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Cooperatives: TowerFall

Chris Plante co-founded Polygon in 2012 and is now editor-in-chief. He co-hosts The Besties, is a board member of the Frida Cinema, and created NYU’s first games journalism course.

You are not playing the best game of 2013.

That is, unless you happen to be one of the 2,000 people whom bought TowerFall for Ouya. The local multiplayer arrow-fighting game has been hyperbolically praised by critics (like this guy) since this year's Game Developers Conference. It plays like a cross between Joust and the Super Smash Bros. series, and has become the default multiplayer game for the NYC Vox Media office.

Maybe you think it's obvious that a bunch of game writers would go gaga for a semi-obscure 2D indie game. But when I say it's the game of the office, I mean the entire office. Writers for The Verge and SB Nation, members of the sales team, developers, producers: everyone loves TowerFall.

For awhile, I found the notion of this game's middling sales on a troubled platform disappointing. But maybe that's the wrong perspective, one that doesn't give enough credit to the game's creator, Matt Thorson. The Ouya has been a safe place to add finishing touches — many options have been added already via downloadable updates. The exclusivity deal netted Thorson some extra cash and a reasonable amount of press.

When TowerFall is released on PC, people — at least the sort of people who are reading this article — will know what the hell it is. When it comes to selling an indie game, that's half the battle.