Best Multiplayer Game of the Year (Posted Dec 28, 2004)
2004 Multiplayer of the Year
There where some great multiplayer games that
didn't even get considered this year, like the indie console game
Alien Hominid, which features some fun co-operative play, the addictive
massively online multiplayer puzzle game
Puzzle Pirates, and the cool RTS game
I of the Enemy that has
some great multiplayer action for up to 8 people. With that crop of games
being left out, the winners had to pull some serious strings to get in.
5th Place - Hamsterball
||Players: 1-4 (vs and
|Release: February 2004
Requirements: Windows 98/ME/2000/XP, DirectX 8+, 700Mhz, 32 MB RAM
may find itself in a finalist in more categories than any other game.
Already winning the Action category and finishing in the top 5 in the graphics
category, it honestly wouldn't feel at all out of place in the sound category
either. So why does it make it in the multiplayer category?
Two good multiplayer aspects make the game great
to play over and over again with friends. First off there is the versus
game. This was an addition from when Hamsterball was first released.
Much like the game Marble Madness you can race a friend through the zany tracks
that that this game offers, with the races being split screen so you don't have
to worry about leaving your friend in the dust only to find them warped up in
front of you.
other multiplayer mode is a versus game. That game mode could have simply
let you play versus in a single location, but instead it offers a board for
every map in the game, each with different obstacles and pitfalls, such as
mousetraps and pinball-esque bouncers. The addition of the multiplayer and
versus games were late additions to this game, coming out months after its
original release and helping to show the developers commitment to this great
is a great game start to finish, and a wonderful example of all that is right
with Indie gaming."
4th Place - Chromadrome
Alpha 72 Games
||Players: 1 or 2 (vs)
|Release: June 2004
Requirements: Windows 98/ME/2000/XP, DirectX 8+, 32MB Video Card,
800Mhz, 128 MB RAM
was the second of games featuring those lovable Chromates this year. In
this game you get to test your ability at super high speed movement down a track
that features lots of chromates in your way and of course a few loops and spiral
Chromadrome seemed to perfectly capture the
craziness that can occur when you are in a game built around speed, and you will
find yourself tensing up as the track comes at you fast and faster each second
you are running down it.
The speed of the game leads to an intense
single-player mode, and if for some reason you weren't sweating enough while
playing that mode, the option to hook up two mice to the computer and have each
person control their own chromate in a split-screen speedathon is available.
It is a race that I think anyone could enjoy and it certainly gives a nice rest
from the endless barrage of FPS games that seem to make up the majority of the
multiplayer game market.
nearly perfect game that all players should check out. There really isn't much
more you could hope for in such a game."
3rd Place - Hazard Ball
|Release: June 2004
Requirements: Windows 98/ME/2000/XP, DirectX 7+
Ball is a game that I get a feeling few people have played. Why haven't
they played it? Well the easy answer to that is that the graphics just
aren't that great. While they do enough to get the job done, you
definitely won't be running to your friends telling them that they have to check
out this game.
That in part is actually why indie games exist,
to provide games that are great games, games that provide great game play, games
like Hazard Ball. What this game lacks in graphics it certainly makes up
in play. You control a ball in a 2D overhead world where you have to
accomplish a series of tasks to move onto the next level. The tasks are
entertaining, but what makes the game really fun is the co-operative play.
You really can accomplish more and have a more interesting game by playing this
game with a friend. Co-operative play is something that just isn't used
enough in games in my mind, and when it is, typically it just means two guns
pointed towards the same target, there are few games where you really put more
than just your physical might together and Hazard Ball is a game that shows why
putting your mental might together is typically a lot more entertaining.
None at this time
2nd Place - Gish
||Players: 1-2 (vs)
|Release: May 2004
Requirements: Windows 98/ME/2000/XP, 1000 mhz+ Processor, 32 MB Video
if the single player excitement that won Gish the adventure game of the year
award wasn't enough, Chronic Logic went to great lengths to add one of the most
entertaining 2-player versus modes I've played since Street Fighter 2:
Championship Edition was released.
Gish features not one, but six different versus
areas that each provide a different and entertaining challenge. From
trying to score touchdowns by pushing a football past the goal-line to trying to
flip each other off of a wavering platform, the concepts are all pretty simple,
but it is the execution and the variety of different ways that you can play the
game that make this one more fun that you would have thought possible.
is one of the better characters to come out in recent history, and you would be
amazed what you can do with a ball of tar if you haven't played this game yet.
Using your sticky body you can grab a football, and then when you near your
opponent, bounce yourself up in the air at an angle and release the ball from
your gooey body to let it fly over the goalpost. Getting that done takes a
lot of good reflexes and ability, and all of that leads to fantastic game play.
Gish already won our Adventure game of the year, and with the wonderful
multiplayer aspect to the game it came in just short of winning its second award
in the Multiplayer category.
those who aren't downloading the game at this moment, all I can say is get to
it, you won't be sorry, this is the gaming experience of a lifetime."
2004 Multiplayer Game of the Year Award - Void War
||Players: 1-8 (LAN)
|Release: September 2004
Requirements: 600MHz, Windows 98/ME/2000/XP, DirectX 8.1+, 16MB+ 3D
Card (TNT2 or comparable or better)
War made a lot of noise with its initial release. With some obvious
marketing flair, Rampant Games managed to get some of the more hardcore gaming
sites to check out even its pre-release versions of the game and drummed up a
lot of interest all around the web.
It is perhaps because of that interest that this
is a game that many mainstream gamers have played. While many have played
it, I don't think that many have truly experienced this game.
The graphics in Void War are alright, but I have
to admit they are not up to mainstream standards and there are some indie games,
notably Starshatter, that really leave this game in the dust visually.
Probably because of that one reason those who check the game out from the
mainstream find themselves quickly turning it off and trying something else.
Honestly that is their mistake and loss.
While the single player game is certainly alright on its own, it doesn't compare
at all to the fun that can be had by playing the game as a multiplayer over the
web. I know you are thinking that there are a lot of space games out there
where you can blast each other to pieces, what makes this one different?
Well consider it this way, there are a lot of
FPS games out there, and while there are a few good ones, most of them suck.
Why? Because in the end even mainstream gamers can identify games that
have terrible game play, and they won't play them en masse. Void war
offers very solid game play that puts strategy into this game and makes playing
the game online just as enjoyable as playing any of the best FPS games.
For those who take the plunge, I don't expect I'll see you back around for
awhile. For that great aspect to a solid game we honor Void War award for
the best multiplayer game this year.
War is a perfect example where good game play and balance can make up for
less-than-perfect graphics and sound effects."