Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat, and we all know that means one thing: spending a lot of time with friends and family whom you may or may not like. But it’s fine, it’s fine! Thanks to the wonders of video games, you can all have fun together and skip the awkward small talk. God bless us, every one.
Today sees the release of a wee party game called Oh My Godheads that will get even the most recalcitrant uncle bouncing on the sofa. Developed by the Spanish studio Titutitech, it’s a local multiplayer-only game that’s about capturing heads. Godheads, to be precise. Heads of gods with special powers. It’s ridiculous, but it’s also ridiculously good fun.
There are four multiplayer modes to play, each with 2-4 people (you can also play solo with AI filling in the gaps). There’s a couple of non-head-based modes that involve simply whacking your opponents and avoiding death, but the stars of the show are ‘Capture the Head’ and ‘King of the Head’. Their names may sound a bit familiar, and that’s because both reimagine popular modes with heads.
Capture the Head is my favourite. You can play one-on-one or in teams of two, and your aim is to steal the giant Godhead and pop it into your goal. It’s not as simple as it sounds, though, because the Godheads aren’t merely big ol’ blocks of stone. Oh no – there are 10 different heads to choose from in the game, and each one has its own ‘skill’. One of them randomly takes control away from the player holding it; another emits a thick fog so you can’t see your character. Another simply explodes if you hold it for too long. It’s tricky enough carrying these things and dodging the other team, but add this layer and things get truly fiendish.
Playing head-to-head (lol) with my partner, with the exploding head at the centre, we got blown to smithereens half-a-dozen times before figuring out you can only hold it for a few seconds before lobbing it away. If it starts flashing red before you throw it’ll blow up anyway, and reset to the starting podium. So basically you have to grab the head, throw it in vaguely the right direction, then barrel after it and hopefully whack the other player in the process.
As soon as we got the knack it was all-out war to steal the head, whether that meant punching it out of each other’s hands or executing a cunning interception and returning the package with interest. Needless to say, lots of insults with variants on 'head' were thrown between the two of us — but what’s a bit of friendly competition without a few choice swears?
Along with having ten heads to choose from, there are also ten different maps to play. Each map offers its own challenge, with a wide variety of layouts and different themes. The Egyptian map requires you to climb up a pyramid in order to grab the head, while another keeps teams on their toes by regularly changing the location of the goals.
Thrown in alongside the multiplayer offerings is a single player challenge mode that tasks you with killing AIs and running against the clock. It’s certainly not the feature attraction, but when your friends are MIA and you need some Oh My Godheads action, it’s a welcome timesink. It's also perfect for a little practice to ensure future matches will go the right way. Yes that's right: you know who you are, matey, and your card is marked.
There are a lot of party games out there, and even more battle-style games. This doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it does repaint it and add a lot of flair. When you’ve had enough of the Brexit chat this Christmas, and need to distract the family, Oh My Godheads will be just the ticket – it's the kind of game that, in a half hour window with good friends, can be divine.
Oh My Godheads is available now on Xbox One and PS4 for £11.99 and PC for £10.99.