There is not much appreciation out there for PC games, unless your name is Starcraft 2 or Civilization IV. Fortunately, there are games like Multiwinia to break the mold and push PC gaming further into the game space. Multiwinia is a follow-up to Introversion’s hit game Darwinia, where players control digital creatures called Darwinians. You can command these Darwinians to capture points on the map, attack enemy players and collect power-ups. Though this version of the game is more focused on the multi-player side of the spectrum, it still manages to provide hours of fun and addictive gameplay.
As soon as you start up the game you are greeted by beautiful, retro-style graphics that help to present this game in a unique and fun way. Sure, there are other retro-style games out there, but Multiwinia is designed especially well. With simplified graphics comes a more intuitive game in general. Then add in a straightforward control scheme and you have a game that is particularly fun and easy to start playing right away. Taking a look at the tutorials is an important first step so you understand some of the advanced battle techniques, but all-in-all you can get the hang of the game fairly easily. The game comes with a ton of multi-player modes and maps right out of the box. As for the selection of modes, there are many different choices: a unique take on capture-the-flag known as Capture; a mode called the Statue, which is a capture-and-defend game type; Domination, which is your classic destroy-all-the-enemies match; King of the Hill, which is
another capture-and-hold mode; Assault, where you defend against waves of enemies for a certain amount of time; and Rocket Riot, where you capture points that refuel your rocket, with the first to fill up their rocket’s tank being the winner.
Unfortunately, there are some downsides to the game. Though not overwhelming, they still hold the game back. There is a single-player campaign built into the game from the start but there is not much in the way of story in this mode. There are no cut-scenes or dialog to take you through the game, so playing the campaign starts to feel unfocused. It would have worked better if there was a stronger narrative to keep players engaged during the campaign. Even a text-based narrative would have gone a long way. The tutorials are also a bit brief and do not cover the power-ups exceptionally well. This leads players to have to experiment and waste power-ups rather than knowing how to play beforehand. The controls for the game are a strong point, but in certain cases, it is difficult to utilize all the Darwinians at once. If you select a group of minions to accomplish a task, there always seems to be a couple of stray Darwinians left over. At almost every command, there will be a handful of minions just running around and this thins out your available Blitzkrieg, which is yet another capture-and-hold game. You can then take your pick of over 40 unique maps to play on. As you can see, there is a lot to enjoy with this game and each mode can be customized, which adds to an already large package.
All in all, Multiwinia is an excellent strategy game that fans of the genre will enjoy. Sure, there are a few hiccups, especially with the single-player, but the game more than makes up for that with the charming visual style and extensive multi-player experience. Now you take that and make it available for purchase at $15 dollars, and you have a bargain on your hands. We would highly recommend this game for strategy fans and those interested in retro-style games – either way, you will enjoy this title.
This review is based on a review copy of the PC version of Multiwinia by Introversion
- Beautiful, Retro-Style Graphics
- Intuitive Gameplay
- Reasonably Priced
- Lack of a Story Mode
- Tutorials are Lacking