Outmaneuver (universal) is the latest fast-paced board & strategy multiplayer game developed by Render Dragon LLC. It enables one to prove to friends that being smart means thinking openly and knowing when to take risks.
The game is about capturing the opponent’s headquarters or defeating its entire fleet on the hexagonal game grid. It can only be played against humans, which makes it great for two friends getting bored during travelling, or playing online against a random opponent.
Friends can be challenged via Facebook or games can be played with random online players, and while there is no Game Center-hosted multiplayer, there are a number of leaderboards and achievements to climb and collect, respectively.
The most fascinating features are the variety available in the fleet and being able to do two moves together, making the game faster than the traditional strategy board games like chess. I also enjoyed the player not being able to completely see where is a specific piece of the opponent’s fleet is, until the player lands on top of the opponent’s piece.
This creates curiosity and fear of the unknown in the both the player and opponent’s mind, and leads to really tense moments, where any decision could come back to haunt later on. Add in obstacles like wormholes and blackholes, and the game only gets more mind-twisting, with its balance of luck and strategy.
As far as the controls are concerned, players have no problems learning to move the pieces. Just touch the piece followed by touching on the place where its wanted -and thankfully, the touch mechanics aren’t overly sensitive, which can lead to frustrating, strategy-ruining moments at important points in the game.
One area the game could be improved in is its sound. There’s no background music, and the lack of music and the somewhat dull sound effects don’t create the most exciting board game atmosphere in terms of audio. For example, if a player wins the sound produced needs to be a little louder and continue for a few seconds rather than end instantaneously. Graphically, the game could also use some enhancements: the grids and board pieces could stand out more from each other with some brighter, more varied color schemes.
All in all, Outmaneuver (universal) is perfect for long-time fans of strategy games and friends looking to give each other a good mental exercise. Even without a true single-player experience with AI opponents, Outmaneuver is a fun board game with some interesting strategic elements.