Outwitters, a strategic board game in the same family as Hero Academy, has been released by One Man Left Studios and is now available from the app store. Using various classes of minions upon hexagonal layouts, your goal is to destroy the enemy camp before they destroy yours.
- Appealing cartoonish presentation with variety of board styles and minion classes to use
- Soundtrack is catchy and upbeat
- Tap controls are simple to use
- Deep strategy and asynchronous multiplayer
- GameCenter integration for matchmaking
- No solo/single-player option
- Notification system buggy at the moment
Outwitters contains 3 modes of play: Friendly, League, and Pass-and-Play. The first two are asynchronous multiplayer options, with no solo or single-player modes whatsoever. You start with a handful of minions from varying classes, which can include Runners, Soldiers, Medics, Snipers, and Heavys. Each can move once and attack once per turn, though each distinct action will use up one of your Wit points. You are afforded 5 per turn, but can earn more or save them up for use on later turns. Runners can cover a great area, but are weak and do minimal attack damage. Soldiers are stronger and do more damage, but cannot move as far. Medics are weak and don’t attack at all, instead focusing their energy on healing nearby teammates. Snipers are also very weak and don’t move far, but they do a great deal of ranged damage. Heavys have the most health and fair range, while dealing a large amount of damage. The scope of a player’s movement can also be very important for seeing opponents hidden within the fog of war.
There are three different factions available to play as, though only one is available without shelling out some cash to unlock the others via IAP. The minions you start with are not the only ones you get. Each player has a Spawn Space where you can spend Wit points to purchase up to a single new minion per turn, provided that the hex is empty. Runners are fairly cheap, while Snipers and Heavys will set you back most of your Wit points. There are also Bonus Spaces which act as triggers, giving you an additional Wit point per turn when occupied. Each team also has access to a special character which is exclusive to that team only. These guys are the most expensive and will typically require you to save up some Wit points from previous turns in order to spawn one. It’s all pretty straightforward once you get a couple of games under your belt, but the strategic possibilities are endless and can really get your brain juices flowing.
Graphically, Outwitters has a colorfully cartoonish vibe, with minions from the unlocked team appearing as sharks, seahorses, fish, squids, and other aquatic life. There are 6 different maps to utilize, though only 2 are available without hitting the in-game store to unlock the rest. Maps contain a number of obstacles that can be used in clever ways to offer protection as well as create traps. Matches can be played as one-on-one or two-on-two games, which is also quite fun. Remaining Wit points are seen at the screen bottom, as are icons to finish your turn, replay an opponent’s turn, provide gameplay instruction, and return to the menu. The soundtrack is charming, offering a fun and cheery vibe to the game. Controls require you simply to tap a minion to select, then tap its move or attack location. Hints are provided at the screen top to remind you of the selected minion’s abilities.
Replay value is great, as the deep strategic gameplay provides plenty of incentive to fire it up time and time again. The League play also ranks you based on your abilities and matches you with players of a similar caliber, providing the serious gamer a chance to show what they are made of. The Friendly option allows you to play random GameCenter friends or random opponents, without factoring the results into your ranking. A universal app for FREE (support the devs by buying team/map packs or snagging the Uber pack that provides you with any and all future IAP options), Outwitters is a 4.5-Dimple champ.