There’s an easy way to explain why Subterfuge is Pocket Tactics’ Multiplayer game of the year: it reminds us in the best ways of Allan Calhamer’s classic tabletop game Diplomacy. Subterfuge only shares a few mechanics with Henry Kissinger’s favorite game, but it creates a remarkably similar metagame, one in which politics and politics by other means are inextricably intertwined.
Posts Tagged: Multiplayer
Sentinels of the Multiverse is a digital version of a co-operative deck building game that distilled a very social gaming experience into an excellent solo experience. So, it should have come as no surprise that one of the first major gameplay expansions that was added to the game was the ability to play multiplayer games.
Of all the games that have come out this year that I’ve yet to play, Subterfuge is the one I regret the most. This looks like it would be right up my alley: it’s boardgame-y, it has cool little submarines, and you can do terrible things to complete strangers or, better yet, your best friends. I like all those things and, yet, I still haven’t found the time to get Subterfuge on my phone. Yesterday, the guys behind Subterfuge released the first big update for the game, however, and I think I’m going to have to make time to get this one played.
The biggest addition in version 465 is the friends list. Now, you can invite your friends to the slaughter directly from within the game. You can also play in an entirely different mode, Domination Mode. This allows you to completely ignore mining and awards victory to the player who controls the most outposts. To start a game in this mode, you must have purchased the Level 2 Security Clearance IAP for $10 but anyone, even those filthy L1 players, can join your game. That goes for the next addition as well, customizable maps. You can select a generator or factory heavy map, or just a completely random one when you set up the game. Lastly, on iOS they’ve added ad supported free play. Don’t want to pay for that Level 2 security clearance? Watch an ad, and you’re considered L2 for 2 hours. Well, not completely. You can’t create games in Domination Mode or with a customized map, but you do gain the other benefit of being L2: unlimited scheduled orders.
Subterfuge is available for iOS Universal and Android and is free to download. I think I might head to the App Store and take care of that right now. After the break watch the first tutorial video and see how Subterfuge works.
The last couple weeks at Mount Hexmap have been weirder than usual. Owen, who’s usually busy putting the finishing touches on yet another monograph detailing the health benefits of Scotch has, instead, been quietly cocooned in his office. One day he will emerge as a beautiful Strategy Gamer butterfly, but until then the rest of us are mostly just goofing around. In other words, Owen doesn’t need to know I took yesterday off, okay? Our little secret! Besides not showing up for work, goofing around also lets us take a look at games that might only have the faintest of connections to mobile. Yesterday, I stumbled onto Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, and I cannot wait to get a group together to play this thing.
Keep Talking is a cooperative game whose closest cousin might be the classic screamfest, SpaceTeam. Here, one player sits in front of a monitor upon which a procedurally generated bomb is displayed. The other players cannot see the screen, but have in front of them paper manuals titled “Bomb Defusal Manual“. The player looking at the bomb does his best Archer impression, describing the bomb while the other players tell him how to diffuse it. What wires to cut, codes to enter, etc., all of which is found, somewhere, in the manual they have in their laps. The bombs are different every single game, so the game is infinitely replayable, as well. It sounds easy, but consider that you have to describe the features of a bomb to people who are holding a book that doesn’t have “it has a square thingy with 2 buttons” listed in the index.
The problem is that Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is currently only available for PC, but their press page mentions that other platforms are a possibility. I see no reason this wouldn’t work great on an iPad, so here’s hoping that it makes its way to tablets down the road. Maybe if we bug Steel Crate Games enough they’ll consider it? Now, how could we do that?
Check out the trailer after the break. Game looks like a blast, pun fully intended.
Bruno Cathala is a brilliant and prolific board game designer who already has games like Dice Town and Mr. Jack Pocket on the App Store (we won’t mention Cyclades). When contemplating what his next digital design might be, the sheer number of fantastic choices makes your ludological mouth water. Board games like Five Tribes, Shadows Over Camelot, or Mr. Jack instantly come to mind. Instead we’re getting a newly designed game that hasn’t seen the inside of a cardboard box, Tong.
Tong is a 2-player game that also features solo play not against AI, but against a leaderboard. The board consists of a 5×5 grid of bugs and your chameleon which can gobble up bugs of one type. After you eat, the chameleon passes to your opponent who does the same. It all sounds incredibly simple, and it might be. To be honest, all my information is coming from Bruno’s site which is written in his native French and my French is a little rostig, if you know what I mean, so I think I might be missing a bit of what the hell is going on. Google Translate, you’re not helping.
