Posts with ‘shortyshort’ Tag

Multiplayer on One Keyboard 3: Sonic Speedsters

By: Jordan Magnuson

On: March 4th, 2008


After some of the reaction to my Tremor post I feel the need for some sort of disclaimer here: this is part of my series on independent same-machine multiplayer games, and is not “news.” This is for those of you out there who enjoy playing multiplayer games on one keyboard, and haven’t yet tried this one.

Sonic Speedsters, created by Shorty Short Productions a while back, is essentially a glorified version of Tron’s Light Cycles game. If you’re not familiar with that game, the basic idea is that you control a futuristic “cycle” as it speeds around an arena trying to stay alive while knocking off opponent cycles. Each cycle leaves a long trails of “light” behind it as it moves, and these trails are deadly to other cycles, as are the arena’s walls.

You’ve probably played Tron, or some spin-off, but there are a few reasons that you should check out Sonic Speedsters none the less. Most of these boil down to the fact that the game is just FUN; it works, it’s done right. There are a number of cycles to choose from, and each is customizable, allowing you to configure for speed, acceleration, or maneuverability. The game supports single player “instant action” and campaign mode, as well as multiplayer LAN, internet (though you might not be able to find a game), and same keyboard play. The single player modes are fun enough, but the game’s multiplayer on one keyboard split screen action is just brilliant.

One of the best things about the game is the level of customization available. Besides customizing your cycles, you can choose between a number of settings regarding the deadliness of the light trails, and automatic turning and whatnot, making the game nicely scalable as you get better—and believe me, the better you get, and the harder you turn the settings up, the more fun the game is. The game also features custom resolution settings (a very good decision, as it allows the game to look good on my 22-inch monitor, years after its release), and a few different camera selections (playing the game from the “cockpit” view is a real blast once you get your feet wet). A variety of weapons, speed boosters and the like are of course available. The game’s feeling of chocolate coated speed is one of the best things about it.

Unfortunately the demo is no longer available on the official website, but I believe that it was released as freely distributable, so I’ve gone ahead and uploaded it here. The demo only gives you access to instant action play, but if you feel like trying out the full game, it only costs $15, and comes with a 60 day unconditional money back guarantee.

Sonic Speedsters
Players on One Keyboard: 1-2
Demo: here (7.8 MB)
Purchase: here ($15, unconditional 60 day money back guarantee)

Sonic Speedsters Split Screen