By Adam Smith on September 5th, 2011 at 1:50 pm.
More games should receive updates like this. “Mucus grenade buffed significantly, maybe even too significantly!” The fact that there is a mucus grenade in the first place is startling and compelling, the fact that it may have become too powerful demands research and investigation. The game with the possibly overbuffed mucus grenade is free indie team-based shooter Masjin. The best way I can describe it is the sidescrolling bastard child of Team Fortress, Worms and Minecraft. With vehicles. It’s a fantastic example of a game that promotes proper teamwork while also finding time to celebrate chaos and destruction. However, there are problems. This is a game in need of a stronger online community so, to herald its latest and potentially final update, I point you in its direction to bolster those ranks.
As the video rightly shows, it can all be very hectic and confused. But it can also be far more sophisticated than the simplistic maps and graphics suggest. Organised and balanced teams genuinely stand a better chance of victory and, as someone who often treated Worms like a Fallout shelter construction simulator, I enjoy the ability to construct defences and tunnels.
Admittedly, there is too much going on at times and I’d like to see the existing features improved before anything else is added and that seems to be the plan. For such an apparently small game, the amount of things to do can become overwhelming, particularly since the tutorial implies you’ll mainly be running, shooting and jumping. Sure enough, you’ll be doing those things a lot but you’re also expected to construct, craft and communicate.
To fulfil that last part, you’ll need someone to communicate with and, unfortunately, the number of players appears to have been falling for a while now. There’s been a smidgeon more activity since the update but it may be temporary, which would be a shame. It’s certainly possible to dive into a public game and hop across the map blasting away with a standard firearm but it swiftly becomes tedious and everybody will hate you. Being tedious and despised is not fun, although, rest assured, I will endeavour to find an indie pixelfest that deliberately and unironically simulates those feelings and I’ll share it when I find it. As for Masjin, which is a much more joyous affair, the only way to discover its complexity and variety is to play with a proper team. Coordination and commitment are necessary to access the depth and without them, it can seem like nothing more than a messy shoot ‘em up.
It is possible to make public or private games rather than waiting for a free space on an existing server and the frontend is very user-friendly. Teams of at least four are desirable but six people could entertain themselves for a good while. It’d be great to see more people online, particularly people with smarts and know-how. If you fit the bill, join the fun. And if you’re already playing, it’s time for a recruitment drive.