[PS VR] HoloBall Review

by Mathieu

Did TreeFortress Games just release the “Wii Sports” of PlayStation VR? It sure seems like it. But, does the immersion of virtual reality and the tight gameplay mechanics of HoloBall makes it the better game? Find out more in our complete HoloBall review.

Holoball – PSVR Launch Trailer (In Engine)

There isn’t much of a story to speak of in HoloBall. A rogue AI has taken control of Earth and enslaved humanity. On their eighteen birthday, every human is giving a chance to win their freedom. But to succeed, they will need to beat the AI at their favorite game: HoloBall. The game is presented in colorful Tron-inspired graphics, with the sounds and music to go along with it.

HoloBall looks a lot like the VR equivalent of squash. You are in a virtual boxed shaped room, and you must hit the ball behind the square-shaped robot on the back wall to score a goal.

HoloBall Review - Screenshot

At first, I was trying to play HoloBall like Wii Sports Tennis, but I found that the game has much more in common with ping-pong. You know, the one you play in the real world!

I came to this realization when I figured out that I was holding the VR paddle the same way I hold a ping-pong paddle. From this point on, I fully embraced that technique and started seeing improvements to the accuracy of my shots.

At launch, HoloBall offers different single-player modes of play. In Campaign Mode, there are four difficulty levels that you need to progress through, from easiest to hardest. There is also a small story to follow in this one. Eventually, you will unlock a custom mode where you can adjust the parameters of the game to your liking. These includethe size of the playfield, the ball’s size and speed, the AI’s effectiveness and the number of points required per match.

There are also three arcades modes for you to try out. They are:

Zen: You hit the ball against the wall until you miss. You can customize the playfield and the ball’s parameters.

Score Attack: You have three lives to achieve the highest score possible. The play area changes after each couple of goals to add progressive difficulty.

Endurance: You have three lives to see how many goals you can score before you lose your last life. Each time you score, the AI will get an increase in shot speed.

There is no online multiplayer for now, but TreeFortress Games is currently working on this mode for a future update. You can, however, play against a friend if you want to. They can use the Dualshock 4 controller to take over the AI.

HoloBall Review - Screenshot

This is the first VR game I played that had me breaking a sweat.1 In the same way that an intense ping-pong match can make you sweat, HoloBall will do the same. In fact, you get so immersed in the game that it could become dangerous! I made my dad try the game out, and I had to intervene because he was coming closer and closer to the TV! I made the error of jumping to try to smash the ball, only to hit my hand hard on my living room’s ceiling!

HoloBall is my favorite game on PS VR so far. It’s a game you will make sure that all of your friends try. I highly recommend you add it to your collection. It’s well worth the asking price!


This HoloBall review is based on a PS4 copy provided by TreeFortress Games.

  1. I recommend you use exercise headphones if you have any. I had the stock PS VR headphones fall out of my ears multiple times when they got sweaty. ↩︎

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