ByJupiter Hadley, writer at
I am a YouTuber and writer of Indie Games. I cover many, many game jam games as well as smaller indie gems.
Jupiter Hadley

BOTOLO is a breathtaking king-of-the-hill and keep-away hybrid game that has you trying to fill up areas of the screen with your own beautiful pattern. This game will distract you with its ever-changing graphics, amazing bursts of color, and fast-paced gameplay, so grab a friend and try to pay attention to what is actually going on around you!

The basics of BOTOLO

BOTOLO is a competitive game in which you must capture a ball and hold onto it while remaining inside sections of the game board. You have to do this long enough to fill the area halfway with your own colored pattern!

You do not have to fill up this area all at once, and you can drop the ball, leave the area and attempt to fill up another section at any point. Once you have filled the section up halfway, it will turn completely your color, and it will forever be controlled by you.

However when you have the ball, your character will move a bit slower and you will be unable to use any abilities (referred to as "powers" in the game) that would otherwise help you out. You are able to and encouraged to block when you have the ball.

You must predict when the other player is going to attack you, then hit the block button at the correct time, in order to gain a bonus and retain the ball. This bonus will have the effect of filling up the area you are currently in by a much greater amount than when you just remain inside of it. If you predict incorrectly, you will still activate your block; using the block too many times in a row without actually blocking the attack will cause your shield to malfunction and prevent you from being able to use it for a small amount of time.

If you want to get the ball back from your opponent, you must attack them while they have it, so that the ball will bounce away from them. From there, you can grab the ball and try to avoid the other player. You also have different powers depending on the level you choose to play.

Using the wind power
Using the wind power

Powers in BOTOLO

There is a variety of different powers that you can use and unlock in this game, however you only get one power per round. Your friend will also get to choose a power they would like.

At first, not all of these powers are unlocked in the game. To unlock them you must play time attack mode and win rounds to gain points that will unlock them. You do start with five powers right off the bat to choose from and master.

These powers include:

  • Dash, which allows you to dash quickly around the screen
  • Ghost, which allows you to disappear for a few seconds and reappear as particles before forming back into your circular character
  • Cut, which allows you to draw a line that will then push the ball out of the players hold if it crosses them
  • Wind, which creates huge arrows that then push either player and the ball in that direction if anything collides with them
  • Null, which is no power at all — just a vanilla round of gameplay
Using the cut power
Using the cut power


Once you do begin to play, you will notice that there are several different arenas to play in. All of these arenas have defined shapes that you must fill up with your color. In addition there are gold lines that are both solid and dotted. Solid lines cannot be traveled through, while dotted lines will allow your character to pass but not the ball. You can also move into the dark areas around the arena, where you will move a bit faster than if you were in an area that needed to be filled.

Lone ball
Lone ball

No friends, no problem

If you do not have friends or you’d rather play on your own, you totally can! I would suggest playing with another player, as the bots you end up playing with might kick your butt at first. They do adapt to your play style in the middle of the match, while you play, so they are quite challenging and fun to try and trick.

Personally, I enjoy playing BOTOLO with a friend, both using controllers, while my preferred power is wind. As much as I love the fact that this game has smart AI that you can play against, I am no match for their expertise currently, but am working on honing my skills against my friends.

This game is definitely worth the price tag of $14.99.

Platform: Windows, Mac

Genre: Local Multiplayer

Release Date: December 15, 2016

Creator: Ian Snyder


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