Clairvoyance

See the future, kill the robots: Clairvoyance is a beautifully made $5 strategy game

See the future, kill the robots: Clairvoyance is a beautifully made $5 strategy game

There are four robots on the board, and you have five moves. The challenged party moves first. You can use one of your five moves to take initiative, which will allow you to move first, although the other player can take it back as well by using one of their moves to take initiative. You can also adjust your position, drop a grenade, fire a laser, sidestep, or face a new direction. Once both sides submit their moves, the round plays out. The grenades blow up at the end of each turn. Before then, you can climb on top of them. A grenade on the top of your head is lethal. One hitting you from the side merely knocks you out. Another robot can repair you at that point. The other player will be expecting that. You need to spend the $5 needed to play this game on PC or OSX. It may be the best thing ever, at least since the last best thing ever, but before the next best thing ever.

Seeing into the future

Clairvoyance is a game where you must anticipate the other players moves. Where will they go next turn? At what will they fire? You have to think a few steps ahead, and make sure there will be laser blasts or a grenade waiting for them in the places you expect them to be. Sometimes you’re right, and you feel like you can see the future. Other times you are wrong, and you end up with explosions denting a level where there is no enemy, and they cut you down. Watching a bad round play out is like being in a car accident. At some point you are forced to take your hands off the wheel and hope that not everything is taken. What you expect the other player to do, and what their actions prove to be, usually have but a glancing relationship to each other.While you only have five moves per round, that gives you many options. You can climb on top of your own robots and fire from their backs. You can leap from grenade to grenade, knowing that they will only explode at the very end of the round. I’ve had games where I’ve blown up three of the enemy’s four robots, only to have the last one hunt my robots down, one by one, Die Hard style. When you have five moves to spend on one robot, they can do damn near everything. Learning how to move across each level and attack in unexpected ways is how you win. Seeing what the other player will likely do, even if that takes second and even third guesses, will lead to victory. The game is already a modest hit among indie developers. The voice you hear in the embedded walkthrough is Adam Atomic, the creator of Canabalt and Gravity Hook. Vlambeer's Rami Ismail is the man who introduced me to the game. I've played Colin Northway, the creator of the wonderful Incredipede, who plays under his own name. The community has been welcoming and friendly, and the game invites you to leave messages to the other player after each game. You can also decorate the faces of each of your robots, and you'll grow to love each of the little guys and care for their safety. This is only a beta, but it has been taking up my evenings and leisure time. My name is Stasis7 on the servers, and I hope to see you online. May you move into the path of my lasers, and your feet always land on my explosives.