I love competitive multiplayer games, maybe more than other games. This is why I was thrilled to hear about Snowday. Snowday, like you probably can tell by the title, is a competitive multiplayer snow fighting game. However, instead of shooting with a rifle to kills your opponents, you need to grab slow balls, aim and throw them at your opponents.
The game boasts several gameplay mechanics like stealth, cover system and throwing accuracy to make the game more tactical. The movement is based on teleportation, but to make things harder, the developer use a throw-based mechanics that limits the speed of teleportation, so now the movement itself is more tactical and requires smart tactical planning and makes the whole snowball fighting experience more fun and challenging.
The snowball brawling takes place in a snowy suburban area where there are plenty of places to both hide and take cover. It might remind you your own home place and the moments that you went outside when it was snowing just to enjoy the snow and throw it at your friends. Now you don't have to wait for the snow to come or go to a place where it snowing just to enjoy some great snow fighting action, you can do this straight from the comfort of your couch at your living room.
The great thing about this game is that it's an online multiplayer game, so you can fight against other people online to become the neighborhood's best snowbrawler.
You start the game in your own room. Obviously, as a snowbrawler enthusiast, you have some clothing items which you can pick up to customize your avatar, like wearing a new scarf, a new heart or new ski goggles. You have a mirror that you can look to see how your avatar looks.
You start with the tutorial that will teach you the basics. Snowday uses the Vive's tracked motion controllers. To teleport you just hold and release the thumbpad and to grab some snow you just stick your hand into the snow and hold the trigger to make a snowball. Grabbing snow and throwing it in virtual reality is so cool and it breaks when it collides with other objects, like in real life.. pretty cool.
Of course, you need to practice throwing snowballs because you need that skill when you fight against other people. In the tutorial, you get practice avoiding incoming snowballs and practice your aiming by throwing balls at some snowmen that spawn on your command. It's a room-scale game, so you can crouch to hide behind cover so you won't get hit.
The graphics in this game are really nice. The game was developed with Unreal Engine 4, and you can really see that the lighting and the rendering really help bring this snowy town to life. The visuals really help promote a better sense of presence and contribute to better immersion, just because you can better associate the experience to the real world equivalent one.
You can play against AI in the early access (by spawning snowmen) but the key selling point of this game, in my opinion, is its competitive multiplayer mode (up to 6 players). I love the fact that the developers put a great deal of the competitive aspects of the game. You can fight at close range or throw snowballs from far away. You can hide and surprise your opponents from behind or for example, hid behind a car to take cover. Just imagine how cool it is sneaking behind somebody and blasting his face from the side without him ever seeing it coming.. so cool— it's the Call of Duty of Snowfighters!
The game will be released in Early Access on Steam starting November 30th, 2016. The game does look really promising and I definitely recommend checking it out. Just keep in mind that the game requires the HTC Vive headset and a play area of at least 2m x 1.5m to play; other than that, just have fun and see you in the Snowfield.