Multiwinia is what happens when you get more than one programmer in the game. This mode was separate in the PC version, but is included in Darwinia+ (which is where the Plus comes in.) Multiwinia is like a series of strategy comp-stomp games. You can play modes called Rocket Race, Capture the Statue, Blitzkrieg, King of the Hill, and Domination. Unfortunately for our purposes, the only two modes that allow for co-op play are King of the Hill and Domination. Unfortunately the story, and gameplay elements change quite a bit in Multiwinia.
The way Multiwinia is the most different than Darwinia (aside from the lack of story mode) is your units. You will only ever have Darwinians as your army, base occupiers, gatherers, and scoring units. Multiwinians will shoot at the enemy, and your leaders get a few more abilities than "walk in this straight line." You can now make squads which attack more efficiently, and utilize different powers that the Darwinians collect in boxes spread around the map.
Some of these powers are things like Nuclear launches, various turrets, unleashing a virus (that is probably friendly to your units), and a handful of other abilities. Some of these things collected are not good for you. Sometimes a plague will attack your own Darwinians after a box has been opened. Or, perhaps a virus is unlocked that is not under any users control (and therefore definitely not friendly to your units).
The two co-op modes, King of the Hill and Domination, have different goals. King of the Hill will have you securing areas with your Darwinians, and using any cheap tactics to hold your ground as long as possible. Sometimes that means taking out the CPU's units, sometimes that means placing a few squads in key locations, and sometimes it means a nuclear launch. You have a limited time to rack up your points by standing in the many "hills" on the maps, so straight elimination is a bit challenging.
Domination is just as it sounds: Systematically eliminate the CPU's units. All of them. You'll have to use a few tactics of your own to not get wiped out yourself, including spreading your forces to take over a few other bases as backup, and searching for item boxes to unlock your powers along the way. This mode takes a bit longer than the King of the Hill, but can be a lot of fun.
Unfortunately, since we don't really consider this form of comp-stomp RTS mode as true co-op, it's difficult to recommend the game solely on the merit of cooperative play. However the entire experience is quite enjoyable, and the overall package is a solid value at 1200. Challenging strategy, intuitive gameplay, and a unique environment and story kept things interesting. The Multiwinia co-op just fell short when it missed the exact definition of co-op, and only had two modes to play together.
The Co-Op Experience: Darwinia+ Offers four players a chance to face off against the AI in specific missions.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.