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SpyParty early-access beta now open to applicants

Ex-Spore developer Chris Hecker's SpyParty has been in development for a while now (initial word of the title started circulating in early 2009) and if Hecker's word is anything to go by, it could be another couple of years before the title is released to the public. But if you want to play the intriguing title in its current state, $15 will buy you a spot on the beta %26ndash; not to mention set you up with a copy of the finished game.

If this is the first you've heard of SpyParty, be assured that the game contains very few of the trappings commonly associated with espionage in games %26ndash; to say nothing of how little it resembles that scourge of the self-proclaimed %26ldquo;hardcore,%26rdquo; the party-game genre. The emphasis isn't on fancy gadgets, sneaking or creeping through laser arrays: Hecker describes the title as %26ldquo;a game about subtle behavior, deception, performance, and perception.%26rdquo; Players assumes the role of a party-goer in a crowd of NPCs, or a sniper whose job it is to route out the human intruder: shoot the wrong character and it's all over. Spies must use gestures and movement to blend into the background %26ndash; think Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood's multiplayer with a daunting degree of intimacy %26ndash; completing a simple objective before the sniper gets to them. Interestingly, the multiplayer game's designed for local play %26ndash; with %26ldquo;tells%26rdquo; like the click of a key able to give the intruder player away.

Hecker's early-access beta isaccepting applicantsnow, with a projected entrance fee of $15. That, however, also gets you a copy of the finished game, which Hecker hopes to pack with additional modes to augment the one-on-one core gameplay. Are you interested in this concept? Will you be registering for the beta?

May 10, 2011