Blood Bowl review

Madden meets Disgaea. No, really

GamesRadar+ Verdict


  • +

    Beloved Warhammer universe

  • +

    A sport with some considerable depth

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    Faithful re-creation of the board game


  • -

    Half-hearted tutorials

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    Expects you to know the sport

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    Expects you to know the board game

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Now this is inspiring. Rather than violently slaughtering each other on the battlefield, a multitude of races from the Warhammer universe have started slaughtering each other at American Football instead. Based on the Games Workshop board game, Blood Bowl sees you forming a team – out of Orcs, Dwarves, Humans, Lizardmen etc – before taking on an entire fantasy kingdom in a sport more violent than ice hockey.

Its primary inspiration is obviously American Football, but it grafts its own rich set of rules over the top, and the result is a sport with some considerable depth. But, while the game represents everything admirably well, it decides to explain it in one of the most half-hearted tutorials we’ve ever seen. Some familiarity with Blood Bowl and its rules is required, and taken for granted.

This isn’t too bad: it’s faithful to the board game, and a departure from any other sports title that comes to mind. If you’re part of the miniscule demographic interested in it, Blood Bowl is deep and often rewarding to play.

Sep 18, 2009

More info

DescriptionIt’s so complicated and convoluted that even the tutorial confused us, while the grainy graphics, painful pauses as moves take place and shoddy touch-screen controls render the whole thing massively frustrating. One for the sin bin.
Platform"DS","Xbox 360","PC","PSP"
US censor rating"Teen","Teen","Teen","Teen"
UK censor rating"16+","16+","16+","16+"
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)
Tom Sykes
When he's not dying repeatedly in roguelikes, Tom spends most of his working days writing freelance articles, watching ITV game shows, or acting as a butler for his cat. He's been writing about games since 2008, and he's still waiting on that Vagrant Story 2 reveal.