Pitch Out by Gigamic
Playtime: ~10 minutes
Perfect for: Duos who enjoy strategic flicking and asymmetrical combat.
Pitch Out is a game of dexterous domination! Two teams square off on the battlefield of a large smooth surface, each trying to overcome the other. The warriors are represented by small round pucks, each with its own unique ability. When one squad knocks out other’s Captain, they are victorious!
To begin Pitch Out, two players select which faction they wish to play and the fighters to fill the spots on their roster. Each side has a few combatants with identical abilities. For example, each team has a Runner, which can perform a double move; and an Assassin, which can eliminate an enemy puck instantly upon impact. There are a few others, however, that are unique to each side—Hoods have an Infested puck which acts like a bomb when hit, destroying themselves and the opponent; the Citizens have the Major which can only be eliminated the “traditional” way of being knocked off the surface. After selecting characters, a few obstacles get placed in the field, and the game is ready to start.
On a turn, a player chooses one of their pucks to use. They then flick their puck strategically, either to try to knock an enemy out of play or to make a tactical maneuver. Play continues back and forth until one person takes out the opposing Captain and thus winning the round. Be warned though—the Captain can take on the powers of any their previously fallen warriors, making them dangerously versatile!
What works in Pitch Out is the very well-balanced, fast-paced, excitement of the gameplay. While there are many flicking-style games, Pitch Out evolves this mechanic engagingly through the use of the asymmetry. The various abilities complement each other incredibly well and makes each new game thrilling and mildly unpredictable—even what looks like should be the perfect shot can be shanked and fly off course after an unfortunate flick. Given the collection of different characters/abilities, plus how quick the games are, Pitch Out has a very high replay value.
Players who do not like direct combat games, or ones that require precise fine motor skills, might not enjoy Pitch Out as much as others. The whole goal of the game is to be devious and ruthless, so individuals preferring less aggressive situations may opt for something friendlier. Finally, flicking can be frustrating and painful! An unintentional bump or making accidental contact with a puck forcefully with a fingernail might generate some negative reactions.
Pitch Out is a great fun provided you have the right partner and a large enough surface to play on! The flicking mechanic coupled with various powers gives the game a surprising amount of depth that will likely delight fans of the genre.
Recommended if you like: Flick ‘em Up!, Crokinole