Okay: what rock have I been living under? Why have I not been introduced to this amazing game before? I’m serious: this game cannot be simply read about; you must download a copy and try it out for yourself. But maybe I’m getting too far ahead of myself.
The game is called Teeworlds, and it would be the result of a shooter, a 2D platformer, and some weird puffball creatures all thrown into a blender. You end up with a game (and an analogy) that sounds a little weird, but is crazily addictive. The Teeworlds website describes this as a “retro multiplayer shooter,” but I can’t exactly figure out what’s so “retro” about it. It’s a design that feels very fresh and fluid. Come to think of it, this feels vaguely like Wormux but as real time shooter.
The basics: you are a small puffball with feet. You can move and jump all over a fairly large map. Now throw in shotguns, hammers, grenades, and a bunch of other obstacles, and you have the image below.
If that doesn’t scream “awesome,” then, well, you may not like video games. The game’s design and effects sure make me chuckle: bullets and grenades are flying everywhere, yet in the background you can always hear the high-pitch squeal and glee of the characters as they shoot and get hit.
Perhaps one of the things I like most about this game is its learning curve. The controls are very simple: directional keys (default wasd-style) to move, space to jump, and point & click to shoot. Anyone can jump in on a match and not feel like they’re the dead weight, even with little to no prior experience with the game. Even the camera system is very fluid: while you point to aim, you can move the reticule towards the edge of the screen and the camera will begin to follow, but you will never be able to lose track of where your character is.
That doesn’t mean the game is easy: there are plenty of tricks to keep you playing. A grappling hook can be used to climb up walls or even grab rivals to bash with your hammer. A sword appears in a hidden location every few minutes to allow anyone to scoop up a few kills. It’s an excellent formula that makes this game attractive for novices and advanced players.
One thing I must note, however, is that this game must be played online (or on a local area network). There is no “campaign” or single player mode, so this game requires a few friends to enjoy the game with locally. Though, if you can’t round up a few coworkers, there is always the option of online play, which I highly encourage. The maps are varied from capture-the-flag to a classic free-for-all deathmatch.
There is an interesting aspect to online play, and that is the amount of modifications available. Teeworlds even has a hidden level editor, and I’ve seen some excellent maps created with it. Some were even designed using a capture-the-flag method but played as a platformer race – whoever got to the flag first won a point. There are plenty of opportunities to get creative.
I can’t recommend this game enough. It may not exactly be the thing your kids should play, but it provides a very enjoyable, long-lasting experience. These are the kinds of games I want to see more of in the future. If you aren’t already downloading, do so now.
(Images from http://www.teeworlds.com/)