Let’s start with a little back story.
Cobalt is an action oriented side-scroller/platformer that is being developed by Oxeye Game Studios and published by Mojang. It is now available as an alpha for PC with OS X and Linux versions coming in the beta. The game puts you in control of Metalface MK1, a ‘highly reliable cyborg for long missions with low chance of success’. If you have ever played the flash game Thing Thing Arena by Diseased Productions you will have an idea of what the gameplay feels like. The pace is fast and the explosions are numerous with different weapons and power ups strewn about to mix things up and add to the chaos. Cobalt was made available as an alpha build in December of last year. Similar to the way Minecraft was released, Cobalt can be bought and preordered while in alpha and played with eventual updates to the beta version and full release. Also akin to the Minecraft release is the fact that the game is cheaper to buy in the earlier stages of development, 9.95€ while in Alpha, 14.95€ during Beta and 19.95€ when fully released. That’s approximately $13, $19 and $25 respectively.
Now if you are pulling out your wallet so you can throw more money at Mojang (and why wouldn’t you?) hold on just a second because there is no networked multiplayer in Cobalt and there are no promises that there ever will be. This is a deal breaker for a lot of folks, myself included. There is a multiplayer but it is ‘same computer’ only and requires gamepads for any additional players.
For a game that plays like Cobalt, you would expect online multiplayer to be the main focus but unfortunately that’s not the case here. There is hope though; one man named Jake Jervey who works with Oxeye is developing a proof of concept that will potentially give the game networked multiplayer, however, there are still no promises that this will ever be implemented into the final version.