Posted by: seanmalstrom | October 5, 2014

The Lost Art of the Turn Based Multiplayer Experience

There was recently a party in my vicinity. Curiously, I brought out the NES, and it was the star of the show. Authentic NES hardware and games! Fun times were had by all.

While the multiplayer games I had such as Rampart, Rescue Rangers, Dr. Mario, Mario Brothers, Double Dragon II, and Contra were well received, what really surprised me was how people wanted to play Super Mario Brothers 3 in turn based mode. This means someone plays a level, beats it or dies, then it is the other person’s turn. Millipede was also heavily played despite the turn based multiplayer. This surprised me.

While co-op multiplayer is very fun, I think people also found it stressful. They always had to perform. Taking turns and watching the other player is something they greatly enjoyed. It is also non-existent today.

Even 2d paltformer games today are all co-op. Games that don’t offer co-op on one TV use Internet multiplayer instead. The turn based multiplayer is completely not represented. Yet, people do want to play it. Why not have an option in a Mario game where one can play co-op or turn based multiplayer? It should be easy to implement. Even a game like millipede was a great multiplayer experience despite the turn based nature. The game is very fast and the other person enjoyed watching the other person die.

Not all games have to be simultaneous multiplayer. Sometimes people like to watch the other player.




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