Spy Party casually enters open beta, hopes the sniper isn't watching

Spy Party has been teasing us with its tantalizing asymmetrical hunter/prey gameplay for a long, long time. Last September we called it one of the brightest ideas in indie gaming , and at that point it had been in development since 2009.

The wait is nearly over! In addition to getting a full artistic makeover , an open beta has now launched, and all pre-purchasers of the full game are invited. Developer Chris Hecker, formerly of Maxis and Spore fame, is still hard at work on the game and, it must be said, appears to be suffering from some sleep deprivation , poor guy.

Spy Party's central idea is a simple cat-and-mouse game. A sniper watches a cocktail party, looking for a spy making a transfer or planting a bug. The spy acts as much like the NPCs as possible while completing the mission. The civilians, as usual, get in the way and mess up everything.

Spy Party 's early builds have been a hit on the gaming convention circuit for a while. It first premiered at GDC in 2009 and continues to pop up at various PAX locations to further tantalize us.

You can sign up for the beta by pre-purchasing the game .