Disclosure: This game was provided to us by Salt Castle Studio for the purpose of review.
There’s a specific type of game that I like to call nonsense games. These are the kinds of games that may fit a genre like a fighting game, RPG or what have you, but they also have that special quality of just being kind of weird and wonderful.
Alpaca Ball: Allstars fits quite nicely into that category along with another game I’ve reviewed on this website, Fight Crab. There are also games like Goat Simulator and even Genital Jousting that fit into this secondary genre. These types of games are usually just meant to pull you in with the silly gimmick, maybe get you to play with a few friends for a fun time and possibly get a YouTuber to scream over it. This isn’t a bad thing, it’s a solid market strategy and the games I have listed are by no means un-fun to play.
Anywho, moving on with the review. Alpaca Ball: Allstars is a game about Alpacas playing football by whacking the ball with their heads. You are a young alpaca who’s home is going to be demolished by a fancy British alpaca named Angus. Your only hope is to become a famous alpaca ball player to gather the social media fame to save your home. You know, that classic tale!
Gameplay-wise the game is fine. However, that fine comes with the caveat of what you want out of this game. This game has multiplayer so it’s clearly intended to be fun to play against and with friends. You hit the ball with your head and the ball will go somewhere. I found that games with teams of two alpacas to be easy enough to navigate and actively send the ball where I wanted it but anything beyond that and the game becomes a nonsensical mess. The ball will bounce and bounce and bounce around the pitch until it eventually makes its way into the goal. At which point you might as well just hit the ball for fun and just hope it doesn’t go into your goal before the timer hits zero.
I’m not trying to rag on this game too much but beyond the initial gimmick, there really isn’t much to review here. The graphics are fine, the colours are bright and the joke of an alpaca swinging its neck around to hit a football is amusing. It’s honestly a little galling that Salt Castle Studio thought to charge £15.49 for this game. Goat Simulator is £7.19 and there’s probably triple the playtime in that game, and I don’t even like Goat Simulator.
What makes a nonsense game particularly special or memorable, for me, is finding that hidden gem within it. Fight Crab turned out to be a surprisingly deep fighting game that tried some new and unique methods to differentiate itself from similar games. Genital Jousting’s story mode turned out to be an interesting commentary on male ego and toxic masculinity. Goat Simulator made a clear effort to harken back to the secret hunting of old Tony Hawk Skateboarding games.
But Alpaca Ball: Allstars is just what it says on the tin. A game about alpacas playing football. There’s no customisation to change your playstyle like in Fight Crab. There’s nothing interesting about the writing beyond a few puns. There’s no real secret hunting either.
Despite some harsh criticisms, I did have fun with Alpaca Ball: Allstars. It’s an amusing few hours and I’d recommend it when it goes on sale. Beyond that, any of the other nonsense games I’ve listed are probably worth more of your time.