Last year, MWC held the biggest Mystery Game tournament I have had the pleasure of seeing, with 72 entrants resulting in a $720 pot. This year I aim to top that, with the goal of 128 entrants (which, with the $500 pot bonus for that size of a bracket, would amount to a total of a $1,780 pot!). But what exactly is the Mystery Game tournament and why should you want to join it?
The Mystery Game tournament is a showcasing in those games that have never had that day in the sun. Or that have had their day come and go. Or in some cases even twists on games that are still in the limelight (Super Street Fighter 4 found its way into grand finals last year). The best part is, the game is swapped after every round, so you get to experience all of the best (and sometimes worst) games out there. But not every game is considered. The following three conditions are the main requirements for a game to make it in. They are not all-inclusive rules, but they should give you a good idea of what’s in store.
- The game must have significant player interaction. Two players attempting to simply score higher independently of each other is not the experience we feel fits a fighting game community competition. So don’t expect to see Rock Band or anything along those lines.
- The game must have reasonably fair conditions for both players at the starting point. This applies as early as the character select screen, and the game can quickly turn biased in one players favor as soon as the players have made even a single choice.
- The game must have a set and reasonable time limit, or a way of enforcing one. While there isn’t a specific limit here, it is important to keep the games moving. If for some reason a game is included which doesn’t have its own timer, the judge will enforce one. So don’t expect full games of Madden, Chess, or other exceptionally long games.
These simple rules are to help keep things running on track and interesting for the competitors, but you should also note that it doesn’t limit us to fighting games, or even to video games! Truly, you have to expect the unexpected.