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However, this also means that most of these games are rated too high for younger kids that may want to play games in the first person shooter genre. Enter Digital Paint, with the free open source FPS offering called Paintball 2. This is a paintball simulation game that is appropriate for all ages – as the only thing that will get hurt in this game is your pride.
Paintball Social Gaming
It’s a simple enough concept – paintball is intrinsically a very social activity. That is why there are so many clubs and groups in communities across the world that gear up and head out into fields to get completely covered in paint.
Just like the real game of Paintball, this game requires wit, strategy, and cunning reflexes. If you aren’t quick, you’ll end up flat on your back with a big splotch of paint on your chest every single round.
It really takes some getting used to if you’re used to other first person shooters out there, because this isn’t a creep and peek environment. You aren’t going to surprise anyone by edging around a corner hoping to pop off a carefully placed sniper shot. The game play is much too fast for that.
When you first install the game, you’ll need to create an online profile so that you can connect to the network game servers. Just click on “Create Profile” and the game will open up your default browser to the sign-up page. You’ll need an email address, so younger kids will need their parent’s permission to sign up.
The next time you launch the game, you’ll still see the “Create Profile” screen, but if you’ve successfully activated your profile already, just hit the Esc key and you’ll get back to the main menu. You still need to connect your online profile to this local install of the game. Go to the Setup menu and choose “Global Login Profile.”
Just go through the steps to insert your chosen online name into the profile settings and save the settings. Once you’ve established the connection with your profile, you’re ready for game play. Go back to the main menu and go to the “Play” menu. The real action takes place when you click “Join Game“, but first I want to give you a preview of what you can expect.
When you “Start New Game“, you’re basically launching a new networked game that other people can join. Type in the maximum number of players you want to allow (obviously more than 1), how long each round will last, and choose the location theme from the list on the right.
That’s all there is to it. Now you’re in the game and ready to start collecting “kills”. As you go through each round, you’ll see all of your stats off to the right side, as well as the remaining time in the current round. All player communication takes place along the top. If you want to join the conversation, just press “t” and type what you want to say.
When you’re ready to go head-to-head against other players, go back to the Play menu and choose “Join Game“. You’ll see a list of active game servers where games are going on right now. On the right, under “Players“, you’ll see how many people are playing and whether the game server is maxed out or not. Most of the time you’ll find that there’s plenty of room for you to join in on the action.
I joined up and immediately jumped into the action. If you’re used to typical FPS controls, you’ll be fine – but be prepared to stay on the move and do a lot of jumping. That appears to be the preferred tactic of most of the players. You get a nifty little laser sight to help with placing your paintball shots.
Oh and by the way, if you’re a really bad shot, check out Tim’s review of FPS Training, which might increase your chances of getting a hit!
Some of the games are point based, and you can see team scores at the lower right of the screen. You can also pick up larger guns and ammo throughout each level as well. Other games might be “capture the flag”, which are also a lot of fun and usually involve some creative team strategy to distract the other team with decoys.
The best part of this paintball simulation game, in my opinion, is that young kids can play it. The biggest danger is that the chat system might have some occasional profanity, but that isn’t really a central part of the game anyway. If your kids are begging to play those graphic and violent first person shooters on the market, just install this game and they’ll get hooked instantly. You won’t have to worry about giving them nightmares.
So give Paintball a shot and let us know what you think. Was it easy enough to learn? Is the pace too quick or difficult? Did you do well? Share your experiences with the game in the comments section below.