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Circle of Sumo: Online Rumble! Review

Official Score

Overall - 40%


Circle of Sumo: Online Rumble! could have been a great party game if it wasn’t nickel-and-diming you at every turn. As a result, it provides a cheapened experience that is more interested in your hard-earned cash than a fun experience.

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The art of sumo wrestling is as old as time, but this cultural phenomenon is being reinvented for a new generation with the release of Yonder and Strelka Games’ Circle of Sumo: Online Rumble! This time-honored tradition is timeless for a reason, but unfortunately greed disqualifies this title right from the get-go.

Circle of Sumo: Online Rumble! Review

With support for up to four sumo wrestlers (sumii?), Circle of Sumo: Online Rumble! gives players a wealth of options to outmaneuver the competition. The charge attack might be your bread and butter, sure, but you can also counter attack, run, dodge, and interrupt that charge for what could very well be a deciding fakeout. It’s easy to learn and fairly intuitive, and though the game is far from the deepest title around, it serves as a solid party game overall.

However, players will need to open up their wallets if they hope to do anything to begin with. The Ryo currency is law in Circle of Sumo: Online Rumble!, with everything from emotes to characters to even stages unlocked by it. Starting at $3.99 for 800 Ryo and moving up to $29.99 for 12,000 Ryo, this quickly proves to be an expensive game, one worth more than even the most established AAA games. Those that say nay to this system are forced to play with a random character and a random stage – a major drawback for those looking to have some semblance of control.

And that’s a shame too, because there’s a fair amount of variety for those looking for it. Sumo wrestlers vary by sprint, power, and acceleration, and all have excellent names like “Ice Kid,” “Feather Warrior,” “Night Hunter,” and “Wise Whale.” Stages are varied as well – one has players maneuvering within a roving spotlight, while another has a trapdoor in the middle that could very well spell certain doom.

As this is the online version of the game (the single player version is sold separately for $6.99), the Ranked 1v1 and Free for All modes are all players will be able to enjoy. Connections were fairly smooth and synced up in less than a minute, so it’s a plus that the community is still active for this title. Matches can oftentimes be over in seconds, and even though it is best to five, four players going at it at once can make things feel overly chaotic, for better or worse.

Outside of that, there are a handful of achievements players can pursue. Players can unlock them by reaching ranks, dying in lava, winning 500 matches, or earning rank points. Skill is the name of the game, and those who have got the cash can most likely appreciate the grind.

Circle of Sumo: Online Rumble! could have been a great party game if it wasn’t nickel-and-diming you at every turn. As a result, it provides a cheapened experience that is more interested in your hard-earned cash than a fun experience.

This review of Circle of Sumo: Online Rumble! was done on the PC. The game was freely downloaded.
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Casey Scheld

Casey Scheld has more than 15 years of experience in the gaming industry as a community manager, social media director, event specialist, and (of course) gaming editor. He has previously worked with gaming start-ups like Raptr, publishers like Konami, and roller derby girls at PAX West (check out Jam City Rollergirls)! Gamers Heroes is a passion project for him, giving him a chance to tap into the underground side of gaming. He is all too eager to give these lesser-known heroes of the indie space the attention they so rightly deserve, seeking out the next gem and sharing it with the world. Previously making appearances at events like CES, GDC, and (the late) E3, he is all too happy to seek out the next big thing. For those that want to talk shop, send over a tip, or get an easy win in a fighting game of their choosing, be sure to check out his social media channels below.

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