Murph's PAX East 2019 Indie Awards

Posted on Friday, April 5th 2019 at 4:29 p.m.
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So it’s been another year and another PAX East is completed. PAX East 2019 was a great year for Indies and a lot of them are coming to the Switch and I couldn’t be happier. Now as always, let’s give out some random awards!

Best “Are We Sure This Is Co-op?” Game

Winner: Joggernaunts (Switch/PC)

Joggernauts was a pleasant surprise. If it wasn’t for all the laughing and yelling coming from the booth I may have just walked right by this game and missed this hidden gem. I’m not sure how this game is played single player (if it is) but 2-4 players choose a character and a color. Then color obstacles appear and the person in the front of the line’s color has to match the obstacle to get rid of it otherwise you lose shared team health. To switch to the front of the line you hit a button. It sounds easy enough but once they start throwing in platforming elements the so-called “teamwork” goes right out the window and it gets extremely hilarious real fast.

Editor’s Note: Joggernauts is available for free this month on Twitch Prime!

Best “Like Overcooked But Isn’t As Mean” Game

Winner: Moving Out (PC/Switch/PS4/Xbox One)

Moving Out was a lot of fun. The main goal of the game is to work together with your other teammates and clean out a house of a certain number of furniture and do it quickly. You can jump through the windows and assist other players with carrying the large stuff like beds as well. The game has some wacky levels as well like the haunted house level where if the chairs fall out of the moving van they become alive and run away. Great game, like Overcooked, but I feel you’ll lose less friends over this title in the end and still have fun along the way.

Best “What The Heck Did I Just Play?” Game

Winner: WHAT THE GOLF? (PC/Mobile)

I saw this game being played and to be honest I had no idea what was going on. I actually don’t know how the full and final game will flesh out but from what I played in the demo it was zany unexpected fun. It was kind of like WarioWare where you had various objectives to do but there was always an unexpected surprise. For instance on one screen you shoot a bow and arrow at a target. On the next screen you think you are going to shoot the arrow but instead your character goes flying across the map towards the target. Like I said, it was good harmless fun.

Best “I’m A Blatant Rip-Off, But Still Fun Anyway” Game

Winner: Super Crush K.O. (Switch/PC)

Now I’m not hating on this game, but I know a Guacamelee clone when I see one. First off Guacamelee is one of my favorite games of all time so it would be silly to say Super Crush K.O. is a bad game because it takes a lot of elements from Guacamelee. It takes the art style, the combo system, the fun attacks, and more. The only thing it didn’t have was the comedy or the platforming elements that I came to love about Guacamelee. It was a challenging demo and for those that don’t know, this game was made by Vertex Pop which also made Graceful Explosion Machine. I’m on the fence about this game mainly because it is so blatantly similar to Guacamelee but I’ll keep my eye on it nonetheless.

Biggest Disappointment Game

Winner: Cyber Shadow (PC/Switch/Xbox One/PS4)

Ok this is where the audience starts tuning out and the boos start flying. Let me say this first off, Yacht Club Games is an AMAZING developer. However, they didn’t develop this game, they are merely publishing it. Cyber Shadow has all the makings of a good game similar to Ninja Gaiden but it was missing one crucial element that I didn’t see at all in the demo… CHALLENGE. This game was WAY too easy. As an experienced platform gamer from the days of the NES this game was in my wheelhouse. The demo gave you the choice of two levels, one easy and one “hard”. The demo was 10 minutes long so I chose the “hard” route just to see what the difficulty could be like for this title. I was SEVERELY disappointed. I completed the demo in less than 4 minutes and defeated the end boss of the level in under 10 seconds. It was a joke and I’m hoping the developer proves me wrong and it gets harder because this was not a challenging demo in the least. I feel I was correct in the past when I called BELOW a disappointment, but I’m honestly hoping however that I am wrong about this one though… I REALLY want this game to be good so I’m hoping it is.

Game of the Show

Winner: Sydney Hunter and the Curse of the Mayan (PC/Switch/PS4/Xbox One)

I spent a lot of time talking to the developer about this game and from what he said it is essentially an homage to old NES games. It takes a little bit from Super Mario Bros. 2, some boss battles from Mega Man 2, a little dash of Zelda 2’s falling animation, great chiptune music, and a lot of love for the past. This game was another game that was completely hidden away and just looked like another 8-bit style platformer. Sydney Hunter and the Curse of the Mayan reminded me of a game I used to love in my childhood and that was none other than Montezuma’s Revenge for the Atari 5200. I actually had trouble playing the game because the full game was playable on the show floor and people didn’t want to stop playing!!! When I did sit down to play I took over someone else’s progress and I played for about 10 minutes and stopped. The developer asked what I thought and I said blatantly, I stopped playing because I know I am going to buy this game and I don’t want to spoil anymore of the game. Folks, keep your eyes on this game, I think it could be a sleeper hit.

Runner-up: Joggernauts

Honorable Mention

Splitgate: Arena Warfare

Although I didn’t get a chance to play it, another game I want to give a heads up about is Splitgate: Arena Warfare.  This FPS is basically Portal meets Halo and it looks like fast action fun.  Shoot portals to sneak up behind your enemies and other gravity-defying tricks.  Check it out if that sounds fun to you!

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