It’s been a busy four days but PAX West 2016 is finally coming to an end. We kept a fairly small schedule today, seeing just a few games before riding off into the sunset. Here’s the highlights:
Karma. Incarnation 1 (PC, iOS, Android, Consoles TBA)
It was nice to see so many adventure games at the show this year, I’d love to see the genre have a resurgence in the states. Karma. Incarnation 1 is a somewhat abstract, psychedelic point and click adventure game where you control a small monster named Pip who sets out on a quest to banish evil from the stunning hand-drawn world.
The game (as its title might imply) has a heavy emphasis on morality and during the section of the game I played I had several options to do good or evil. It’s hard to say what effect this will have in the overall game but both Michael and I made some opposing decisions and weren’t able to really source out any major differences. While I appreciate the concept I also noted that most of the evil options I was presented with it felt like I was being bad for the sake of being bad.
Again, we were only able to experience a small sample of the game so it’s difficult to say how this all works out in the long run. I have some reservations about the gameplay but I’ll still be curious when this one releases later this month.
Death Squared isn’t much to look at, but it actually probably wound up being one of my favorite things I saw at the show. You play as one of four (or two if you can’t find enough people) colored cube-shaped robots who each have a simple goal: land on the tile that matches their color. The issue? Each level is littered with traps and hazards, all of which are controlled by the players themselves. That might not sound like a problem but without good communication and coordination you’ll oftentimes find yourself destroying your friends by mistake.
It’s difficult to describe but if you’re into local co-op and don’t mind risking your friendships this could be a great one to play at your next party. It’s hard not to get involved, even if you’re not playing. I watched a group of four play the game before it was my turn and couldn’t help but call out some solutions to the puzzles they were working on.
This one is a case where it’s easier to show than tell so I would expect some video footage from us in the next few weeks.
Mr. Shifty (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
Mr. Shifty is Hotline Miami, except you can teleport. There, that was easy.
Okay, maybe that was slightly reductive, but still a rather apt description of the game which sees you teleporting like a madman through levels and dispatching enemies with nothing more than your fists and the occasional 2×4. The game retains Hotline Miami’s “one hit kills you” rule but opts for a checkpoint system instead of forcing players to start maps over again upon death. If you’re a challenge-minded individual and that concerns you, rest easy, Mr. Shifty was still hard enough that we eventually gave up on beating the demo during our appointment window.
Even with the difficulty this one was a lot of fun. It’s still early though but keep an eye out for Mr. Shifty in 2017.