I am a HUGE fan of Spaceteam. I’ve played with friends, played with family of all ages, and used it in game workshops as both an icebreaker and an example of what can been done with mobile games. It shows that games don’t have to be competitive, and can be more about social interactions than just one person staring at a screen. It’s sort of hard to explain, but involves multiple devices connecting over bluetooth or wifi and is described as a co-operative shouting game on their website:
Do you like pushing buttons and shouting at your friends? Do you like discharging Clip-jawed Fluxtrunions? If you answered yes, or no, then you might have what it takes to be on a Spaceteam!
Recently, Alistair Aitcheson gave a great talk at Explay 2013 (update: see the slides here) that talked about his own games that involve more than one player using the same iPad, as in Greedy Bankers vs The World. He described players actually physically wrestling on the floor to get control of the device. He pointed out that these sorts of games could be great in spaces such as museums, as well as being party games, pub games and so on. (If I can find a link for Alistair’s talk, I’ll add it in).
Of course, there are many examples of multiplayer console games. But it feels like mobile has a lot of potential in this area. Since I keep going on about it but don’t have many examples, I thought it would be useful to try and collate a list of what I’m clunkily calling mobile local multiplayer games (whether it involves one or more devices) which I guess are related to what Mark Sorrell has called “computer mediated games” that put the focus on interactions, not devices. Here’s my start:
- Spaceteam: a co-operative shouting game for up to four devices
- Greedy Bankers vs The World: a two player jewels game where you can steal your opponents gems
- Slamjet Stadium: a football like game for up to four players on one iPad
- Lub vs Dub : a two player endless runner game (via Mark Hardisty)
- Retro Racing: racing game with split screen two player mode (via Mark Hardisty)
- Equator: a two player maths game for kids where they work together to solve equations.
- Photodash: competitive photography game where you race a friend to complete photographic challenges.
- Chicanery: “Up to four players each put a finger on the screen! Whoever’s finger stays there the longest is the winner. The game doesn’t care what you do to make the other players lose!” (via Mark Hardisty)
- Bounden: “a mix of ballet and twister” for two players. By Game Oven, who made the next three as well. They make “games to make you sweat”, sounds brilliant (via Chris O’Shea who said “anything by Game Oven”)
- Friendstrap: “a co-operative game of endurance” and awkward conversatons, by the sounds of it.
- Bam fu: a game of fighting up to four people over pebbles.
- Fingle: a two player puzzle game to “explore the intimate touch of each others fingers”.
- Lap Uranus: a multiplayer game about steering a spaceship which is “perfectly suited to drink-and-play situations” (via Mark Hardisty and Pete Morrish)
- Woodlouse: not exactly multiplayer but, according to its creator Pete Morrish is “great with company. I’ve had reports of it destroying entire nights out”.
- OLO: a simple game with both local and online multiplayer where you flick “olos” at your opponent (via Nick Holliday)
- Wrestle Jump: for two players on one device, looks like a lucha libre wrestling game (via Ben Thompson)
- Bloop: a fast paced multiplayer touch game for iOS and Android (via Andrew Crawshaw, creator of Lap Uranus, above)
- Orbital: via Pete Morrish, who said: “Orbital, whose single-player mode is one of the greatest games ever made, has local single-unit multiplayer”
- 2 Player Reactor (also 4 player reactor): “fast, clean and funny reaction game for two players on the same device”
- Marble Mixer: three varieties of marble based games for up to four players (via Emma Cooper)
- Heads Up: via Hannah Flynn, who says it’s “basically portable Articulate, good for families.” As seen on Ellen DeGeneres’ show, apparently.
- King of Opera: a 4 player party game where you “control a wacky tenor” and “knock other tenors off the stage” (via Danien Chee)
- Fingers Party: 4 mini games that seem to involve frantic tapping with up to six players (via Danien Chee)
- Circulets: an intriguing 2 player game “Circulets is a game about two players who play together (or against each other) in a journey to collect tiny, colored circles – Circulets. It is not as much about winning, as it is about sharing a wonderful moment together” (via Danien Chee)
- Spin Wars: a 4 player arena shoot-em-up game (via Danien Chee)
- Badland: “an atmospheric side-scrolling action adventure located in a gorgeous forest” with 4 player mode (via www.localmultiplayer.com, by Lorenzo Pilia)
- Centrifeud: “a competitive multiplayer party game played on a single iPad” in which “players race around the arena, bouncing, blocking, and using power-ups to collect the most points.” (via www.localmultiplayer.com, by Lorenzo Pilia)
- Omicron: “a color reaction game for one or two players on the same device” (via www.localmultiplayer.com, by Lorenzo Pilia)
- Ready Steady Bang: “A beautifully addictive quick-fire dueling game” (via www.localmultiplayer.com, by Lorenzo Pilia)
- Ring Fling: “Fling rings to knock stars into your opponents’ goal”, for 2-4 players (via www.localmultiplayer.com, by Lorenzo Pilia)
- Glitch Tank: “a digital board game in which two players control tanks and try to destroy each other by playing randomised action cards.” (via www.localmultiplayer.com, by Lorenzo Pilia)
- Tiny Wings HD: a flying game (via www.localmultiplayer.com, by Lorenzo Pilia)
- Tug The Table: a tug of war game from the people behind Wrestle Jump. (via www.localmultiplayer.com, by Lorenzo Pilia)
Will keep adding examples here as I think of them. There must be more out there, though, what else would you add? Update: lots of additions via twitter, thanks! And it turns out I’m not the first to try and make a list of this sort, see www.localmultiplayer.com, by Lorenzo Pilia (h/t zo-ii/Zuraida Buter). I’ve added the games from that list as well, but Lorenzo reckons he has loads more to add so keep an eye on that website for more examples from here on.