COMBAT BASKETBALL. It's the year 2030, and Laimbeer is the commissioner of the pro basketball league. Seeing as he's in charge, he fires all the refs and throws the rulebook out the window - basketball the way he likes it. Now the players wear armor as weapons and mines are thrown from the stands, adding a whole new element to the game of hoops. You can create your own league of combat basketball by buying and selling players with up to seven other people in the league. Forget everything you know about the modern game of basketball, and get ready for a futuristic look at the game with BILL LAIMBEER'S COMBAT BASKETBALL."

For fun, here’s what Wikipedia has to say:

“The game predicts ascience-fiction version of the year 2030 in which there are only robot basketball players (excluding Bill Laimbeer).”

Robots… possibly, or maybe people in metallic armor. It can be hard to tell the difference. Actually no, they’re humans. Check out the super fast-paced gameplay:

Barbarian (Death Sword) (1987)

Another controversial game, Barbarian (Death Sword in the US) was scolded for depicting violence (including decapitations - no!) and women in bikinis (even worse than decapitations!). Mostly it was about barbarians fighting each other, and free posters.

Above: Free poster!

Pit-Fighter (1990)

Pit-Fighter was looking stupid years before Mortal Kombat was using digitized characters. In spite of its lack-luster console ports, the original arcade version stands tall as one of those games people remember liking. Just look at these spastic crowds and super-generic fighters!

While pretty much any fighting game could be categorized as a “blood sport,” if we included all of them we might as well have written “A bunch of fighting games” and left it at that. Pit-Fighter gets inclusionbecause the office insisted, so go play it.


Associate Editor, Digital at PC Gamer
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