These sports games had weird and unusual ways to play, and people quickly forgot about them after they came out.
It’s not surprising that when players think of sports games, they think of video games that show most of the mechanics of the real thing. Because of this, sports games like NBA 2K, Football Manager, and even Madden NFL have become well-known brands. But some sports games did show up in the arcades with weird and unusual ways to play.
Before games like Rocket League surprised the gaming world by putting rocket-powered cars and soccer together, some games had already tried to add strange gameplay elements to popular sports games. But which of these games do you think people have already forgotten?
Husky Express Dog Sled Racing (2009)
Even though dog sled racing isn’t “flashy” or “forgotten” in the eyes of sports fans, having an MMO that’s all about raising dogs to be the best at what they do is definitely “unusual.” In most sports games, players go straight to the racing part. But in Husky Express Dog Sled Racing, players make their own anime sled racer and race around the northern hemisphere in an open world. To make a living, players have to adopt and raise dogs, which then pull sleds that help them get around town and race.
This makes Husky Express Dog Sled Racing an MMO with three parts. Aside from the actual racing, it’s also a pet simulator where players have to feed their pets and get pets with special abilities, like being able to smell good things or jumping over cracks and cliffs. Players also have to find resources and make things to help their characters stay alive in the cold, since their characters can freeze to death. Even though the game hasn’t had an English server, it was a breath of fresh air for fans at the time who wanted a more casual MMO experience instead of more intense RPGs.
FreeStyle 2: Street Basketball (2014)
Even though FreeStyle 2: Street Racing is not even close to being “old,” it is a niche sports game because of how it is focused. Fans of sports already have the NBA 2K series, but FreeStyle 2: Street Basketball focuses on basketball played on the street, with fewer rules and more on style. FreeStyle 2 still plays like a normal basketball game at its core.
But adding Skills, Masteries, and Cards to the game gives players another way to improve and make the game more their own. As characters get better with each game, players can buy Skills to learn new basketball moves and Mastery to add specific parameters to techniques. So, players not only get better at a certain “role,” like “Point Guard,” but they can also make characters that move exactly the way they want.
Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball (2014)
Baseball games aren’t exactly new in sports video games, but Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball comes into play when a dog dad sells what “appears” to be real-deal baseball games at a discount to save his failing business. Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball is a free-to-play game for the Nintendo 3DS. It is a collection of minigames set in Rusty Slugger’s Sports Shack.
Real Deal Baseball is fun because it takes the idea of a baseball video game and twists it in new ways. Each mini-game gets harder and adds new tricks. Also, players can buy the rest of Rusty’s minigames with real money, but they can get coupons and discounts by playing minigames that have already been unlocked. This will help them buy the rest of Rusty’s minigames for less money. Real Deal Baseball walks a fine line between being normal and being strange because of the real-life haggling for fun baseball minigames.
Jam City Rollergirls (2011)
Roller derby is a rough contact sport that is played on roller skates. Teams skate in a circle around a track, and a player called a “jammer” earns points by passing other players on the other team. Jam City Rollergirls for the Wii tries to add a kart element to this. The game makes the sport a bit more violent with wilder tracks and a lot of power-ups.
At its core, the game now takes place on different stages where players can do tricks, earn stars, and get multiple power-ups to help them become the top jammer in a match. If a player gets enough stars, they can use a super boost that can help them get back to the top or leave everyone else in the dust. And players who like to be a little more wild can use different ways to cut enemies off.
Chaos League (2004)
Fantasy football players already have Warhammer Fantasy’s Blood Bowl, and Blood Bowl 3 in 2023 promises to be a brutal version of the turn-based football parody. But when it comes to adaptations, fantasy football fans who want a more comedic take on the idea might want to check out Chaos League. This game came out in 2004. It’s like rugby, and it’s played by teams of orcs, elves, dwarves, and even the undead. The game is funny because it uses satire, expert commentary, and ads for fake products.
Chaos League borrows most of its rules from football, but it also has some new mechanics that make the game more intense. For one thing, Chaos League encourages people to get hurt, get knocked down, and even die. There are many ways to win a game, such as knocked-out players and spectators getting in the way, bribing (or even attacking) referees for breaking the rules, or giving players drugs so they can’t play. Chaos League is a strange but fun game. It takes the idea of fantasy football and makes it more violent and magical, and sometimes people get cut up.
Skateball is a game from 1989 that combines soccer and ice skating with a bit of violence. It might be a good choice for gamers who want a simpler version of a violent game. The game is played by two (2) teams on an ice court with a steel wall and a ball in the middle.
But what makes the game great is how easy it is to play. For example, the game is full of dangerous obstacles like holes and bombs. Also, the game ends when either five (5) goals are scored or all of the players on the other team are killed.
Bill Laimbeer’s Combat Basketball (1990)
The 1990s were a strange time for futuristic sports with a bit of violence, and Bill Laimbeer’s Combat Basketball takes things to the next level. The game is a parody video game about Bill Laimbeer, who is now a coach but used to play for the NBA’s Detroit Pistons when the team was known for its aggressive play. Bill Laimbeer’s Combat Basketball is set in 2031 and is about a kind of basketball where there are no fouls and weapons can be used.
Combat Basketball is different from other basketball games of the time because the court is seen from above. Players can now hit each other on the court without getting a foul, and players can use weapons and bombs that are placed around the field. Reviewers have said that Eggy Car game’s controls and graphics aren’t very good, but fans who want a fun video game with a celebrity theme might want to give it a try.
Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe (1990)
After the first Speedball League fails because of violence and corruption, the sport goes underground. And in Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe, the player-controlled team called Brutal Deluxe becomes the new star of “Speedball 2,” which is a remake of the first sport that was made to get more people interested. And most people in both their cyberpunk version of Earth and the real world who review games agree that it’s brutal, sporty fun.
Even though it came out in the 1990s, Speedball 2 is still a coherent, if strange, take on a sport. Its rules are a mix of ice hockey, handball, and sometimes violence. Two teams of nine (9) players each fight to get the ball into the goal of the other team. In contrast to other sports games, coins pop up around the map and can be traded for power-ups. Players are also encouraged to hit opponents to lower their health and, eventually, their stamina to slow them down. This simple idea of “hurt them if no one is shooting” makes Speedball 2 a lot of fun.