GamesBeat lead writer Dean Takahashi and I went to our first PAX East convention last weekend. We both spoke on some panels, and we walked the floor looking for cool games and interesting people.
We found both.
I played a bunch of games throughout Thursday, when the crowds aren’t as thick as they are on the weekend. Many of these games or studios weren’t on my radar, but they are now. These stood out for me:
Armed & Gelatinous: This couch-cop arcade shooter from Three Flip Studios casts you as a blob of goo. As you float around, you can bump into guns that you use to shoot other player blobs. As you get more guns, you grow into a larger blob. It’s fast and silly, and I found it charming and fun.
Divinity: Fallen Heroes: Take all the good parts of Divinity: Original Sin II’s combat, focus on them, add some troops, and you’ve got a fun tactics game. I fooled around more than concentrating on the fight, so I lost, but the addition of guns, troops like mages and warriors for your party, and elements (Sulfirium, an explosive substance) makes for fights that require planning, not just lots of characters with good gear and stats. I blew up some enemy undead, and that was a kick to watch.
Sydney Hunter and the Curse of the Mayan: CollectorVision focuses on selling old games and gear, but it also makes titles for modern platforms. In this one, you’re Sydney Hunter exploring a Mayan ruin full of traps and treasures. It reminds me of if Spelunky meet The Goonies, and I adored it.
Project Witchwood: Open-world role-playing games don’t show well in 15-minute slices. Spearhead Games’ Project Witchwood enticed me with its promise of a sandbox RPG. A local lawman tasked me with finding a gun, of all things, and along the way, I ended up ticking off some toughs from opposing factions. I want to see what else I can do in this world.
Monster Sanctuary: It’s a platforming take on Pokémon or Monster Rancher. You explore a sidescrolling world, and you raise and level-up monsters that fight for you. The combat is turn-based, and I could see myself getting into this one.
I played and saw a slew of other games (like Phantom Brigade, a mix of XCOM and mechs). PAX East feels so much more relaxed than the Game Developers Conference or E3. I’m looking forward to going to PAX West for the first time there.
Maybe I’ll see your game there?
– Jason Wilson, GamesBeat managing editor