Even though Multiwinia is mostly a multi player upgrade to Darwinia, it is an immensely better game than its predecessor. Nearly all aspects of the game have been improved to the point of near greatness in short bursts. In this iteration of the series, the focus is placed on multi player style game modes, which could also be played against the CPU. Multi player servers are available, but the amount of people playing in public games is scarce to none. This is not a problem, as the single player mode provides much entertainment, challenge, and excitement. Unit placement, movement, and orders have been polished beyond comparison to the nearly broken Darwinia. Everything is fluid, fixed, and sleek. There are also many power-ups and surprises that enhance the game play to the extent of limitless replay ability. In everything Darwinia went wrong, Multiwinia corrected and got right. There are so many maps to play in, and several game modes that will guarantee the almost permanent installation of Multiwinia on your system. You will go back to this game time and time again. The fun and excitement it provides is timeless. There is no reason to play the defective Darwinia if you have Multiwinia. The controls are outstanding, especially when you compare them to the controls and path finding disasters of Darwinia. Each game plays differently, as the variety in maps, game modes, random power-ups, and AI will change your experiences throughout. All difficulty levels are challenging and fun to play, even if you lose. Each match takes between five and twenty minutes, and time flies by quickly, as you are constantly paying attention to your enemies, your units, and ordering them around the map. The action is non-stop. Unfortunately, Multiwinia does not keep track of your personal statistics besides Steam achievements (which I do not care for). There is also a lack of leaderboards of any kind because of the non-inclusion of statistics keeping. It would have been extremely nice to have access to both, even if it were for single player only. Sometimes, you may be losing by a considerable amount, and you will still be able to pull off the win. Power-ups are important at times, depending on the luck of the draw. You will develop a liking to some of them, and apathy for others. While Multiwinia is a short-lived gaming experience, it is Introversion's best effort so far. This game is a perfect example of something you keep installed for years to come, always going back to it for quick matches action packed with fun and entertainment.
If you have dedicated friends to play with, pick it up. If not, wait for Darwinia+ to come out on XBLA so you can have some competition. If that doesn't sell like hotcakes, there's no hope for the world.
Click into its leftfield groove and Multiwinia provides a quirky but devilishly compelling distillation of all that strategy games can be - rich, deep and compressed into intense digestible chunks. Yummy.
Multiwinia largely succeeds as an enjoyable -- if slight -- multiplayer expansion of Introversion’s Darwinia. Its idiosyncratic design is as delightful as ever and the developer’s knack for capturing the essence of 8-bit gaming purity is once again evident.
The nagging doubt about Multiwinia is that it is possibly too simple and short term – fun to drop into in the odd quiet half-hour, but with no visible form of progression, nothing that you will stick with in the long term.
And speaking of multiplayer, that's about all you'll want Multiwinia for. Repetitive maps, exploitable A.I., and a lack of any backstory or plot whatsoever hamper the single-player mode. That said, the game does have "multi" in its title, and for the price (about $20), you could do worse for an online time-waster.
A multiplayer remake of Darwinia. It's slightly better but is still unplayable. It explains the basics in 2 tutorials, like, controlling the units, making a formation, capturing stuff. However, as soon as you try the single player mode vs the AI (there are no players online to play against) immediately you get questions you don't know answers to and you always lose because you don't know what's happening. Like, where the hell those grenades (or whatever, you just see explosions) come from and wipe out half of your formation. Can you use grenades, too? If so, what button does that? Or where the hell from do ships appear and send rockets from all sides at a location? Why suddenly the battle slowed down etc etc. It seems that the AI takes some bonus crates which have all kinds of special effects, but it's not clear what those effects do, how many of them there are etc. It's not even clearly visible who a spawning point belongs to - there are small colored dots indicating that but in a huge colorful mess of particles this game is they get lost completely.
There is still the same strange camera control system: moving the mouse rotates the camera (!?), and the cursor is fixed at the center of the screen as if you were controlling a minigun on a helicopter with the task of shooting targets on the ground. The mouse wheel zooms in/out in the same reversed and unconfigurable mode as in Darwinia. Deselecting units is done with Space. It should have been right click (or left click, if right-click is for giving a movement order - depends on whether you like C&C or AoE system better)... Formations work clumsy, as it's not possible to send a formation a bit forward - the destination point must be in front of the whole formation. Selecting groups of darwinians with a long mouse-down is a novel idea but works not so good as it spends too much time. Why didn't they just let people use the old good dragbox or double left-click to select, say, 50 darwinians?
Btw, the basic gameplay here is much like in "virus rts" type games, where you have a set of points on the map, spawning tiny units of one fixed type at a regular rate, and you can pick 50% of them from one point and send to another connected point - there are plenty of mobile games like that now. Surely, Multiwinia is much more complex, and there are more modes, but the basic idea is just that. If you get it (almost) for free in a bundle, it's maybe worth a look. Just don't expect much.
Multiwinia is not that much different to Darwinia- but it does add some surprising new features, which make it more playable than Darwinia. Still, the game lacks replay-ability in some aspects as the way battles turn our a relatively the same each time. This is due to the AI being predictable- It only took me about 4-8 games and I could predict what the AI would do. Multiplayer is something to be desired too, it's pretty clear there aren't many people playing this game because the matchmaking system hardly ever works. Controls are easy to learn, graphics are playable but could be better. This game is like a major DLC to Darwinia, in the fact that it adds a lot of new things to the game and improves on Darwinia's shortcomings.
SummaryLong ago a computer scientist called Dr Sepulveda created a beautiful digital world existing entirely within a computer network of his own invention. This world was called Darwinia and it was inhabited by a peaceful, law-abiding digital life-form called the Darwinians. As the years wore on however the Darwinians became ever more aggressi...