Friday, 18 February 2011

Friday, 18 February 2011

Show 'n' Tell - Rampart

Here we are with the very first Kempt Show'n'Tell. Let the games begin!


What it is

Paul chose Rampart because it is, in his own words, "it's own genre" - a Multiplayer Puzzle-Shooter! The game begins with all 3 (three!) players choosing a starting castle, surrounded by walls. These walls are then shot at with cannons by the players, who then try to repair the damage in a tetris-style minigame.

If you manage to encapsulate your castle with tetris blocks; well done, you're still alive! If not, then you lose your castle and must try again.

The bigger you make your castle, the more cannons you can get in it and the more damage you can do to everyone else, but watch out! Larger castles are harder to repair afterwards, and often leave you with little fiddly bits that you won't know what to do with.

What happened

We got confused. I remember lots of shouting, accusations of Paul not telling us ALL the rules and accusations of the game just being a b*stard. This gave way as we learned how the game worked, and we were soon directing our abuse at other players, as it should be!

The game began revealing its depth; cannons can be destroyed if shot enough, secret bonus squares give rewards when built on, and small castles with no cannons make an effective secret hiding place.

We also noticed this could be the most pro-british game we'd ever played. The target cursors are little Union Jacks and the player colours are the same as the major political parties, the leaders of the losing sides being beheaded at the end of every game, complete with digitised "AGGH"s! Political accountability, awesome!

What we learnt
  • That our games philosophy here at Kempt is solid! Gameplay is key. The graphics of Rampart could be better (for me personally the main reason I hadn't played the game earlier), but they do the job and once it had begun the game's personality completely won us over.
  • The simple choices players have to make (do I build to expand for points, or for cannons, or for defense? And where DO I put that "S" shape?)...
  • ...and the cripplingly short amount of time the players get to make them! The pacing is a major part of the game's success. Too much of any of the sections of the game would quickly become boring, but when rationed out in short supply they're compelling.
Where can we get it?
Everywhere! Originally Rampart was an arcade game, so you might find it skulking in a corner somewhere in Great Yarmouth. It's also been ported to most computers and consoles right up to the original Xbox.

In conclusion, mashing together two unlikely genres can produce a surprising and multifaceted multiplayer masterpiece. Thank you Mr. Pepper!