Gaming At Rob's 13 Round-Up

We hit upon a treasure trove of fantastic multiplayer-focused indie titles for GAR 13, so here's an extended rundown of this week's event. 

Crawl (GAR 13 Favourite)

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4 player dungeon crawler, 1 starts as the adventurer whilst the other 3 control spirits and must inhabit traps within the environment or spawn as one of their monsters to take the adventurer down. Land the killing blow, and you'll instantly jump into their shoes and have your chance to be the hero. Collect loot, buy new weapons and items, and if you kill enough monsters to progress to XP level 10, you'll get a shot against the final boss, which is controlled by your friends. Fail, and you get thrown back out to the main floor, ego smashed to pieces and given the chance to try and redeem yourself.

It's a fantastic concept that looks to be drawing inspiration from Dark Souls and The Binding of Isaac. We had 2 different sessions, with 3 and 4 players, and had much more fun with a full group - it felt more balanced, and the turnover of adventurer was quicker. GAR regular Claudio ran away with the victory, but only after 4 or 5 goes against the boss, with Earl, Danny and myself working together to stop him from succeeding.

Crawl is exciting, and exactly the kind of experience we look for at GoPlayThat: fresh ideas meeting with well-worn concepts, it looks and sounds fantastic, and there's hidden depth for you to discover for yourself. Melbourne-based Powerhoof are working towards an Early Access release on Steam, so go follow the Greenlight page, and watch the awesome trailer for the game below.

Pig Eat Ball

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An unsettling and quirky puzzle platformer, you control a flying pig with a penchant for eating tennis balls. The visual style reminds me of early '90s Toejam & Earl wackiness, with its washed out but colourful graphics and strange creatures. We only took a look at the single-player, but we'll be back to try the 4 player co-op.

Although it's far from finished, there are around 50 challenging levels to check out right now, as pre-ordering the game gets you pre-alpha access. Find out more here.

Filo Filo Disco

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2 players battle to smash each other with flying, bouncing discs. Hit your opponent 3 times to win the match. Hold the grab button to activate a gravity well that attracts nearby discs, then move around to get them up to speed before flinging them at your opponent. Matches can end almost as soon as they begin, so you'll need to have your wits about you to stay on top.

We had great fun with this simple but entertaining game, which you can pay what you're happy to give to pick it up for yourself here.

There Shall Be Lancing

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Sophie Houlden's jetpack-fuelled duelling game was originally commissioned for the No Quarter Exhibition at New York University. 2 players face each other whilst tied to a fixed set of axes, and can attack from any of these angles, use the right stick to defend with their shield, and shoot straight ahead if they have a spare bullet. Attacking is only possible if one of four squares is filled up, and the longer you wait, the more squares are filled, increasing the speed of your attack. It's all in the timing, and if you mount a poor attack and miss you will find yourself in trouble.

It took a few rounds for us to get the hang of it, but watching 2 skilled combatants face off is a sight to behold. Sophie is still working There Shall Be Lancingand has a page up for the game here.

Renegade Ops

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Renegade Ops had been on our list for a while, and was released in 2011 by Avalanche Studios, the Swedish team responsible for the explosive Just Cause series. 2 players take control of off-road vehicles mounted with heavy weaponry, and are thrown deep into dense jungle environments to take out enemy patrols, flatten buildings and extract civilians all from a top down view. You can choose to take on separate objectives, and the game features a dynamic split-screen option that moves around to follow the players separately but then merges onto a single display as they move together again.

The game looks marvelous on a large screen, and with so many effects happening, things can get tough if you let it get on top of you; The action heats up the further you push through to new environments, so make sure you're bringing in the special weapons to clear groups out. Available on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC, you'll find it on Steam here, where it is quite frequently discounted. It supports 2 players locally, but take it online and up to 3 friends can jump in for maximum mayhem.

We got a couple of rounds of sync in, gaining the game a new fan in the process, and capped the night off with a single session of TowerFall Ascension.

If you're sitting on a game that you think would be a great fit for the local multiplayer focused environment we've got going on at Gaming At Rob'swe'd love to hear about it. Let us know in the comments, and we'll take a look. We'll be back next week!

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Gaming At Rob'sRob Cooke