Michael Iantorno PhD Candidate, Game Designer, and Writer

Ace of Spades

aossquareSorry about the lack of updates lately everyone. I usually don’t like to leave the blog unattended for too long, but I have had my hands full with wedding planning and an assortment of other random tasks. I’m going to try to get a couple map updates done over the next month (Testing Grounds & Chicada Caverns most likely), before I have to go on a short hiatus for the big day.

In the meantime, why not keep yourself occupied with a great indie game? Ace of Spades is a war game set in a Minecraft-esque block based world. Armed with rifles and grenades and split into opposing factions, players take part in capture-the-flag style matches while building fortifications and structures using multicoloured blocks.

At first glance AoS may simply seem like “Minecraft with guns”, but it quickly establishes a tone and pace quite different from its predecessor.  Frivolously building gigantic structures and running around without a care will only result in easy kills for your enemy (and ire from your team mates). Instead, a more functional approach to construction is encouraged. Bunkers are a necessity to defend your intelligence, and benefit more from being under-built. A small, 5 block wide camouflaged foxhole is infinitely more useful for sniping then a gigantic tower your enemies can spot from miles away.

Bridges, tunnels and other means to expedite transportation usually follow suit once your defenses have been established. Naturally, these constructs are easy targets for your enemies; who will often sneak into your territory simply to grenade your bridges, only to then scamper off into the mountaintops. Once you hit mid-game, a great deal of emphasis is put on capturing enemy bunkers and either dismantling or claiming them for yourself.


Perhaps the best aspect of AoS is the atmosphere. While sneaking around the map a certain paranoia tends to seep into your psyche, as you find yourself carefully inspecting mountainsides for foxholes and enemy soldiers. Once you have become entrenched in your own bunker, it is not uncommon to wait several long minutes for a hapless enemy to wander by; constantly wondering whether or not you’ve staked out the right location, and worrying that someone is sneaking up behind you or about to drop a grenade from above.

The servers have taken a beaten over the last couple of weeks due to an influx of press, but if you have some patience I highly recommend giving Ace of Spades a try. You can download the client and play for free on their bare-bones website. It’s completely free and well worth the download.


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  • Heh, no updates on the blog = no updates being done at all. I haven’t been stealthily hacking.

    As a sidenote, Ace of Spades is pretty much hacked to death right now. I’d recommend waiting for a couple patches to come out (with security updates) before playing.

By Michael
Michael Iantorno PhD Candidate, Game Designer, and Writer