Downloadable for Windows only, Gibbage is a one-panel player verses player bloody shoot-out with gameplay that is not quite like anything else currently available on the market. Created over the period of two (2) years by the talented indie game development newcomer, Dan Marshall, Gibbage has the graphical sensibilities of the pixel games of yore.
Your objective is to reduce your opponent's power to zero before your own is similarly reduced. Both power pools drain at a constant rate, but can be replenished by collecting cubes that drop randomly across the map. You can hold up to three of these at any time, my own observations indicated that one is worth 25 points, two are worth 70 points, and three worth 100. In addition, in order to help you out on your quest to frag your opponent, and thereby get them out of your way, there are randomly spawning power-ups ranging from homing rockets to land mines.
The options for play include a player versus AI option as well as the much recommended player vs. player hot seat option. The demo comes with 3 different levels, and the full game with a substantial 27 unlockable levels. What is impressive is the amount of dedication that has gone into making creating the quirks and environmental hazards that cause each level to be slightly different than the last.
Analysis: This game is a simple and enjoyable throwback to the days of pre-Internet multiplayer, where you would actually sit down with your friend, huddled around the keyboard trying to figure out who got which keys. It is in that environment where this game shines, and I recommend that before even trying the single player mode that you call over your closest friend or relative and get them to sit down and play some Gibbage with you—this game is easy enough to learn that even Grandma can join in the fun, but hard enough to master that you can still beat her when her rheumatism gets in the way. While the lack of true Internet or network multiplayer could be seen as a flaw, it is actually a conscious design decision, and once you start playing with a friend it quickly becomes obvious why. The other high points include the game's musical background and artistic style. While both are simple in nature they fit the atmosphere of the game perfectly and create a satisfying gaming experience.
Despite my high praise for all that is Gibbage, I do have one complaint. The respawn time is far too long. In a game this fast paced the player should never lose control of their character for an extended duration of time, and the ice power-up is a flaw for that reason as well. This should by no means deter you from picking up this gem and trying it out, but it would have been nice to have a few more options that would allow for adjusting things like which power-ups show up, the rate of power decay, and the respawn time.
In the end Gibbage is a testament to what a single dedicated individual can accomplish. It is a polished and fun game that is very much worth the download, and if you enjoy the demo the purchase is bargain priced. Click.