Cooperative shouting game, Spaceteam has recently won the third annual GameCity Prize. The award honors video games that exhibit original yet expressive gameplay. During the competition an elite Academy of experts from GameCity at Nottingham Trent University nominates 15 different games from the year that integrates entertainment with a unique perspective of our current culture. Previous winners of this accolade include Mojang for Minecraft and ThatGameCompany for Journey.
So, what makes Spaceteam such a noteworthy game?
Well for starters, lots of screaming and eminent danger. In the game players are divided into teams consisting of 2 to 4 teammates, armed with nothing but their mobile phone and the will to win. Players are assigned a specific control panel with time-sensitive instructions to follow in order to keep their spacecraft out of danger.
Most of the instructions require users to work with each other in order to accomplish their own individual assignment. For example, a player may receive instructions that require someone else in charge of a particular panel to set the shift alarm on the spacecraft to two, with the clock ticking away that player must frantically shout the command to their teammate in order to get the task accomplished.
The storyline in Spaceteam is also intense. Players are part of spacecraft crew in orbit attempting to outmaneuver an exploding star while their ship is suddenly falling apart. Crew members have to not only work fast but well with each other to avoid an untimely death.
The gameplay is centered on voice interaction which in mobile gaming hasn’t been done before. Spaceteam was able to display the capability of today’s mobile gaming devices in a rather unique way by tapping into smartphones voice function and often overlooked element when developing mobile apps. The game also has a cross-platform multiplayer feature that enables players with Apple’s iPhone or any of Google Play’s Android smartphones the ability to play the game together.
Sleeping Beast’s Spaceteams’ innovation definitely contributed to its GameCity Prize win. It will be interesting to see more app developers will start integrating voice focused gameplay into their mobile apps.