The act of “screen cheating” is the natural tendency to peek at your opponent’s point of view in order to map out where he or she is. The act was often seen as a party foul in the GoldenEye era of first-person shooters, and screen cheating continued to grief players well into the 2000’s. In Screencheat, this tactic is the titular core of the game, harkening back to the classical era of arena shooters and Nintendo 64s.
In Screencheat, you face off in a 2-4 player arena battle in which you can’t see your opponent. In order to locate your opponent, utilizing their perspective is essential. While you can’t see them, you can definitely shoot them. This is what makes Screencheat unlike its arena shooter counterparts. The unique perspective can be almost frustratingly difficult at first, until you take a look at the color-coded maps and meticulously planned layouts. It makes pinpointing where someone is not quite as difficult as it should be.
Screencheat is very fun, wacky, and bizarre at first. The pacing is nice and the premise is genius, but it can wear out its welcome in extended play sessions. Fortunately, Screencheat has an myriad of weapons, modes, and layouts to keep things interesting. Shotguns, horses with swords, charged blasts, and more change up how you’ll have to tackle facing off against your opponent. Sometimes, these weapons aren’t abundantly clear at first in how they should be used. The charge shot weapon, for example, can bounce off walls and floors the longer you charge it.
Comedy is something many games strive for, and its hard to really tell if they’re being clever or stupid. Screencheat walks this line with a rather direct, snarky sense of humor. Upon your inevitable demise, the death prompt can be anything from “Aeris’d” if you’re stabbed to “Obama’d”, just because.
Although immediately complex, Screencheat is very straightforward in what it’s trying to be. It’s a wacky, silly throwback to the arena shooters of the late 90’s and 200’s and does a very good job at bringing a unique spin to an established genre. Great at parties, Screencheat is a worthy addition to your library.