For GAR 14, we were joined by four new group members, and decided that the best way to introduce them to our weekly event was to go back and play our favourite competitive multiplayer games to date.
GAR 14 Playlist:
Gang Beasts - We checked out version 0.0.3 for the first time, which introduces stamina, ducking, a Subway level, and an Endless Mode, and is the last version that the Boneloaf are planning to put out before heading to the next stage of development. We think this is the most balanced that the game has been since the first release, and the Endless Mode was the best way of getting a quick session in without the fuss of navigating the menu to get the next level going.
Push Me Pull You - A sumo wrestling match, where the winner is the sumo that keeps the ball within their opponent's side of the court for long enough. Now, take out a rolling pin and roll your sumo out into a worm-like shape, and give separate control to each end! PMPY requires team-work between players to get into position and get a hold of the ball whilst fending of the other team. The game currently runs in-browser only, so we'll be revisiting it once there is a more accessible version, as from our short session I think it has the potential to rub shoulders with our favourites. Go check out the game on their site here.
sync - Yes, Jon, that's four straight weeks of syncing at GAR. This time, as we had a full group of new players, we just gave them their controllers without explaining anything, and had them get used to the controls whilst the launch timer counted down. It was priceless seeing their facial expressions change as they read the instructions on-screen (pictured) ahead of the first match, as they started to realise what they were getting themselves into!
TowerFall Ascension (GAR 14 Favourite) - We saw some of the best matches so far, which as is the tradition at this point are all captured at the end of this article in .gif format. This time we kept the auto-balance on so that the new players could get used to handling their archers, and it was certainly the game that hosted the highest highs of the night. TowerFall induces the most unique and peculiar swearing from our group, such is the intensity of the combat.
Nidhogg - Another fun game to introduce players to, especially when pairing them up and seeing who 'gets it' first. We had some brilliant back-and-forths, with the veteran GAR members really looking to be 'in the zone.' Almost every match of Nidhogg deserves its own full replay, so we'll be looking to do some more video capture and share the highlights with you over the coming weeks.
Filo Filo Disco - The fastest-playing game of the list, we did a little pass-and-play against each other and even saw some matches last longer than the standard 10 seconds! Filo Filo Disco looks like it'll be a nice palette cleanser in between sessions of the bigger GAR games. As with all of our favourites, it's really fun to watch and takes no time at all to get into.
Samurai Gunn - We returned to Samurai Gunn after a brief period of full-on addiction to TowerFall. The conceptual similarities between the 2 games are striking, but I really enjoy how individual Gunn matches can get so intense as your opponents are constantly respawning around you and leap towards you looking for blood. When you fend off a flurry of attacks and come out the victor, earning yourself a glowing trail as a sign of being on form, it's exhilarating.
Here's a rundown of the the prizes from the Humble Bundle:
TowerFall Match Prizes:
Hotline Miami (won by Ollie) - One of my favourite games from 2012. The most exciting and refreshing game I played that year, with the best original soundtrack. This is a top-down, fast-paced action puzzle murder-em-up, and it just gets me all jumped up every time I play. You learn the mechanics of the game naturally, usually by getting smoked as soon as you encounter something you've not seen before - but every time you master that new gameplay wrinkle, you feel powerful and dangerous. The game's visual style is equally exciting - swimmy, trippy and vibrant, but clear in its intentions with hidden depth in the environment details.
PixelJunk Monsters Ultimate (won by Ollie) - Monsters originally came out on PS3, which is where I played it. It's tower defense set in a dangerous forest, but instead of simply plotting down your defenses, you're also in control of a little tikiman and must go and collect additional resources and coins from the battlefield to help fund your setup. This version includes some additional modes and unlockable content that promises to provide endless replayability, I'd recommend it for sure.
Critter Crunch (won by Earl) - It's a tried and tested puzzle game format, similar to something like Money Puzzle Exchanger, whereby you need to match up identical creatures in columns to clear them. Capy's game is really charming, and the visuals and fast pace distinguishes it from other puzzlers out there. Your character also vomits rainbows into its offspring's mouth, which is cool..
Gang Beasts Match Prizes:
Super Hexagon (won by Cristina) - I originally played it on iOS, which is probably where it is best played due to the twitch-like reactions needed and the way that platforms lends itself to the controls. It is so completely relentless, and surviving for longer than a handful of seconds is something you'll be lucky to have achieved when you first start out. You control a small arrow that rotates along a small circumference near the center of the screen, and must strafe left or right to avoid colliding with and endless onslaught of shapes that offer only the tiniest of gaps to pass through. The game looks and sounds fantastic, and will have you in a daze.
Little Inferno (won by Ollie) - A Wii U launch title that saw its way to other platforms later on, you play as a small child sitting in front of their newly purchased fireplace and must burn things. Burn more things to get more coins to spend on my things to burn. Simple enough, but with a satirical vein of humour running through it that'll keep you engaged. Stick with it, the basic gameplay hides some depth that shines through later on.
The final game from the bundle is Natural Selection II, which I didn't give out as a prize as it's an online multiplayer game that didn't quite suit GAR. It's a squad-based shooter with elements of real-time strategy, but with the twist of having one team play as a group of terrifying aliens. Go check it out.
The Weekly Sale that I got these games from is over, but there are always fantastic games available from Humble, so go and check them out.