Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Frozen Synapse is Fucking Brilliant

Since my son was born I've tried to cut back on my cussing.  Generally, I reserve using the F bomb in post titles for only momentous occasions (like Spore's DRM debacle).  Today however, I will gladly drop it in praise of Frozen Synapse, a game you need to see to understand.



Frozen Synapse fell into my email box as part of their "buy 1, get 1 free for a friend" campaign.  I had originally became interested in the game in part because of this Rock, Paper, Shotgun post.  Now that I've had some time with the game I have only one thing to say: this game is bloody brilliant. 

The basic premise is that players take turns moving soldiers around a battlefield. The catch is that its simultaneous turn-based: both players make their moves and then let the actions play out at the same time. This allows the game to be played over long periods of time or quickly in succession. Player A can make their move and submit it to the server whether Player B is online or not. Player B is free to return and make their move whenever they are free.

Once both players set their action (known as the planning stage) the outcome is played out. Various game modes determine the win conditions. Some are to destroy the enemy; while other modes focus on rescuing hostages or defending/attacking zones on the map.

As can be seen in the video above, the game is simplistic in it's graphical approach. This allows it to run on almost any set of hardware. My aging laptop that can barely play Torchlight in netbook mode can steam right through a match of Synapse.

My only gripe currently is the poor performance of the central server. However, that is due to over-popularity of the beta. Sometime this week a new server should be in place to help the issue.

This game is brilliant and I recommend it to anyone interested in the video. Oh, and just search Youtube for gameplay videos as beta testers can instantly upload games after they've been completed from the in-game menu. Pretty snazzy stuff.
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