A Brutal Game of Hide-and-Seek
Badblood is a suspenseful local two-player stealth/action game developed by Winnie Song. A deadly game of hide and seek in which you must find and kill your opponent before they kill you. Hide in the tall grass and stalk your victim, striking when the time is right. Tactical movement is crucial; stay aware and watch your back.
In this 1v1 death match, players must navigate the gridded layout of the field searching for their target. The split-screen display tempts players to peek at their opponent’s screen, Badblood uses this to boost player paranoia. The field arena is shown from different viewpoints within each split, meaning your north will be different from your opponents north. This causes a confusion of perspective that can be taken advantage of by either player.
The overgrown and wild field is perfect for this deadly game of hide and seek, the tall grass either masking or exposing your movements. If the player moves quickly, the grass shuffles thus revealing your whereabouts to your opposition. Move slowly and purposefully and the grass is undisturbed but you come under threat to a quicker aggressor. Badblood rewards players that posses both stealth and aggression. When there is a successful kill the moment of attack is quick and the victor can soak up their victory with a dynamic cinematic kill screen. Watching your character plunge a hammer into the victim’s head, blood spurting everywhere in slow-mo is a pleaser. It would be pretty over the top if it wasn’t for the striking colourful camouflage art style that keeps it classy.
Each of the four ruthless playable characters have special abilities suited to the player’s chosen style of attack be it close combat, long range, slow and silent or quick and clean. Abilities include heightened hearing, flash bombs, a single bullet or a hunting dog can be an instant game changer. Matches stay pretty short and the quick re-playable game loop keeps you playing more. Coupled with two modes of play, ‘Find and Kill’ the typical hide and seek and ‘Hunting Season’ where players take turns in being the hunter and the hunted, BadBlood has enough variety to keep you bloodthirsty.
With all the abilities, movement tactics and kill options, it is hard to grasp all the mechanics within the first match. With no quick tutorial, you might need a couple of test-matches to find their footing which means that you can’t just jump into the game. However once you learn the moves, both players are on equal grounds and the game really begins.
Badblood keeps you on your toes and holds your attention. The action and violence in the game only lasts a second, the quick moment of the kill. The suspense and fun takes place in the silent stalking, the subtle grass rustle, the thrill in each strike. Every mistake can cost, there is a cool-down time for unsuccessful lunges, leaving you open to be attacked. So not only do you have to plan your own movements but also try and map out your opponents hidden position, every move matters. The electric, new age soundtrack by Pierre Bienaimé gives an edgy feel to the game with the slow tempo evoking a calm and strategic strikes. Rather than a fast paced whirlwind of moves and attacks, Badblood conjures up a gradual feeling of uncertainty and suspense that make it unique. You feel like you are constantly in danger from something you cannot see. Matches can easily be under ten seconds if a player’s style is quick and aggressive, however it’s the crafty and cunning, slower tempo matches in which Badblood really excels.