Made in MA and PAX East – Many Games, Many Interfaces

PAX East 2015

Had a great time at the Pre-Pax Made in MA party, and then the main event – Pax East 2015 this past week. I played around with many recent releases and beta-level games while getting to chat with their developers. One common theme I noticed among the games was the growing variety of interfaces for both mobile/tablet and computer games. It provided for some really varied and refreshing gameplay. I met too many games to list them all, but some favorites were:

PAX East 2015

Klei’s Don’t Starve and their upcoming procedural, turn-based follow-up to the stealth classic Mark of the Ninja, Invisible, Inc.; Playing the human side for the first time in Cambridge’s Proletariat Games’ World Zombination kind of felt like Plants vs. Zombies on steroids; Muse Games’ Guns of Icarus allows you to play first-person team vs. team steam-punk dirigible battles where you can be pilot, gunner or engineer; Part 12’s developing Road Defender has a very cool click-and-drag interface for playing a scenario inspired by the final classic chase in The Road Warrior; Idle Action’s Paper Shadows has you controlling two characters at once – one with WASD and one with arrows, (reminiscent in control and style of another nice indie game from Pax East past – Wither Studios’ Crowman and Wolfboy); Mob Made Game’s VoidBorne, a space-milieu RTS where the battles form a continuous narrative; Molasses Flood’s river raft game Flame in the Flood is aesthetically very pleasing both visually and aurally; Asinine Games’ upcoming palindrome puzzle game Drome will provide a brainy challenge to all the “jewel and candy” casuals when it releases this spring; and several fun, intelligent physics-based games from Test Tube Games‘ Andrew Hall. Also, gotta give a shout out to A Stranger Gravity’s A Gathering Sky, an experiential game with a click-and-drag interface that has you building and navigating a flock of birds through the game world à la Flower. Dren McDonald’s heavy woodwind score, which he recorded at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music sets a special mood for this one. (At least the woodwinds were what peaked out most against the Pax floor noise!)

PAX 2013 - Evan - Two Face

A favorite pic from PAX 2013 – Evan Two Face

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