Skulls of the Shogun may have tickled your angry bone when 17-Bit announced that the turn-based battler will be a Windows 8 exclusive, but there are some benefits to that decision. Foremost, as the developer told us, it means getting to launch simultaneously on PC and Xbox. And now, another rather nice silver lining has made its way out from behind all the rage clouds: Skulls of the Shogun gets to be the first game with cross-platform multiplayer between PC, Xbox, phone, and tablet. I can't think of anyone else who's done that yet, so I suppose that makes this a pretty big deal, huh?
Granted, it's asynchronous, so we're not entirely living in the future just yet. 17-Bit explained the feature, dubbed "Skulls Anywhere," on SOTS' website:
"The turn-based nature of the game makes for perfect asynchronous play across every platform we’re shipping on. You can start playing a game at home on your Xbox, then head out and play a few turns from the same game on your phone. You might be playing against someone on a PC or a tablet - everyone’s connected via Xbox Live. And regardless of platform, everyone’s having the same great experience, because it’s the exact same game across all those devices.”
The developer also went on to specifically mention Microsoft Surface, which we've had optimistic thoughts about - assuming it embraces its own potential to be an open platform. Then again, SOTS is a PC-style game getting a hugely broad reach by selling its freedom away to Microsoft's bafflingly restrictive policies, so we'll see how all of this shakes out.
In the meantime, I'll just be over here drafting up my design doc for Skulls of the Shotgun, a Windows 95 exclusive turn-based rock, paper, scissors sim that will eschew disgusting, relentlessly-focused-tested modern trends and be entirely single-player. Keep an eye out for the Kickstarter, especially if have $30 million.