Monday, February 04, 2013

Hidden in Plain Sight: who am I?

On Saturday night, Matt and Gaby were visiting and we killed each other, once we'd worked out who we were.

Hidden in Plain Sight is an Xbox Indie Game, which means it cost about 50p.  For that excessive sum you get five different games, all of which revolve around the idea of not knowing who your opponents are.  The first, and possibly the best, is Ninja Party, where your objectives are to either be the first touch five statues dotted around the room, or kill all opponents.  You can guess who your opponents are by seeing who's walking over a statue as a ping goes off, or who's walking purposefully around rather than wandering aimlessly.  There are many computer-controlled characters who are wandering aimlessly, but who look the same as you.  So the idea is to look as if you're wandering aimlessly while still making your way between statues, and at the same time watch the whole screen to see if you can spot someone else walking purposefully while pretending to wander aimlessly.  If you do spot them, you can make your way over to them and try to kill them, but if they see you coming they may well kill you so you need to wander aimlessly over towards them while making sure you get there before they hit all statues.

Since you're all on one screen, the only possible way to ensure that people don't know who their opponents are is to not tell anyone who they are themselves.  Instead, the first few seconds of each game is spent wiggling the controller in certain directions and seeing which character moves in that way.  If you see a character moving erratically and it's not you, it may be someone else ... but you'll normally have to take your eyes off of them in order to find your character anyway, which is amusingly frustrating.

Other games felt a bit unbalanced with three players.  Death Race - be the first over the line or shoot your opponent - was the most broken, with the player who didn't shoot anyone being the one to win.  The thief game was really hard if there were two thieves or quite easy if there were two snipers.  The assassin game was similar.

Matt complained that Knights and Ninjas was too biased in favour of the knights, but that's because he kept losing.

It's a shame that the 360 can only connect four controllers; this would be amazing with eight players.

1 comment:

Adam Spragg said...

Three players is an awkward number for this game. The team games are always going to be 2 vs 1. I wonder if some of the new Options might help even the score in some of those games.

It took a long time for me to realize that Death Race was pretty broken with three players. You might be the first person I've seen who has come to the same discovery. It's unfortunate, because the game works really well with four players.

Anyways, like I said, try using some of the Options to see if that helps things. Perhaps giving players more than one shot in Death Race might help? I don't know.