Cheat to win

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014


DO you remember those glorious days of split screen gaming with friends? Specifically, do you remember playing split screen shooters with friends and remembering how poorly games went since you could check out what the other player was doing?

Playing games like this was always infuriating, especially since somehow you just couldn't resist but take a peek at what was going on in the other part of the screen, or that you couldn't get the other players' screens out of your peripheral vision, making for broken gameplay where winning sometimes meant being the better at checking out what the other player was doing. Now, however, someone made sure that that would be the only way to win.

Enter Screencheat, where the only real way to win is to literally peek at your enemies' screens. Indie developer Surprise Attack Games' newest game comes in the form of this split screen shooter where every character is invisible, and the only way to find them is to look at their screen.

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It's really your typical shooter, with the invisible mechanic taking center stage in the game. When you start a game, you entire screen will be separated into two, three or four sections, depending on how many people are playing. Characters roam the map, trying to figure out where their enemies are based on what they see on their opponents screen.

It may seem like a simple gimmick, but once you play, you'll learn it's more than that. Think of it like a multiplayer shooting game with ADHD; you have to mind where you're going and shooting while paying attention to doing the same to three other screens at the same time. It becomes quite a chore when all of them are running around and you're trying to keep up and evade them at the same time.

I've tried it myself, and it's simple enough that once you know the mechanics, you can just pick it up and play.

I have a few gripes with it so far. First is that you can only use one weapon per life. Once you spawn, you're given a limited amount of time to change weapons, once you select one, you're stuck with it until you die and spawn once more. The other complaint I have is that melee weapons seem to be slightly overpowered. While guns have their fire rates and reload times, melee weapons are guaranteed one-hit kills and you can just run around continuously swiping it, killing anyone you might run into, making it an incredibly cheap tactic. The game, however, is still in Beta, so Surprise Attack still has some time to sort out balancing issues before the game finally launches.

Screencheat is played on Steam, and you can request a Beta key by heading over to community.surpriseattackgames.com/screencheat and registering. Happy gaming!

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 20, 2014.

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