Smashball is a fast-paced, ultra violent first-person sports shooter. Two teams use super-human maneuvers, a real-physics grappling hook and high-powered weaponry to try to get a single ball into their opponent's goal. On the league web site, players can see match stats, create teams and participate in our cash tournaments!
User reviews: Mixed (195 reviews) - 65% of the 195 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jun 2009

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Half-Life 2 Mod


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"(Mod) Smashball is a fast-paced, ultra violent first-person sports shooter."
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About This Game

Smashball is a fast-paced, ultra violent first-person sports shooter. Two teams use super-human maneuvers, a real-physics grappling hook and high-powered weaponry to try to get a single ball into their opponent's goal. On the league web site, players can see match stats, create teams and participate in our cash tournaments!

Key features:

  • INCREDIBLE MOBILITY! Smashball players can use their Turbo Moves to amp up their speed. The Grappling Hook can be used to swing across open areas and wrap around corners. Combining the two allows for supreme feats of acrobatics.
  • INTENSE ACTION! Play is focused on The Ball. Every second has to be used to score Runs or Shots on the enemy goal. Players in four different Positions run plays with trick Passing while trying to knock each other out. All weapons have infinite ammo, and players Regenerate Health. A brutal Charge is the best way to knock out or kill a player.
  • CHARACTER CUSTOMIZATION! Players get XP for playing, and can buy special Skills when they gain Levels. Skills are used in-game to tailor your character's capabilities for specific roles. There is an entire dimension of strategy in picking the right combination of skills.
  • BUILT-IN LEAGUE PLAY! When you play, the game will automatically register you for the Intergalactic Smashball League. Through the league web site you can create or join Teams and compete in Tournaments for Prizes! The league site can also be used to schedule matches and automatically start servers!

System Requirements

    • Operating System: Microsoft® Windows® 2000/XP/Vista
    • Processor: 1.2 GHz Processor
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Hard Disk Space: 4.5 GB
    • Video Card: DirectX® 7 Compatible, 128 MB
    • Sound Card: 16-bit Sound Card
    • DirectX® Version: DirectX® 7
Helpful customer reviews
23 of 24 people (96%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
308.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 22
The Game That Could Have Been King...

Back in 2009, Valve put a small mod on the front page of their Steam store, leading to a rush of new players, myself included, all jumping aboard the Smashball train. And what we found? Something really incredibly fun. But if the game was that good, why does nobody still play it? Well, I'll get to that in a bit, but here's a summary of what the game was actually about.

Two teams, divided up into four classes (Forward, Half-back, Full-back and Goalkeeper), armed with guns and grappling hooks, running and jumping - but mostly swinging - to get the ball into the opposition's net. Throwing the ball in would get three points, while carrying it in for a run would garner seven points. With each match consisting of six three-minute periods, matches were fairly brief, but full of action.

Each class had their own weapons and stats; forwards were fast but squishy with fairly weak weapons, full-backs slow but strong with weapons designed to slow the enemy down enough to get in close for bruising body tackles. Half-backs balanced between the previous two classes - stronger but slower than forwards, weaker but faster than full-backs, with middling weapons. Goalkeepers though were the meanest of the lot; stronger than all the other classes and with the best weapons, they were limited to only one a team, and were often actually controlled by bots (the only class that had bots actually!) since their job was to hang back and defend the goal and most people didn't want to do that in scrimmages.

All classes also had a slowly recharging power bar, with which they could do one of two things; hit Shift to start a turbo charge which would propel them at high speed for a short distance and with the weightier classes, also doing a lot of damage if connecting with an opponent and maybe causing them to drop the ball, but by pressing F, they would also use the pickup skill. How this worked was it emitted an invisible sphere around the player, differently sized for each class, which if the ball was loose within it, would cause the ball to zip straight into their hands. This meant that players could not only scrabble for balls that had fallen to the ground (and sometimes those moshpits in the corner were grotesquely brutal), but they could also intercept their opponents passes, snagging the ball in midair as it was homing in on it's targetted receiver.

