Disc Jam has finally made its way to the Nintendo Switch after launching for the PS4, Xbox One and PC last year. The game offers a great multiplayer experience although something that was flawed when it launched back on the PlayStation Plus. Just like Windjammers, Disc Jam attempts to mix the sports of throwing discs with a co-op multiplayer environment however whether it manages to reach the same heights of Windjammers remains to be seen.
Disc Jam on the Nintendo Switch is a good port that manages to hold up well in both of its different modes. On the portable side of things, you are looking at running the game at native 720p with full 60 fps, meanwhile on the console side, the game renders at native 1080p with the same fluid 60 fps. Despite the effort spent on the port, is Disc Jam a good buy for the Nintendo Switch? I do think it is a fun game and one that especially shines in its multiplayer mode so my answer is yes, it is well suited for the Nintendo Switch hardware.
Disc Jam attempts to emulate the success of Rocket League. However compared to Rocket League, the gameplay possibilities of Disc Jam are limited. It is a fun disc launcher game with a good gameplay but it is also a lot more restricted than something like Rocket League. There are no special skills that can be used in a match, it is a simple case of reflexes and even then it depends more on the opponent. I found Disc Jam a lot lacking in this regard especially if we talk about the offline portion of the game.
The game seems to lack single player content which is a shame because the online multiplayer can die at some point leaving the players restricted to either local co-op gaming or by playing against the AI, which is based on data of some of the online ranked players. While a game like Rocket League is fun in either online or offline mode, Disc Jam fails to deliver in true single player experience and instead tries to opt for a more online focused approach.
Speaking of the online multiplayer, I have found the net code to be rather terrible. There is a lot of lag during matches and while I was able to easily get into matches, the missing frames for the disc made it harder to track it down and instead I had to focus more on predicting where the disc might appear. Perhaps it was just a bad connection and maybe the game is more functional, however it didn’t exactly make a good impression for the game’s prominent mode. It would have been easy to overlook it if the offline mode had any content, but it is restricted to either local co-op or fighting against the AI in matches that don’t offer the same excitement as a human opponent.
Disc Jam focuses on a reflexes based gameplay. If you have played Windjammers, you might recognize it, however the charm of Windjammers was arguably its pixel art style which isn’t the case here. Disc Jam is not exactly a looker and its art style doesn’t set it apart from others. Your goal in each match is to simply hit the disc on the other size of fence while making sure the opponent isn’t able to do the same to your side. Perfectly timed button presses are important if you want to make short work of your opponent while the analog stick is used to register a spin on the disc depending on how you rotate it, its direction can change leading to a curve that can confuse the opponent. You can slide to grab an out of reach disc or use a shield to deflect it. The game also offers a charged up attack but it is something that I hardly used in matches since it is possible to simply win the matches by focusing on getting a perfectly timed throw.
My disappointment with the lack of content aside, Disc Jam is a fairly competent port on the Nintendo Switch. The game runs on Unreal Engine 4 and offers stable 60 fps in both the docked and portable mode. Even the resolution is rather respectable here with the docked mode running at native 1080p while the portable mode runs at native 720p. This means that the game offers the best possible experience in any mode which should be admired since there are not many developers that bother with offering it.
To conclude, if you are looking a fun party game that can be played in co-op, Disc Jam is a good choice. It also offers wireless multiplayer for 2 different systems in local co-op and supports the JoyCon controller so you can simply play a multiplayer match with a friend on the go. However, the lack of content and substandard quality of the customization means you won’t get much out of the single player mode. While my experience with the online multiplayer wasn’t as good, your mileage might vary.
Disc Jam Review (Switch)
Game description: A fast-paced action-sports game that pits 2-4 players against each other in a frantic combination of air hockey and tennis. Players scramble to retrieve and throw a glowing disc while unleashing devastating abilities and defending their end zone.
Disc Jam is a fun co-op experience if you play it on the Nintendo Switch but it doesn’t hide the fact that the game lacks content for its offline single player mode.