Gaming At Rob's 23 Round-Up
GAR 23 was a special event, as we hosted the Spaceteam Admiral's Challenge for Madrid, in support of Henry Smith's re-launched Kickstarter. Henry's hoping to get funded in order to create 2 new games, both as inventive as Spaceteam is, and both free for everyone once released. Let me explain Spaceteam, for those that have not seen or played it before. Imagine that each player is a member of the the flight team on-board a spaceship racing to escape from insatiable, continuous peril. In order to escape to the next sector, everyone must work together to give the order they have at the top of their screen, whilst also completing incoming orders by flicking switches, turning dials and hitting buttons that take up the rest of their screen.
On occasion, you'll get asteroid warnings, forcing you and everyone else to shake their device, and wormhole warnings requiring each player to hold their phone or tablet upside down momentarily. As play progresses, things get more difficult, the game throwing unique challenges at the team with each passing sector, from electrified panels to asteroid fields. As you fail to complete an order, you'll take damage, causing panels to swing off their hinges, or green goo to cover vital labels.
It can be played on a wide variety of devices; iOS users can play together over bluetooth, as can Android users, and over wi-fi there's cross-compatibility between both operating systems. It's also free to download and play, offering additional options and visual enhancements for a low price if you really get into it.
For the tournament, we had 3 teams, each comprised of 4 people, that had to get through as many sectors as possible, over 2 rounds. Their scores were then added together, with the highest total winning. We had a few practice games, then got started with...
Earl, Jay, Pablo and Borja made a start, respectably reaching Sector 8. #teambuttticklers (Ciro, Tom, Hush and Nidia) went second, surpassing the first team by reaching Sector 9. Team Noob (Danny, Sarah, Tiago, Catia) then had their first match and got to Sector 7.
Uli and I replaced Earl and Jay for the second match, but we fell short, reaching only Sector 7. The 'ticklers were back again, with some impressive co-ordination getting them to Sector 9 yet again. Team Noob completed the final match of the tournament, reaching Sector 8.
My team and Team Noob each reached a total of 15 Sectors, however our total time of 19:53 was far slower than Team Noob's 16:56, securing them 2nd place. #teambuttticklers were far and away the best with 18 Sectors in 18:25!
For the Kickstarter, Henry set up Global Challenges that everyone can attempt to complete to compete for medals. After the tournament, we gave the 6-man challenge a go, simply tasking the group to get as far as they can with 6 players. We gave it a few goes, and managed Sector 7 after some time battling with the large number of devices involved.
The game is really unique, and in this environment was very entertaining. We had intense moments where the whole team was shouting at the same time, close to getting taken down, and then squeezing through to the next sector by completing a succession of orders. We saw so many randomised elements, including reversed text, symbols for labels that each player would describe differently, and panels that swapped position at random. Keeping up with the increasing pace and the demands of each sector is truly enjoyable, and we recommend getting it downloaded and trying it out with a small group of friends.
We also spent time with favourites BROFORCE and TowerFallAscension, generating some beautiful replays in the process.
We'll be bringing some new ideas to Gaming At Rob's as we move into July, and are always interested in hearing your suggestions. We know there are plenty of great local multiplayer games out there that we should be playing right this minute. Help us out by sharing your favourites and discoveries with us!
If you'd like to know more about Henry Smith's Kickstarter, you can go and check it out here, and learn about the 2 games he's working on. There are 6 days to go at time of publication, so don't dawdle! We've got a photo gallery up on our Facebook page, if you'd like to see more from GAR 23. Thanks for reading!