Brian R. Smith

Writing stories about færies and demons 

Brian R. Smith

Mastery Journal


Full Sail University mobile gaming master's

Game Review: Outwitters (One Man Left, 2012)

Genre:             Games, 3D simulation

Roll in industry: Turn-based strategy

Target Demographic: 12+

Monetization: Free app, in-game purchases



In my hunt for an asynchronous turn-based strategy game that I can use as a design reference, I ran across this’s (one of the) Best Strategy & Defense Games of 2012. And, I have to say, I agree.


This game has all the smarts of the turn-based game of chess, but with quirky and multi-faceted characters that move, teleport, heal, and shoot their way around a hexagonal playing area. The premise, like chess, is simple. But, when you factor in all the asymmetric strengths and weaknesses of all the different units from four-different races, it is even more complex than chess. And more fun.


The turn is the war game standard I grew up with. Move, create new units, attack. Next player’s turn. But, as you can play against other humans, Outwitters gives them a luxurious four days to make their next move. I think this is too long. Even if you are on the other side of the world, 12 or 24 hours should be plenty of time.


Interesting, is that Outwitters has League play (humans), Friendly game (humans), and Pass n’ Play (against humans). It does not have an AI opponent. Why? “Artificial Intelligence is not easy” (Kamikaze28, 2012). True, that. But, a surprise to me.


Another thing that would be nice is a way to know if the other player is making their move, similar to how you are told in Facebook Messenger the other human is typing. In this way, you know your turn would be minutes away, rather than hours or days.


Outwitters is a very good mobile game, especially for 2012. It is creative, inventive, fun. I like that it forces you to play against other humans. And, challenging enough to keep you engaged for some time. Here it is 2020, and people are still playing it.


Kamikaze28. (2012). Why an AI for Outwitters is hard to do. Retrieved from One Man Left:


One Man Left. (2012). Outwitters (iOS) [Video game]. Alabama: One Man Left.