Tong is available now for Android devices and is just awaiting approval from Apple before it appears on iOS devices as well. Expect that in the next few days or so. Either way, it will be free to download.
No video for Tong, so after the break a commercial for Tang because they’re almost the same word.
When you first get into the hobby board game scene, one of the classic titles that you’re sure to hear about is Diplomacy. Created in the late 50’s, Diplomacy is a game of secret deals, backstabbing, and general obfuscation. It’s known for being an incredibly rich experience, but also for utterly destroying friendships. Don’t play it with the family after Thanksgiving dinner. The problem is that, until you actually play Diplomacy, you can’t really understand how a game of Diplomacy works. Staring at the screenshots and reading blurbs about Subterfuge, I’m getting that same feeling. What does all this mean? Luckily, we won’t have to wait long to answer that question: it’s coming to iOS and Android on October 15th.
Subterfuge is the brainchild of Ron Carmel and Noel Llopis, the creators of World of Goo and Casey’s Contraptions, respectively. Subterfuge is nothing like those games, however, and more closely resembles a week-long game of the aforementioned Diplomacy. The goal is to be the first player to collect a predetermined amount of neptunium, the game’s currency. You do this by creating bases and mining, but eventually those bases will become contested and that’s where the titular subterfuge comes in. The 2-3 turns a day you take will only take a few minutes, but the real meat of the game is in the deal making and breaking you do with the other players outside of your turn. Eventually, someone is going to have to break hearts if they want to win. Hopefully that someone is you, and not the other way around (unless I’m playing against you, and then you can pound sand).
Subterfuge will be free when it lands, with a $10 IAP to unlock Premium features. Those features include creating private games, playing multiple games at once, keeping private notes, and having unlimited scheduled orders. Definitely not essential to play, but might make it a better experience.
We don’t have a new release trailer, yet, but check out the quite entertaining trailer from last year after the break.
Nearly three years after its release, Spaceteam is still one of, if not the, best multiplayer games on mobile. The game is simple as can be: everyone controls a panel of doodads and thingamajigs while announcements flash across the screen telling you which ones to toggle. The trick is that the announcements tell you what to toggle on other players’ devices, so games of Spaceteam involve a lot of yelling, screaming, panicking, and a whole lot of fun. While not a lot has changed in Spaceteam since its release, it’s now coming to a table near you in a new, cardstock version courtesy of Kickstarter.
Spaceteam is a cooperative card game in which your group is trying to fix a spaceship which makes it a lot like the digital version. This one has a five-minute time limit, however, which makes it a pretty great filler game. The game involves trying to fix malfunctions via the correct combination of cards. So, you have to scream and yell which parts you need with cards flying around the table to get everyone what they need. Within the deck are six “System Go” cards. Find all six before the timer runs out and the team win.
The card game was developed by Henry Smith (developer of the digital version), and a gaggle of other designers like Elan Lee and Matthew Sisson. It sounds different enough from the digital version to warrant a space alongside it, and looks to fit into that short-card-game-filler niche currently occupied by titles such as Love Letter and Coup. The Kickstarter still has 24 days to go, but has already exceeded the funding goal by over $60K, so there’s no doubt it’s getting made.
Check out the Kickstarter video after the break, and then check out the Kickstarter itself. If you want to check out Spaceteam on iOS Universal or Android, it’s free to play with no IAP.
PT‘s favourite online shooter series World of Tanks is developing a charming eccentricity: last Christmas the PC version rolled out an “8-bit” version of the game and the current promotion on desktops is an Indiana Jones-style search for “ancient weapons” — which turn out to be tanks, naturally.
Developers Wargaming.net announced the first big World of Tanks Blitz event for the mobile version of the game this morning, and it’s suitably wacky. The Rise of Continents event that kicks off of 28 September will be a four-week-long tournament pitting Europe, North America, Asia, and (oddly) the Russian Commonwealth. It’s sort of a passive tournament — all you have to do to represent your continent is log into the game and play, and Wargaming will tot up which region is doing the best each week, with the winning teams getting in-game swag like premium tanks and IRL swag like Sennheiser headsets.
If you’re new to the game, I burbled an excited newbie guide for World of Tanks Blitz last year that’s still pretty accurate, I reckon.
The video after the jump gives you a (decidedly metaphorical) flavour for what Wargaming are going for. If you’re in Europe and therefore on my team, I would request that you not attempt to play Blitz whilst wearing chain mail gloves. You’re going to let the side down.