Alistair Aitcheson likes people to fight over his games. Literally, physically fight right over them. His first smartphone and tablet title, Greedy Bankers, had a multiplayer mode where participants could steal money from each other on screen. His second, Slamjet Stadium, was a futuristic sports sim, in which two opponents fought it out to score goals in a trap-filled arena. Both games encouraged players to interact physically, knocking each other away from the screen, intentionally controlling the other person’s onscreen avatars. He has seen full-blown wrestling matches erupt as a result.
His new game, Tap Happy Sabotage, is a continuation of that philosophy into uncharted territory. Developed for an Intel App Innovation competition it was designed to showcase the capabilities of the company’s 27-inch touchscreen monitors. Each player has to pick an icon card to represent them on the screen. The cards have nice pictures of flowers or parrots or bees on them – it looks cute, but Aitcheson is just messing with you. Next, the competitors gather around the screen and over a series of different round have to quickly tap their card when they see it displayed on screen amongst a myriad of others – the first person to hit their card wins the match. To make matters more complex however, each player card has a sort of evil twin which looks similar: tap that in the heat of the battle and you immediately lose.