I am a very competitive person, and I’ll admit that I love games that encourage you to screw over your friends. Where others let feelings get in the way, nothing will stand between me and sweet, sweet victory. This cut-throatedness served me well while playing Fortune Catcher, a local multiplayer game from creator MUYO.
Fortune Catcher is reminiscent of B.U.T.T.O.N., Twister, and other party games designed to ruin families and end friendships. In this game, two players vie for control of one keyboard creating the game’s most important dynamic: the inevitable physical altercation.
The goal of Fortune Catcher is simple: pilot a large crane-game-style hand in order to catch an adorable anthropomorphized crystal ball. When you catch the ball, the game gives you a fortune, and so whoever catches it is the winner. You control your crane arm with different letters on the keyboard, and every round the controls are randomized. The 8-bit music gets more and more frenzied as you (pretty literally) wrestle the other player for the controls.
I played several rounds of Fortune Catcher with my friends at work to try it out. After three wins for me, a hilariously appropriate fortune came up. “It is very possible that you’ve just lost a friend,” read my fortune on a small golden ticket. The co-worker I’d just beaten for the third time looked at me pointedly; we’d spent the previous 30 seconds belly-laughing and throwing elbows as we fought for control of the keyboard. The game forces a choice: be an asshole or lose. I played with my husband and by our last round we were aggressively shoving one another, wedding vows be damned.
Ultimately, the reward of Fortune Catcher is not actually the fortune. After the physical struggle with your opponent, winning feels like a greater triumph than if you’d simply pressed a few buttons in a better manner than they had. Fortune Catcher takes greater advantage of real-world violence than most of its peers dares to, and for that reason it is more rewarding when you finally get that little golden ticket.
You can download Fortune Catcher on itch.io.