Primary Poster's Premiere PAX Picks

January 26, 2015

I just got back from the inaugural PAX South, which was as amazing and sensory-overloaded as one might expect a PAX to be. I saw and played a bunch of stuff there!

Here's the best stuff:

1. MC Frontalot. Not new, but he released a new album last year, so close enough. A bunch of new videos for said album are on their way to release, which is nifty. His performance, as ever, was the height of the entire convention. 

2. Starr Mazer. Combination classic point 'n' click adventure and space-opera shoot 'em up. You get to play as a skeezy Han Solo type! Kickstarter is on now; let's make it happen!

3. Guild of Dungeoneering. Turn-based strategy dungeon-crawler wherein one builds the dungeon around the hero instead of having any direct control over them. Honestly, this might be the game I'm looking forward to the most from the entire show.

4. Ronin. Pausable real-time stealth platformer where one gets to climb buildings and dodge bullets. I love pausable real-time! And stealth platformers normally make me anxious! Lovely. Like a turn-based more-action-y Gunpoint, kinda.

Let's get some tabletop stuff in here!

5. Goblin's Breakfast. Quick little strategy card game wherein everyone gets to be goblins fighting over food. Super easy to pick up and nom on, but with a satisfying flavor. Kickstarter is on now, and just got funded, so stretch goals are imminent! 

6. Bring Your Own Book. I don't really like word games, nor do I really enjoy Cards-Against-Humanity/Apples-to-Apples style voting party games (though I do "understand the fun" of both). This one's different. Everyone brings a novel of some sort to the get-together, a judge draws a card (with two choices like "a line from an action movie" or "a fortune cookie"), and everyone scrambles to find a line in their book that matches it most-hilariously. Their Kickstarter is almost funded!

7. Paperback. Another word game(!), this one already in production. It's a combination of Scrabble and Dominion. To sum up, for those unfamiliar with deck-building games: It's more fun than Scrabble or Bananagrams. Mom will like it. I did too. The same designer has another game in the works - a co-operative heist game - which sounds right up my alley. We'll have to watch and see.

8. Conduct. Cooperative Victorian-era horror (!!!). During a test run, I played a stalwart butcher who was pulled apart by mutated crab-men. Can't wait for more.

9. ArcKnight's tabletop roleplaying map packs. One of the things I spent the most money on at PAX. Quite detailed and durable, they inspired me to start a pirate-themed D&D 5E campaign. They have flat plastic minis on the way, and (holy crap!) you can also get their map pack printed with a Heroclix-sized grid!

Back to video-games:

10. Earthtongue. Like calming sandbox sims? This one puts you in charge of a fungus-filled alien world. I dig it. Go vote for it on Steam Greenlight (or just buy it direct) if you dig the idea as well. 

11. Social Justice Warriors. A silly Internet forum sim/RPG. Battle the trolls! Just got Greenlit.

MULTIPLAYER MADNESS! There were a ton of tiny multiplayer games on display, as well. A few:

12. Mehrgerhzerds. Can't find any links for it on the Internet, which is odd, but this was an awesome two-player faceoff wherein each player controls a Voltron-esque robot with ragdoll physics puppeteering. Hilarity guaranteed. 

13. Check In Knock Out. Apparently hotel-themed, though I didn't pick that up from the gameplay! It's a local multiplayer brawler; basically Smash Bros. on a destructible platform with cuter graphics. 

14. No Time to Explain. It's been out for a while, but there's a co-op mode in the upcoming remake! Basically, you are plopped in a platforming level with new mechanics and left to figure them out on your own. Great stuff, especially with a team of complete strangers in a noisy expo hall. 

15. Hive Jump. Co-op Metroid-ish shooter. Need you more? Kickstarter's over with, but it's been Greenlit.

16. Paperbound. Fun li'l gravity-manipulating local-multiplayer arena chop-'em-up.

Finally, a couple of things that you should already know about, but maybe you don't, so here you are:

17. Shadows of Brimstone. A wild-west-meets-Lovecraftian-horror cooperative dungeon-crawler in a big box. Massively successful Kickstarter campaign. Tons of gear, character-building options, and random tables of doom keep it an enthralling experience throughout. Oh, how sweet it is. You can go out and buy it right now, and probably should.

18. This War of Mine. Survival sim wherein one manages a group of civilians in a devastated city during wartime. Choose to rob the elderly couple you meet during your scavenging run of their food if you like, but your scavenger and his compatriots will spiral into depression from it. Unless, of course, you can scrap together a moonshine still... 

Okay, that was fun. Bye!

EDIT: Almost forgot Titan Souls (think pixelated Shadow of the Colossus) and Enter the Gungeon (shooty roguelike dungeon crawler).

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