Omega Strikers has been on my personal radar for some time now. It’s an upcoming free-to-play title that seems to take notes from several arcade-style sports games to create its own unique experience. I finally got a chance to go hands-on with a Switch version of the game during a recent event held by Nintendo at GDC 2023 and it did not disappoint.
The concept behind Omega Strikers is pretty straightforward: two teams consisting of 3 players each take each other on in what can only be described as the most intense game of air hockey you’ve ever seen. Each team consists of a goalie and two strikers, but really anyone can move around the arena and try to score a goal. Matches start off with both goals blocked and players have to wear down the defense before scoring. Some arenas will have walls in the middle of them that players can use to ricochet the puck off or use as a bit of defense, but other times there may be nothing but free space.
Before a match each player will get a chance to select their characters and I think this is where the real fun begins. All of the playable characters look like they were taken straight out of an anime. I feel like just about every anime trope is represented by this roster. We’re talking both slime and cat girls, hackers, big brutish brawler dudes, and anthropomorphic giant animals to name a few. Each one comes with its own special set of skills that players can use to their advantage during a match. For instance, I was able to pounce on enemies using a cat girl character, and another time I was able to shoot a missile as a tech-heavy character. Moves aren’t just for offense either, and plenty of characters have defensive moves at their disposal as well.
The action of Omega Strikers felt fast-paced and frantic in the best ways possible. It felt like I was playing a combination of Windjammers and Mega Man Soccer at times, with a small dash of Rocket League. Matches don’t last for too long unless they go into sudden death either, meaning if you’re not feeling your character or gelling with your teammates, you won’t have to suffer long.
Right now it would seem like the team at Odyssey Interactive is focusing on the core gameplay experience, so at the time there are just plans for Casual and Ranked modes of play. But I could easily see Omega Strikers expanding into some creative side modes down the line should the devs choose to do so. As it stands right now though, there’s still plenty of fun to be had with Omega Strikers in its current form.
This preview is based on hands-on time with Omega Strikers at a GDC 2023 preview event put on by Nintendo. Omega Strikers is set to launch for Nintendo Switch, PC, Android and iOS devices on April 27, 2023.
Blake Morse posted a new article, Omega Strikers feels like an anime version of air hockey