Review – Behold the Kickmen

Behold the Kickmen is the newest entry into the genre I’ve liked to call “absurdist gaming,” joining the ranks of titles like Rocket LeagueSurgeon Simulator and Mount Your Friends. While far more mild than the aforementioned, Behold the Kickmen is a quiet triumph and should be enjoyed by gamers looking for a quick gaming fix.

Developed by Size Five Games, BAFTA winner for their “sex-ed shooter,” Privates, Behold the Kickmen is a soccer game developed by someone who doesn’t know, or care, about the rules of soccer.

A few quick examples of Size Five games has rewritten the rules of the game:

  • The field is now circular.
  • The farther you are from the goal posts, the more points your goal is worth, up to 3-point shots.
  • Unlocking abilities such as: pass, sprint, curved kicks.

Controls are a bit unintuitive and have a learning curve to them. Size Five tries to steer players through a specific order of play, starting first with the Tutorial, then Story Mode, followed lastly by Quick Play. The tutorial will give you time to become familiar with both the controls, and the humor, without needing to worry about losing your first match. I ignored the developers and was abused in my first two matches. I highly recommend following Size Five’s advice.

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Story Mode will start out much slower, ensuring that you have the time to get used to the gameplay against AI opponents, beginning with only a set speed, basic tackle, and the ability to kick. Passing, sprinting, dashing, and ball control are all skills that you’ll be able to unlock with each victory. So be a good Kickman and don’t screw it up. The idea that you have to unlock basic skills could certainly be a turnoff for some, but the option to set the length of each game will speed up the process for anyone who is eager to dive right into the action.

Behold the Kickmen also introduces the Fever meter. The more active you are as a player; dashing, tackling, and sprinting through the competition, the more the audience’s Fever meter goes up, and the more money you earn. After each goal, the Fever meter’s earnings get banked for use at the end of the match. Currency is spent on improving existing passive skills, such as dribbling ball control, your AI teammates’ ability to work together, and your sprint meter’s overall capacity.

Once you’ve become familiar with the pace of the game, it’s time to jump into Quick Play. All of the kickmen’s abilities will be available from the start and the enemy AI will be ready to take you down. They’ll pass and dash around you like you’re in your grandfather’s walker. Be sure that you’re truly ready to take on the absurdity of the god-like kickmen before getting into quick play.

Behold the Kickmen is on Steam for only $3.99. For such a low price, it’s certainly worth the cost.