But what the game was really about? Speed. This being a Source engine game, with its own unique take on physics, led to some interesting little tactics that came prominently to the fore in Smashball. Firstly, that bunnyhopping was automatic if you held down the space bar. This meant that on a straight line, you could always maintain your momentum, however fast you were going. With a little bit of practice, grappling through doorways allowed players to build up tremendous speed, allowing them to soar across the maps. And with airstrafing, an interesting little quirk in the physics more commonly seen on Counter Strike's surf maps, it meant that people could also turn corners while maintaining the furious pace they'd built up. This led to an incredibly high-octane experience of breathtaking movement mixed with complete and utter physical carnage.

There were problems though. Goalkeepers' weapons were incredibly powerful, but terrible at range, enough so that a forward could pick them off easily, allowing for easy goals or runs. Forwards' pickup spheres were so large that they actually made better goalkeepers than, well, the goalkeepers, so they would often camp in front of their own goal once the opposing side had the ball, snatching any shots that came their way. And if you couldn't throw the ball in, well, you couldn't run it in either because the goal line would get flooded by players physically blocking you as well. Oh, and the tutorial? Completely and utterly useless in preparing a player for the actual game.

The biggest problem though was the game's main feature: speed. Or more specifically, the one skill that was utterly required to become good at the game, involving maintaining your high speed and enabling you to avoid enemies as you raced for the opposition's goal. Airstrafing. It wasn't that it was an inherently bad thing; I'd in fact say the opposite, it was brilliant. It's just that it was actually very, very, VERY hard to learn, and basically involved hours and hours of practice, usually by yourself, to hone a skill for a free mod.

When the game's population exploded due to the Steam publicity, lots of people were utterly new to the game and since there were so many starting out at the same level, the game was genuinely fun. But as others got better and better, including picking up airstrafing, a clear divide began to become obvious in the playerbase. Those who could airstrafe were incredibly fast and hard to stop from doing whatever the hell they wanted, while those who couldn't airstrafe (and I was pretty bad at it myself) simply couldn't keep up. Since the airstafing skill is so hard to pickup, it led to a lot of people leaving the game, the enjoyment of the frenetic scrambles having faded away as they were constantly outclassed by the same people again and again.

The developers noticed this, and promptly went into a panic. Understandably so, their beloved mod was dying right before their eyes, and they knew they had to do something to stop that from happening. And so they nerfed the top speed available, made players stick to the ground more, made weapons do more damage and made the maps smaller.

In the end, Smashball was a game that was all about speed, and when that was taken away, nobody wanted to play it anymore, and it died a sad and ignomious death. If anything, the game was a victim of its own success; the Steam explosion really brought its weaknesses to the fore, and the developers rushed to create a fix for it that ended up alienating their core playerbase instead

Would the new Source engine fix airstrafing, making the game a more even playing field were it to be remade? I know I'd sure like to find out; over five years have passed since I last played Smashball regularly, and I still miss it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
7 of 11 people (64%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 23
Apparently I played this a few years ago. I just heard that I can't play it anymore.
I don't remember any of it. RIP
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49 of 62 people (79%) found this review helpful
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 28, 2013
Smashball is an amazing game, it's a mixture of TF2 & rugby(football),it's a team-based game that relies on teamwork between each team, for starters you have to know all the basics from the tutorial.

the only main problem is that, there are no one playing this game and servers are empty.. kinda sad, because it really has the big potential to be a competitive game.
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28 of 35 people (80%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: May 4
The mod was mediocre/average back in 2009 when it launched.

Right now, there's no server or anyone playing anymore, so you're best off saving your time and leave this one be.
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25 of 33 people (76%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
331.5 hrs on record
Posted: February 16, 2014
Best mod for HL2 you'll play. Extremely engaging with a community that helps new players get involved with the action.
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