[alert type=”green”]The primary feature of this article is the video preview above.[/alert]
A few months back, I had the opportunity to go to AVCon 2014, a small video game and anime convention here in Adelaide, Australia. People come from all over the country to get together and just have fun playing video games either competitively or casually. This isn’t a country of video game publishers, developers or really any active game industry to speak of. When you Google “Australian games”, the first result will be a list of banned games in Australia. However, that’s where indie development takes its stand and conventions like AVCon give developers the opportunity to showcase these titles that stand as great examples of Australian indie development. One such game is Screencheat.
In this multiplayer first person shooter regardless of whether you play online or not, you will be playing the game split screen and have the ability to view every player’s screen. As the name suggests, you will need to screencheat in order to win. Every player is invisible, so you need to sneak a peek at everyone’s screens, see what they see, deduce their location and then look back to your own screen in time to act on it. It’s definitely an original idea and was my highlight of the show.
In its current beta state, Screencheat offers three maps of varying difficulties. Due to the nature of the game, each map is easy to navigate and includes various visual features to identify position, creating the opportunity for some real action to begin. Whilst the first map, Museum is very basic with each floor being assigned a colour and a central spiral staircase creating a very open design, other maps complicate things slightly for more advanced players. For example, Helix is a twisted multi level map with duller colours requiring more concentration. From this added complexity and the constant content updates, I can see Screencheat being relevant for both casual and competitive players if it gets the following I believe it deserves.
The only issue right now is in the weapon variety or lack thereof. In a game such as Screencheat where one shot means your opponent’s demise, you’ll have a hard time trying to find players that will try out all of the weapons and many will just fall into just using the Blunderbuss, a reliable mid range weapon with spread damage. There doesn’t just need to be more weapons, which I’m sure will be added in the future, anyways, but more practical weapons. You’ll see some players trying out some of the newer, more fun weapons, then switching back to the blunderbuss after getting bored of dying. However, even with only a couple weapons actually being used, that isn’t what the game is about at all. It’s about finding your opponents based on what they see and that’s all we need. The extra weapons only add different ways to spray and pray, although that’s something that will help with longevity.
Screencheat is the game that everyone wanted but never really knew it. Taking what is a common method of cheating in local multiplayer games and turning that into the key feature of a whole new game is something that will appeal to a lot of potential players. It all works in concept. It’s just a matter of how it is all executed. Screencheat will be releasing on the 2nd of October on Steam. Based on what I’ve seen in the beta, I would definitely recommend this to pretty much any audience, although I would also recommend you follow the development on their website and see if the game is progressing into something you can get excited about.
This preview is based on a PC digital copy of the Screencheat Beta provided by Samurai Punk.