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Tilt to Live devs return to iOS with accessible turn-based strategy in Outwitters

One Man Left is the two-person studio behind the very popular 2010 iOS release Tilt to Live -- and that's all the two developers have ever released so far. Alex Okafor and Adam Stewart are finally ready, however, to show off their brand new title, and I got to play with it briefly last week at GDC.

The game is called Outwitters, and it's a strong right turn from the arcade frenzy action of Tilt to Live. Instead of bullets flying everywhere, Outwitters is turn-based strategy that takes place on a board of hexagons, with three different factions battling it out over time. Players can play as the Scallywags, the Feedback, or the Adorables, and each faction has a number of different units (including one faction-only unit each -- the Feedback, for example, have a floating brain that can turn units against their team) to pit up against each other on the game's various battlefields.

Turn-based strategy is often overly complex, but Outwitters smartly keeps things quick and relatively easy. You're given a number of resource points per turn, and you can use those points to move around, attack, or summon new units to the board every time your turn comes around. Those points can be saved up over time (so you can save up for a special unit), and there are also special spots on the board which will grant you more points as you hold them, so conquering parts of the map will help out a lot.

The gameplay itself is sort of similar to Robot Entertainment's recent release Hero Academy, and yes, One Man Left did do a little bit of forehead-slapping when Hero Academy arrived right in the middle of development on Outwitters. But the game is definitely different enough: The boards are bigger, and there's a fog of war, which means there's no "undo" option. In Hero Academy, you can try as many turns as you like before registering your moves, but in Outwitters, it's think first and then move for good.

I played a little bit of the pass and play mode, but there is an extensive online component, with unranked and fully ranked play across a number of different leagues. One Man Left has really gone the extra mile for online play, so there will likely be no shortage of competitors to match yourself up against. Just like Starcraft 2's league system, you can start in the Fluffy League, and rank your way all the way up to the Super Titan League, so if you're into the game, you can play Outwitters for a long, long time.

The title will be free to download, and then (similar again to Hero Academy) players will be able to pick up packs of maps and extra teams for an extra fee, or be able to just buy the whole shebang in one go. Outwitters seems excellent, and of course we'd expect nothing less than the makers of Tilt to Live. Turn-based strategy probably wouldn't have been my first guess when thinking about a followup from these guys, but nevertheless, I'm looking forward to the game's release in a few months.

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