Multiwinia: Survival of the Flattest Review (PC)

Less is more. We urge every developer, publisher and gamer to heed those words. Complexity is definitely great, but at the same time, the game needs to be fun to play. Itís a lost concept as gamers encompass an age of high definition gore, realistic physic systems and in-depth multiplayer modes. Then Braid came along; Tank Universal quickly followed and Left 4 Dead continues to receive praise. These games choose a distinct artstyle and stick to a common principle. You pay for a game for one simple reason; entertainment. You donít want to spend 40 hours watching CGI cut scenes or another 100 grinding through repetitive monsters. Itís all about fleshing out a core concept and letting the gamer revel in it.

Thatís exactly what Introversion have done. They did it with Defcon, a criminally overlooked PC title that gave players control of the big red button. How many people can you wipe out in a nuclear war, all within the confines of a world map and the soft booming of warheads. Before Defcon was Darwinia. It didnít do as well as it should of, again due to its unique style and peculiar concept. Ala Tron, you found yourself in the world of Darwinia, a digitalised utopia where the inhabitants, Darwinians found themselves under attack from a computer virus. The game panned out as a retro-styled strategy title. It was genius and received plenty of awards, which prompted production of a sequel; Multiwinia.

Captue The Statue

With the virus eradicated it wouldnít be long before peace found itself thrown aside. Mirroring reality, the lack of resources prompted the gamesí tribes to fight; ďdrunk on power and unswerving in their pursuit of world supremacy.Ē Little of this is needed as the gameís simply about a variety of scenarios with a clear aim. If youíre a Ďstory-junkieí then itís there, but for the majority, the gameís all about leading your stick-men into combat and coming out as the victor.

The most obvious place to start is with Multiwiniaís visual style. Can games be art? Can they express emotion? Itís questionable as to what art is, but Multiwinia fulfils many of the mediumís qualities. Its visual prowess is striking, itís underlying tones prophetic. Itís all a bit fancy. Itís all a bit deep. If weíre being lateral, Multiwinia is a game with the bare basics and nothing else. Itís got different coloured stick men; angular, wireframe scenery; a blocky cloud ridden sky and laser bolts for destruction dealing. Itís minimalistic and works perfectly. The colours contrast fantastically and it all combines in a visual experience that can rival the realism of GTAIV or Gears of War and even surpass it.

Multiwinia may be ironically high brow in its graphics, but its core gameplay is the simplest of the simple. You combine the mouse, a couple keyboard keys and a smart control scheme to produce fluid gameplay that oozes simplicity and complexity at the same time. Hold down the left mouse to select a circular bunch of Darwinians and send them to capture new spawn points or pick up airstrike-delivered crates.

Island Warfare
Radar Love

Thereís a wide range of gameplay modes available. Assault, Blitzkreig, Rocket Riot, Capture the Statue, King of the Hill and Domination have all been seen before. Transport them into the gorgeous world of Multiwinia and it feels fresh, unforeseen before. It feels perfectly suited for what the game offers. You canít get confused with your aim and there are plenty of [increasingly] difficult levels to get your practice in.

The raw-fun factor goes into overdrive when you venture onto the internet to play against your friends. The gameís as fun as the competent AI will let it be, but factor in a working, adapting human mind and youíll struggle, laugh, strategise and love every second of Multiwinia. Itís a game that you can come back to at any point. Each scenario / game mode plays out differently every time. A true triumph. Buy it; the developers deserve some cash for their outstanding hard work.

Top Gaming Moment: There isnít one, itís as complete as they come.



By Florentin (SI Veteran Member) on Sep 18, 2008
looks kind of cute
maybe a little too cute for a video game
what age is this for?
By ScythSoulces (SI Core) on Sep 19, 2008
This game looks funny.....funny in a bad way.
By sfabobby03 (SI Veteran Newbie) on Sep 19, 2008
Yea, I don't think this one looks very interesting to me. Good review though.
By loyalknight10 (SI Member) on Sep 19, 2008
I like this strategy game its cute and nice, with nice graphic content. But its not a much favorite game in gamer's world.
By herodotus (SI Herodotus) on Sep 20, 2008
If you liked Darwinia (yeah, that's me), then this one will no doubt land on your shelf. Greatly looking forward to playing this...thanks for the review Marco.
By jhellie_baby (SI Newbie) on Sep 22, 2008
From Darwinians to Multiwinians! Could Dr. Sepulveda ever stop the mess that he had once created?
By slaythat (SI Veteran Member) on Apr 15, 2009
Multiwinia adds a multiplayer mode and even easier controls to the addictive gameplay and visually striking world of Darwinia.

The Good:
Addictive multiplayer mode Unique visual style Intuitive control system Plenty of modes and maps Bargain price tag.
The Bad:
Weak story missions Headstrong, duty-shirking Multiwinians.