We checked out some more fresh and fun multiplayer games these last 2 weeks, all the while watching some big FIFA World Cup 2014 matches. Gaming At Rob's has occasionally featured the second screen, but not quite like this. Here's a look at the featured games for GAR 21 and GAR 22!
Timmy Bibble's Friendship Club (GAR 21/GAR 22)
Force of Habit have created a colourful and inviting top down arena shooter, where 4 players control one of young Timmy Bibble's best imaginary friends as they vie for his affection by shooting the crap out of each other. The key gameplay mechanic is that inside each single-screen level, bullets fired will bounce off of every surface they hit until lodged into the head of one of the protagonists. Each starts with 3 bullets and other than that, have a dash move which acts as a shield, which if activated at the right time, will absorb oncoming fire to be used again.
The game is really nice, aesthetically speaking. The four playable characters are lovingly animated, vibrant and memorable, down to their fantastic names. GAR favourites are The Canardinal and CHUD, because of course they are. There are some game-changing modifiers to play which, our favourites give out a silly number of bullets and double the game speed, letting you appreciate just how great the game controls once you return to a normal pace. There is more content on the way including a new setting, and after 2 consecutive GARs, Timmy Bibble's Friendship Club is looking to become one of our very favourites. Go find out more over on their site.
Trials Fusion (GAR 21/GAR 22)
The latest in a favourite series of mine, this time playing with some futuristic concepts. The multiplayer is solid, pretty much untouched from Trials Evolution and scoring players based on their finishing position as well as the number of times they bailed.
Fusion supports user-generated levels, and the Trials community has been brilliant for years, producing works of art, filled with imagination. The robust customization options don't mean much to me - I don't have time these days to get creative with content creation - but it sure provides the potential for repeat value. I'm gonna dip into the community menus and line up some fun playlists for our next sessions, for sure. Trials Fusion is available on a stack of different platforms, we're playing it on PS4 and the controller lightbars make identifying your rider super easy.
1001 Spikes (GAR 21)
1001 Spikes is a very difficult single player game, back-to-basics in a 16-bit way, and almost masocore in nature. The initial multiplayer game mode, 'The Golden Vase' is strange and plays like nothing we're used to at Gaming At Rob's. You must collect the most coins by holding onto the pot and killing enemies, whilst trying to survive threats within the environment. You can't directly kill each other, but you can stun, leaving your opponents vulnerable. It's a little like the original Mario Bros. multiplayer, with specific traits and weapons for each available character, and plenty of variation in level design.
There are 2 other modes, including a race mode and even campaign co-op, which we didn't check out as they must be unlocked first. I'll be focusing on the campaign to get these unlocked for next time. We had a tough time getting along with it as we weren't sure what to expect, but my time alone with has been enjoyable, in a 'you sonofabitch, of course you put a trap/spike/falling block there, juuuust typical' kinda way. Go check out Nicalis' beautiful site for more details.
Mashed (GAR 21)
Originally came out in 2004 for Xbox and PS2, Mashed borrows heavily from Supersonic's earlier series Micro Machines but based in 'the real world', with explosive weaponry pickups ala Mario Kart. Taking a tight corner just right to ease ahead of your opponents, then see them battle to stay on screen as you zip ahead, is very satisfying.
It still holds up 10 years later, slotting nicely into our playlist as a change of pace, and for me, as a nostalgic trip back to my early days of 'original' multiplayer gaming with my brother and friends. And what's this? Less than a euro on Steam in the Summer Sale? Get on it!
Sportsfriends Secret Games (GAR 22)
Sportsfriends is full of hidden details and alternate settings which we've barely touched so far, but are really looking forward to delving into. Possibly biggest amongst these secrets is a pair of additional games, accessible by entering a code on the main menu. Get On Top is the first we played, and was just stupid, requiring you to upturn or sit on your opponent, all the while attached at the hands, and fighting to keep yourself from smashing your head into the ground. You'll be 50 rounds deep before you even realise just how hilariously dumb it is.
The second game, possibly entitled Wiggly Pong, is basically Pong, if drugs were involved. The left stick controls vertical movement, and the right stick lets you spin your paddle around, causing it to flop about as the screen blurs and flashes. We really got into this one, and saw some outrageous and only occasionally successful tactics getting employed by our GAR regulars as they struggled to get to grips with controlling their wibbly sticks. Sportsfriends already comes highly recommended, but here are a couple more good reasons to jump in.
This was our setup for GAR 21, with World Cup matches playing on the right TV. Very distracting, but necessary in the multi-cultural climate we foster here at Gaming At Rob's:
We also had great fun with some returning favourites:
Hokra (21/22) - Competition is heating up on the clean and minimalistic battlefields of Hokra. A 2 vs. 2 tournament is most definitely in order, so watch this space.
Mario Kart 8 (22) - I came up with a fun setup for GAR 22, where we had 8-9 players. The Grand Prix is the best way to play, but watching 4 people play 4 races before you get your turns ain't so fun, and the added element of competition is lost if you're passing the controller to someone different every race. Instead, we set up 4 teams of 2, who'd swap with their partner each race. This got the whole group invested in the session, rooting for their teammate and dropping them tactics and advice as battles heated up.
.lazr. (22) - We re-visited an old favourite and our more recent members had a great time with the trippy and tactical laser warfare on offer.
BROFORCE (22) - We picked up with our most recent save and encountered stiff difficulty as we were forced to measure our movement a bit more. I'm a big fan of BROFORCE on both sides of the scale. All out explosive insanity is of course much more instantly appealing, but working as a team to tackle tricky levels and boss battles is very rewarding. There's also a ton of content here, with a huge list of alternate play modes from races to arena deathmatches.
For GAR 22, we again used the right TV for the World Cup, and in between matches Danny showed us his amazing Threes! skills:
We also played:
- TowerFall Ascension (21/22)
- The Glorious Dogfight Revolution (21/22)
- Gang Beasts (21)
- Sync (21)
- Super Pole Riders (21)
- BaraBariBall (21)
- Destiny Alpha (21)
- Nidhogg (22)
We're looking into ways to keep things fresh, so look for changes of pace over the coming few months. For starters, I'm going to be keeping the second TV around for a while as we experiment with some system link.
On Friday 27th June, for GAR 23, we're aiming to get 16 attendees so that we can have 4 teams of 4 competing against each other, and we'll have plenty more going on, including other GAR favourites to keep things interesting. Check back into the site and ourTwitterover the weekend for more content!
Thanks for reading!