Out at midnight: Tower building iPad puzzler Drei is a co-op social experiment

Don't talk to strangers

Out at midnight: Tower building iPad puzzler Drei is a co-op social experiment
| Drei

Upcoming puzzler Drei has you building a tower out of objects that are affected by physics.

You play a small character that flies around (despite having no visible means to) and is able to latch on to these objects to move them into place.

That's basic stuff, you might think. But Drei is more than that - it also has seamless online multiplayer that's so subtle you probably wouldn't even realise you are collaborating with other human players.

It reminds me of how thatgamecompany's Journey incorporated online multiplayer. You don't have any way of knowing who you're playing with, and you just merge worlds with no hiccup in the process that makes it noticeable.


One moment you're building simple towers by yourself, the next you have another character, and then another, each of you trying to build towers with more complex shapes. Co-operation is the goal, but there's nothing that obliges anyone to stick to it.

"Drei is a social experiment. We want to see what happens if you put complete strangers together into one space and throw a problem at them", explains Christian Etter, CEO of Etter Studio and creative director of Drei.

Drei's back-end networking has really been the toughest part of the game's development. Ensuring that players from all over the world get the same seamless experience, and catering to as many languages as possible.

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"The problem we had to solve was to connect all players - from different continents and different internet speeds - to play together in the same space, involving synchronised real-time physics and rendering.", says Mario von Rickenbach, lead game designer and developer.

It's this unique game design and all of the work put into making it happen that earned Etter the Swiss Game Award 2013 for Drei.

You can get your hands on it at midnight for iPad for £1.99 / $2.99.

Chris Priestman
Chris Priestman
Anything eccentric, macabre, or just plain weird, is what Chris is all about. He turns the spotlight on the games that fly under the radar.