When it comes to ipad/iphone games, football fans have Madden, soccer enthusiasts can play FIFA, and worshipers of the long ball can play the latest MLB endorsed app. Now Ultimate players can cheer, for they too have a game for their favorite sport. Championship Ultimate is the first fully featured Ultimate game for the Apple iOS platform on the planet Earth and in our universe. However, it’s definitely not the first in the multiverse, if there is such a thing.
Creator Axis Sivitz learned to play ultimate at Oberlin College, a small school in Oberlin, Ohio. After graduating from Oberlin, Axis found himself in Columbus, Ohio where he plays Club Open for Madcow. Championship Ultimate was created to fill a void, says Axis. “As great as Ultimate is, it can be tough to find fields to play on or people to play with. When a Hockey fan needs their fix, they can plug in the latest game. There are Curling and Lacrosse video games. Ultimate fans never had that choice. And when there’s a foot of snow on the ground, a video game can be a pretty good substitute. So, in a lot of ways, Championship Ultimate is the game I always wanted to play.” And truth be told, Championship Ultimate is the game every Ultimate player has always wanted to play.
I’ve gotten some great feedback from Players that has helped me refine the controls and the gameplay. It’s always exciting when a player sends me info on their local team to include in the game. Recently someone even sent me a handful of stadiums that they modeled for Championship Ultimate – Axis Sivitz
Championship Ultimate is a currently a one player game (with computer players as teammates and opponents) and a continuous work in progress. Having played the first version and the latest release, I can confidently say this game has improved dramatically, without sacrificing fun. In the first version, all the discs flew perfectly straight, and it was extremely difficult to follow the disc on the screen. That has all changed in version 1.3. Now players can throw huge inside-out or outside-in hucks and hammers. Discs are now easier to follow due to the target featured on the ground. Layout D’s are huge, and happen often. There are two sets of throwing controls, ‘simple’ and ‘advanced’. If you are a baller like me, you play with the advanced settings. In the advanced settings, you are given more control of the flight path of the disc, which allows for pin point throws. Hammers are especially fun to throw.
While short throws are easier to master, hucking takes lots of practice as the AI does not make complete deep cuts, and hitting a receiver downfield is tough to do. However, if you decide to cut deep and call for the disc, the AI usually puts up a perfect huck, allowing you to sky the other team, which looks and feels awesome. Notably, the only offense that the game uses is the vertical stack.
Players have the choice to play an exhibition match, or a tournament. There is also a training session for improving your lay out D, dumps, and throwing. The training sessions are definitely vital to mastering this game.
Developer Axis Sivitz has strong goals for the future of his game. “I had a couple goals from the outset. Firstly, I wanted to make a game that was a first class citizen compared to other sports games. So, if FIFA Soccer had 3D graphics, announcers, and custom teams, then I wanted my game to have them too. Secondly, I wanted playing the game to feel roughly like it actually feels to play Ultimate.”
“Virtual Grass Stains- Three words that describe Championship Ultimate” – Axis Sivitz
If you’re looking for a challenging game, this is not it. Championship Ultimate is entertaining and fun, but beating the computer is not the most difficult thing in the world. There are three different settings for the computer (easy, medium, hard). Easy is too easy, as the computer can barely complete any throws, and the defense is non exisistent. On hard, the computer improves all of its throws dramatically, and even breaks the mark. Axis programmed the computer offense to play smarter as the difficulty increases. The computer controlled players will cut, handle, fight poaches, and throw to space. However, defense does not change across difficulties. The computer never lays out no matter the difficulty, and only in hard does the computer learn to sky other players. However, if your looking for a game that features your favorite sport and for a time killing device, this game is for you.
“My Favorite Feature is the AI. There’s definitely room for improvement, but once in a while an AI player makes a really good play to beat me and it feels like I outsmarted my self with my own code” – Axis
Championship Ultimate looks great for an iPhone App. Who doesn’t want to play Ultimate under stadium lights in front of thousands of cheering fans? Not only that, users have a chance to play on their dream college or club team! Colorado Mamabird, Columbus Madcow, Wisconsin Hodags and Seattle Riot are just a few of the teams players can choose from. Personally, I love to recreate the 2009 UPA College Championship between Florida and Wisconsin. Players can also create their own team and uniforms. Not only are there sweet teams to play as, but the commentary is pretty fantastic as well. You definitely do not want to disable the commentary feature because the announcers are hilarious.
Championship Ultimate is available at the iTunes App Store for $2.99. Players can play it on any Apple iOS compatible device.
Championship Ultimate – $2.99 (iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad).
While not posing much of the challenge, Championship Ultimate not only satisfies the need for a modern Ultimate video game, it feeds off community input and will continue to grow along with the game. The updates, which occur every so often, will ensure that the game continues to improve.
Axis is very excited about some of the updates and has been working hard. “Some time ago I started working on multiplayer,” says Axis. “I’ve made a lot of progress, but it’s really tough to get right, so it’s taking me longer than I expected. In the meantime, I’m going to work on features that people have requested, like a horizontal stack offense and a more dynamic camera system.”
The game is extremely entertaining, fun, and most importantly, affordable. It’s easy to save a game, and come back to it on a potty break, lunch break, or even waiting in between rounds at Centex. Every Ultimate player should give this game a shot, because chances are, this will be your only opportunity to sky some Florida players. I know it will be mine!