Although the iPad has been around since early 2010, the conventions of local multiplayer on tablets remain ambiguous at best.

The likes of Slamjet Stadium and Greedy Bankers vs The World, for instance, encourage multiplayer participants to play dirty - batting their opponent's hand aside to grab that all-important power-up, or reaching over to an adversary's side of the screen to pinch a few gems.

Fingle, meanwhile, pairs close physical contact with suggestive gestures to make two friends feel a bit awkward and uncomfortable.

Dark Day LA treads a different path, asking two players to share a screen while withholding information. It's a game of deception and detection, casting one player as an all-seeing sniper and the other as a bloodthirsty vampire in a bustling crowd.

Rules of engagement

For the vampire-slaying sharpshooter, the aim of Dark Day LA is simple. Identify your nondescript opponent among the crowds of downtown LA, and take your shot before he can sink his fangs into too many innocent NPCs.

The vampiric player, meanwhile, is out to feast on as many AI characters in that same crowd as possible, without drawing attention to himself in the process. This player will want to carefully match the walking pace of nearby NPCs, wait until the sniper's eye is turned elsewhere, and then strike.

By the time the NPC's body has crumpled to the ground, the dastardly vampire will have vanished into the throng once more.

If the vampire can claim a fixed number of victims, it's a victory for team nosferatu. If the sniper can shoot the vampire before running out of bullets, the police win. And that's essentially all there is to Dark Day LA. There aren't any extra levels, extra game modes, or single-player options - just a simple, asymmetrical game of cat and mouse.

Inviting comparisons

Anyone familiar with the multiplayer modes of the Assassin's Creed series will recognise the gameplay themes of Dark Day LA, and those who've sampled superlative Ouya and Xbox Live indie game Hidden in Plain Sight will find themselves in very familiar territory, too.

In fact, Dark Day LA and Hidden in Plain Sight are extremely similar. Fundamentally, both are stripped-down affairs that set out to test your ability to outwit another human player, rather than your mastery of a complex control scheme.

Unfortunately, Dark Day LA can't boast the same accessibility that made Hidden in Plain Sight such fun for groups of core and casual players alike. The touchscreen controls are serviceable but finicky, and the fact that you're sharing an input device with your opponent can lead to game-spoiling giveaways.

But, for two players with similar tastes and skill levels, Dark Day LA still has the capacity to excite. And since you're sharing an iPad with your opponent, it's that much easier to rub your victory in their face.