Fuck. Multi-player with no AI.
Page 19, Game 20: CARBAGE by HelloThereGames
This game looks great. It’s a goofy and cartoony game of driving cars — competitively! I looks like it could be a lot of fun. Unfortunately, the dev punted completely on the AI, so I can’t even piddle around with an easily defeated opponent just so I can get some sense of what the gameplay is like.
Early in the trawl I was forgiving of stuff like that, but I’ve grown steadily less sympathetic as time goes on. Bottom line, I’ve seen too many “multi-player only” games that actually had perfectly serviceable AIs. If you’re adamant that the best version of the game you’re creating involves multiple human players and that no AI could possibly capture the intricacies of having another living person playing your game … first off, you’re wrong, you’re just being lazy. But, fuck it, time is finite, and I have to assume it’s not easy to create an AI that provides a challenge without kicking the living shit out of your players. Lazy is defensible.
What I’m less willing to defend is having absolutely NOTHING for a single-player. Not even an arena where I can tool around and get some sort of feel for the game and see if this is something I’d even WANT to rope my friends into? That’s just shitty.
Instead, I’m left with controlling one car sincerely with my X-Box controller and using the keyboard to move the other one just enough to get some notion of what this game is like.
Doing this with Carbage does not leave me filled with optimism.
The first sign of trouble comes from the character selection.
The four doofy goofballs you can get to play are on a turntable in the center. Drive you generic monster truck up on it into one of them, and that’s who you are.
Did you drive into the wrong one? Did you want to be Mohawk Guy and not Fuckwit Bear With A Pick-Up Truck? Suck it up and play your classist stereotype, pal.
Did you need to drive your truck around a bit while figuring out the controls, and are thus hitting the turntable from a sub-optimal angle? Ooh. That was stupid. Are you sure you can drive well enough to play this game?
Then, the game begins.
That’s what it looks like. For real, the character selection screen is WAY more visually interesting than the gameplay, which looks like placeholder graphics. Wait is that what’s happening? Am I shitting on an alpha release?
Looking, and … nope. Not seeing anything on the game’s page stating that this is just an early release version. This is apparently just what it is.
Anyway. When you drive, those blocks will vanish. You want to be the last car to fall through a hole in the arena and perish in the uncaring void. Which means that if you don’t get your ass driving rightdafuckNOW, you will lose. I couldn’t fiddle around with this much, because the other stationary car would just promptly die on me.
That sounds like an infuriating experience, particularly if the other players involved are already comfortable with this game’s mechanics. Maybe you should just dink around in single player a bit until you get used to OH WAIT.
I acknowledge that it’s inherently unfair for me to slag a multi-player game without having actually played it. But I can ask the question: Is there anything about this game that makes me WISH I had another controller so my wife and I could give it a try together?
The answer here is a simple and clear “Nope.”
Will this next game likewise send me on a high horse about how classist stereotypes are gross and that punching down at poor people is still punching down?
Page 43, Game 6: Chimpology by themorfeus
“Internet was slow, because monkeys.”
I’m just gonna assume these are gonna be wacky silly trouble-causing monkeys and refrain from deploying my liberal outrage unless I’m quite certain I need it.