Murph's PAX East 2016 indie game awards (and Nintendo stuff)

Posted on Friday, April 29th 2016 at 3:47 p.m.
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Nintendo Booth Stuff

So Nintendo’s booth was on the smaller side this year, but jammed packed with people and overall pretty decent demos.  Nintendo had the following games on display:

  • Wii U
    • Star Fox Zero
    • Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE
  • 3DS
    • Metroid Prime: Federation Force
    • Monster Hunter: Generations
    • Kirby: Planet Robobot

I was able to demo Metroid Prime: Federation Force, Kirby: Planet Robobot and Star Fox Zero based on my time constraints (and interest).  Metroid Prime: Federation Force was a pretty lengthy demo (about 15 min or so) and the game itself was decently fun but not amazing.  I was also mistakenly told by the Nintendo rep that it is a New 3DS exclusive but it seems like it will work on the regular 3DS as well.  It handled well enough without the C-Stick but it wasn’t the most thrilling game I’ve played lately.  Co-op was fine, just didn’t blow me away.

For Kirby: Planet Robobot I tried both the normal game demo and the robot demo.  Both of the modes were fun with the robot demo being a little more unique than just a traditional Kirby game.  However, the game is still a Kirby game so while it was cute it was still a little on the easy side.

Last of my demos was Star Fox Zero and I didn’t know how to feel about it when I was standing in line.  The guy in front of me who was demoing it was flying all over the place and crashing into things left and right.  He also couldn’t even shoot anything and was taking forever.  I thought to myself that the game’s controls must really broken… leave it to Nintendo to make a game and force you use broken controls.  It then became my turn and I got acclimated to the basic controls and I was off.  The game took about 2 minutes to get the controls down for me and I was taking enemies out with ease.  This game went from slightly on my radar to a must play game after my demo.  I was so at ease with the controls by the end that I actually set the record for the day in the demo… that’s saying something.  I would say if you are hesitant about buying this game give it a try first somehow.  The game is fun and definitely not as broken as some people make it out to be.

Indie Game Awards

Ok, that’s enough about Nintendo, now onto the guys that are trying to make their place in the world and I’m just here to help them do it!  Onto the made-up awards!

Best multi-player game:

Arena Gods (Supertype) - Steam/multi-platform

This game isn’t even released yet and we don’t really know all the platforms it will be released for and when, but the game was the hit of Pax East this year.  Endless waves of people tried the game, and endless waves of people enjoyed it.  The game is very simple, kill everyone and survive.  You can pummel people with your fists or grab a handy weapon and stab or throw it to kill everyone else.  It is fast paced action and extremely addicting.  I found myself going back daily to try the game more and more.  I signed up for the beta whenever that comes around.

Best game with the most unique name:

Ultimate Chicken Horse (Clever Endeavor Games) - Steam

I only played this game once at the show and instantly plopped down the show discounted price of $10.  You play with 4 people total and everyone picks an animal.  You then choose a level and then enter the “party box”.  Inside the party box are a bunch of traps.  You place the trap you have chosen into the level (as well as everyone else) and then everyone attempts to get to the finish of the level.  If people complete it, then points are given and if you kill people with your trap you get points as well.  After it is completed (or not), you then go back to the party box to get… guess what… more traps.  You then keep repeating this process until the level is a death filled platform of horror.  If it gets too impossible and no one is beating the level, you can then use a bomb to remove problem traps and move.  The game is a great platforming experience and the surprise “wait where the heck did that trap come from???” makes this game a lot of fun.

Best game that was already released but still at the show:

Axiom Verge (Thomas Happ Games) - Steam, PS4, PS Vita (soon Wii U/Xbox One)

You may have already seen this game before but if you haven’t and you are a fan of NES games/Metroid, you NEED to play this game.  It is incredible.  I sat down, put on my headphones and was immediately enveloped in the game.  I started playing and couldn’t stop.  I’m glad I did stop because I probably would have been playing the game all day and would have to redo all that work again when I got home.  The best part of this game was the fact that they constantly get you upgrades.  You get new guns, new tools, new upgrades, and more at a fast and exciting pace.  You’re not waiting 4 hours for your first upgrade.  Also the bosses are fun and the game is just the right level of difficulty.  The game hardly ever goes on sale so I picked it up for the conference sale price of $15.

Best game that I didn’t ever expect to like:

Chasm (Discord Games) - Steam/PS4

This game was next to Axiom Verge so I figured hey it must be good by proximity alone.  I was shocked when I was actually right. Chasm is considered a roguelike game which I’m not usually a fan of, but it does have the Metroidvania style gameplay that I usually gravitate towards.  The game isn’t out yet but I already added it to my Steam wishlist.  It’s another great example of an amazing single-player game from a indie studio.  Keep this one on your list of games to play when it comes out.

Best I know I already chose a multi-player winner but this is fun as well game:

Moonshot (Pump Action Games) - Steam

While it was no Arena Gods, I still picked up the 4 Steam key bundle with some friends for $15.  Moonshot is a 4-person space tank game similar to Worms I would say.  You can fly around to planets and blast people to bits while avoiding everything from stray bullets to exploding suns.  You can also blast away at the planets the tanks are using for cover as well.  It is a fun game and definitely worth the look if you want a more challenging/skill based multiplayer game.

Game of the show:

Arena Gods (Supertype)

Runner-up:

Axiom Verge (Thomas Happ Games)

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