PAX South 2016: Screencheat
We’ve all been there. You’re playing a local multiplayer game with friends and you just can’t help but take a peek at your friends’ screen. For some, it may have ruined local multiplayer games if you or your friend were looking at each other’s screen. Now, developer Samurai Punk has a unique twist to this age-old problem. How do they do it? By making everyone invisible of course.
Screencheat is a local and online multiplayer game that supports up to 4 players locally and 8 players online. Everyone is invisible and you literally need to screencheat to see where the other players are at. Every map, (which there is a good amount of) has color-coded rooms, so you can tell who is in the red area and so forth. Looking out for other players while also looking where you are going can be challenging. Especially when you look at another screen to see they are right behind you.
One of my first worries about the game is that the game would not have much depth. Screencheat is a simple enough concept and may be fun for an hour or so, but what is there to hold a player’s interest? A good range of weapons and modes helped ease my suspicions about the game. The game features 10 unique weapons that range from the trusty blunderbuss that is a close to medium range weapon that is easy to use, to a candelabra that you can swing as many times as you want with no reload animation. Other weapons include a car engine that shoots balls of energy and a bomb attached to a teddy bear. Various multiplayer modes should keep players interested for a much longer time as well. Deathmatch, King of the Hill and a Capture the Fun mode, which has you holding a confetti flying piñata for as long as possible, are some of the more simpler modes, while a Murder Mystery mode has players completing a certain set of objectives: like killing someone with a certain weapon. I got to play the Deathmatch and Capture the Fun modes and while I had fun playing for a short period of time, it could become tiresome after a while. It may depend on the friends that you are playing with at the time. The other modes will help keep players around longer and I can see a group of friends gravitating toward one mode more than another. Mutators are also in the game, allowing players to customize their matches even more with weird and wacky rules.
When playing, you’ll be running around small maps looking for one another while you look at someone else’s screen. The game is a fast-paced shooter, but I wouldn’t necessarily call it a twitch shooter. Each time you die or kill someone, you’ll see some funny lines of dialogue that reacts to the way you died. Some of the lines are even references to other games as well. Vents and elevators are present in some of the levels to transport you to new areas. These work great when trying to surprise someone or when trying to run away from an attacker.
In my discussion with Samurai Punk, they mentioned they would love to see the game on PlayStation Plus, but currently there are no plans. They believe being on PlayStation Plus would help immensely with the online community. After the console versions of Screencheat have been released, the developers may add new content to the game, but are waiting to see how the game is received by fans before making a decision to add new content.
As mentioned before, one of my fears would be that there wouldn’t be enough to keep players around after a short while. With a good range of weapons, modes and maps, I think there could be a hardcore following to this game. After a while I can see enjoyment in the game waning, but the content available should keep interests a little bit longer than originally expected.