I think I like Fat Princess. My brother got me onto it via a very short introduction at his house over the summer, and I downloaded it a few days ago for myself.
One of the big problems I normally have with games that derive a good chunk of their value from the online, multiplayer experience is that I’m what the industry calls a casual gamer. By that definition my wants and needs should probably be ignored. But I have purchased multiple gaming platforms, spend above average cash on software for those platforms, and have enough disposable income to warrant (at the very least) the occasional drool from a game publisher. Yet most multiplayer games don’t bother with my self-inflicted needs. Most mutliplayer games I encounter demand that I spend hours-upon-hours devoted to learning the intimate strategy and skill required to merely participate at a level that doesn’t leave me fragged and in repeating re-spawns for much of the time I’m playing (I’m talking to you Star Wars: Battlefront!) So, when a game like Fat Princess lets me jump into an online match having barely completed the tutorial and actually participate and contribute in a meaningful way to the eventual win of my randomly assigned team, kudos must be given to the developers.
I chose to spend one of my rare and precious hours — away from parenting duties, dishes done, and real-work (arguably) completed — logged into an online match of this Python-esque capture-the-flag. Of my twelve-or-so teammates I eventually ranked third-to-last (not bad for a noob, eh?) being barely edged out from the fourth-to-last place because I spent the last few minutes of game time as a rather useless chicken. Literally. The advantage to the learning curve is that not every player need be a fighter. I wiled away the first ten minutes of the game gathering lumber to help improve our castle, and was only attacked once. I toddled for another few minutes just gathering cake to fatten our princess (thus making her heavier and more difficult to capture by the other team.) And after a while I poked my way into battle. This isn’t the first multiplayer game to meet this simple criteria (and hopefully not the last) but it is nice when one finds a game that’s willing to meet time-limited casual gamers half way.