It’s been nearly a decade since designer Chris Hecker announced the subterfuge multiplayer game SpyParty, and it’s been even longer since he first started working on it. In just a week, short of a meteor strike or other cataclysm, SpyParty will finally hit Steam.
Well, technically the April 12 Steam release of SpyParty will be “early access,” but given that it’s 2018 and all video games are in early access, this is close enough to a release for me. On April 12, you’ll be able to buy the game on Steam for money. Here’s the trailer:
In case you’ve missed the past ten years of previews and demos, SpyParty is a one-vs-one game of psychological warfare where one person plays a spy at a party and the second person plays a sniper. The spy must perform a set of tasks—like giving a secret message to a double agent—while blending in with the AI-controlled fellow partygoers.
The sniper, who has a gun and a single bullet, must figure out the identity of the spy and take a shot before time runs out.
Kotaku’s Kirk Hamilton and I played the game at the Game Developers Conference last month, and while it seems best enjoyed by two friends in the same room, we had a very good time. It’s a simple, elegant game that’s easy to pick up and difficult to master.
In most multiplayer video games, you're on equal footing with your opponents. You're on the same map, with the same moves and tools, and the more skilled player will theoretically win. That isn't the case with Spy Party, a two-player game where each player's role couldn't be more different.