|Stop online! Thank you very much. If I want to play this game I need the human tooooouch.|
- Reviewed by: Mark Goninon
- Developer: BRHP
- Publisher: BRHP
- Release Date: 16 January 2016
- Time played: 2.2 hours
Here is another game I managed to grab from my number one benefactor of Steam games, Mix-Master – thank you for getting me this game!
Ever played the board game "Scattergories"? Stop Online – Battle of Words is pretty much an online version of this popular party board game from the 1980s; each round of the game players have to write down a word that fits within a category given a particular starting letter (which is determined by a die roll). For example, if the category is "fruit" and the die roll revealed "O" as the starting letter, "orange" would be an acceptable answer. "Onion" would not (as it's a vegetable) and neither would "apple" (since it starts with an "A"). Players are awarded points for acceptable answers in each category. After a certain number of rounds, whoever has the most points, wins the game.
Stop Online – Battle of Words works in a similar way but there are a couple of differences. Firstly, the categories are entirely made up by the player and are not preset categories that you can choose from (as it is with the board game "Scattergories") and secondly, you now have the ability to stop the clock to prevent other players finishing their answers (hence the name of the game).
What I like:
It's Scattergories onlineIf you like the board game "Scattergories" (which I do) this is a great implementation of the game online. It's quite easy to setup games and invite friends to play.
Clean interfaceThe game has a mostly clean and intuitive interface.
What I dislike:
Shift+TABA minor gripe that can't be helped but you know how when you want to use the keyboard to quickly go through different cells you use the TAB key? Okay, well that works in this. But usually, to go in reverse you have to hit Shift+TAB… and of course when playing a Steam game, hitting Shift+TAB brings up the Steam overlay! This isn't anyone's fault though, it's just I instinctively think if you can TAB why not Shift+TAB?
Answer rating systemJust like any game which relies on players voting on answers, it can be prone to abuse. Groups of friends could potentially gang up on strangers in the game by awarding points to their answers but not the strangers, regardless of whether the answers are correct or not.
Also, everybody are at a different level when it comes to their vocabulary. Sometimes you might know that an answer is correct but if the other players have never heard of the word before, they might award no points for it.
The system isn't perfect but unfortunately I don't think there really is an alternate solution. These kinds of games have to be self-policed just like it is when you play a physical board game.
Nobody plays itUnfortunately, this is the biggest reason not to play the game (although by me giving you this advice, I am probably further compounding the problem!). After logging into the game multiple times, there's only been one time I've seen another person playing the game and on that one instance, it was a group of three people playing a private game (so I couldn't join them even if I wanted to). Oh, and if nobody is there to play the game with you, you can't play the game at all. It's not like you can play against bots in this due to the fact that categories are up to humans to decide as well as the voting of answers.
This is why I ended up buying a copy for my wife to play the game with me, so I could at least see if it's worth the fuss. Otherwise, this game would've just sat in my Steam library, unplayed, forever. Quite sad really.
Score – 6/10 (Needs more players)
If you and a bunch of friends are really into "Scattergories" but want to play it online, by all means, ignore the rating I've given this game and buy it now! This game was made for you and I suspect if you have enough people, it could be just as much fun as the physical board game, especially if you can chat to each other using TeamSpeak or something similar. Otherwise, the game is simply a waste of money because you won't be able to play the game without another human and from what I've seen, there aren't that many Steam users currently playing this game at the moment. I'd strongly recommend that the developer release maybe a 4-pack since it would encourage sales plus ensure there's automatically some potential opponents for the purchaser.
Is the game worth $4.99 USD?: If this game had enough players playing the game or you have friends who really love the board game "Scattergories" but want to play it online, then yes, definitely. Otherwise, it's a waste.
If you like this game, you might like…
[ LINK: Stop Online – Battle of Words Steam Store Page ]