Viewed from a top-down perspective, the aim of Slamjet Stadium is to use your two-man team to knock the ball into the opposite goal either in local multiplayer (sharing and tearing away at a single iPad) or in the game’s singleplayer tournament. To move your characters you hold a finger over one, draw back and release, your man springing forth to either knock the ball onwards or damage and distance an opponent. It gives play a unique, stuttering rhythm that feels more like chaotic turn-based strategy than clinical realtime sport.
Teams have different attributes – from the wide girth and tremendous power of the Astro Marines to the more nimble Fanboys – and each is brought to life with an infectious enthusiasm, like a child’s colouring book in loud, proud motion.
Regardless of the vibrant variety of the roster, the game flows best with two players using the exact same team. This is because the different teams’ attributes, along with the gimmicks of each map (from spinning blades to symmetrically placed wormholes) often imbalance, rather than enrich, the pleasing tug-of-war at the game’s core.
Multiplayer can be riotously scrappy fun as you clash hands and obscure one another’s view, evoking the memories and spirit of manic bouts of air-hockey at local arcades. The game’s ‘Pro-tips’ even encourage foul play, reinforcing the sense that Slamjet Stadium offers an uneven playing field by design; one for friends looking for a quick, silly thrill and, therefore, a sports game for people who don’t necessarily like sports games.