((Note – pictures are from an early version of the game, and may not be indicative of the final product, especially since my printer was not cooperative and didn’t like the colors too much…))
The fist connected with Franz’s face. He staggered back for a second, the opposing TechnoLectric warrior bearing down on him. All TechnoLectric warriors had the same rigorous training, so Franz and his opponent were evenly matched in terms of techniques. However, one thing that wasn’t taught in combat school was deceit and intuition. How one could both mislead and read their opposing mark. Those that had a talent for it, wound up working for the most notorious Warlords, while those who didn’t…well, their fate was obvious.
The other TechnoLectric warrior wound up for another punch. Was she going for another punch? The motion was too blatant, she was trying to mislead him into blocking the punch, distracting him from a leg blow. Or was that part of the deceit? Franz had to think fast.
At the last second, he stepped back, and a foot grazed the air where his knee had just been. The opposing warrior, not expecting the dodge, staggered forward. She was off balance! Franz stepped towards her, electricity starting to crackle from his powered gauntlet. The Duel had only just begun…
Micro Play-Break: Duel, is the third Kickstarter game by MSP Games. (For information on the other games, take a look at my reviews on MPB: Castles, as well as MPB: Kingdoms). As was hinted at above, Duel is a 2-player game where each player controls a TechnoLectric warrior in combat. The objective is to reduce the health of either the upper or lower body of your opponent to zero. Unlike other games, where the two fighters would just trade blows until one was defeated, Duel uses a momentum style of play. The attacker is allowed to continue attacking until the defender successfully blocks.
How does combat work, you may ask? Each warrior has three attacks at their disposal, a direct physical attack(1 damage to the body part targeted) a misleading physical attack(1 damage to the body part not targeted) and a direct special attack(2 damage to the targeted body part). The attacker will choose to attack either the upper or lower body of his opponent. The defender must then try and figure out the following:
A – Is the attack physical or special?
B – If physical, is the attack direct or misleading?
This is where the challenge comes in. Although the components of the game aren’t overly fanciful, one is not playing the game as much as they are playing the player. Do you think that your opponent is the type to go out of the gate swinging (preferring Special attacks)? Do you think that they are more cunning, trying to cherry tap you with Misleading attacks? Are they trying to counter-read you and pick an attack based on what you think that they are going to pick?
If a player picks the correct defense (special vs physical) and location (high versus low), then they successfully block the attack (or riposte in the case of special attacks, dealing one damage) and shift the momentum in their favor. If not, they take some damage and the attacker gets another shot. Although simple and abstract (like Castles), it is quite cerebral in nature. Much like Castles, you are trying to get in your opponents head, reading and misleading them.
But where can I get it, you may ask? The Kickstarter for this game is currently ongoing, set to end in just a few days! Take a look here, and consider pledging if you are interested in a highly portable, thought provoking game!