updated 01:15 pm EDT, Fri October 19, 2007
5-player flash game launch
Two game developers have released a flash-based multiplayer arcade-style action game called Host that works on any computer with a modern Web browser with flash capability, including Mac and Windows systems. The game, which pits up to four players against each other in real time online, features living organisms infested by larva hosts -- the players themselves -- who then control the organisms -- or blobs topped with skulls -- to bash and bomb opponents. After issuing a slew of maggot bombs and smashing skulls with other players, those left alive are free to eat the hearts of any hosts who recently perished. The game is available online for free, and artist Edmund McMillen told MacNN that the game appears to play more smoothly on Macs than on other tested platforms. [corrected number of players]
Each player chooses a name before entering the lobby, where a chatroom facilitates organized games. Players join games by clicking on a wound in the stitched skin of an organism, squiggling their maggot into the hole to wage an all out war on opponents.
Various levels challenge players with tree limbs to jump on, water to fall into (which kills the host), and fall damage for those players who jump from the highest reaches and land at the lowest points trying to sucker-punch an unsuspecting opponent.
Games end after a designated number of rounds, showing the winner who had the most kills in a spotlight and allowing all players to chat for a few moments before restarting the game anew.