Day two of PAX brought a couple surprises my way. Here’s some games that have made their way onto my radar after the show:
No Truce With The Furies (PC)
At a cursory glance No Truce With The Furies looks like a fairly basic CRPG, so I of course found it odd when their site specifically cited Kentucky Route Zero as an inspiration. After a few minutes with the game, the inspiration quickly became clear.
The game’s action is entirely contained within its dialogue trees. These trees appear when you interact with other characters but you’ll also find yourself carrying on conversations with your own subconscious. In these dialogues you’ll frequently find yourself encountering skill checks as you navigate the game’s different dialogue trees, but you’ll never find yourself guiding your character through combat.
This might not sound thrilling, but the game is really carried by an excellent artistic aesthetic and some of the best writing I’ve ever encountered in a title at PAX. The game is grungy and funny and our group found ourselves laughing out loud multiple times as our amnesia-riddled protagonist fumbled his way through the worst hangover one could ever encounter.
I really enjoyed myself with this one, and could have easily kept playing past the end of our appointment. You can definitely expect to hear more about this one on our site when the game launches next year.
Cook, Serve, Delicious, 2!! (PC, PS4)
The Cook, Serve, Delicious series now has a proud tradition of bringing all the stresses of line cooking into the comfort of your own home. This new sequel builds on the original in a huge number of ways, boasting a sixty hour campaign and a new local co-op mode.
In the original Cook, Serve, Delicious campaign you ran your own restaurant setting your own menus and working your way up to a gourmet destination. While the concept returns in the sequel it’s now bolstered by an additional mode that allows you to moonlight as a “chef for hire” for multiple restaurants around the city. This will earn you extra cash that you can funnel into your own custom restaurant.
Aesthetically the game looks a lot nicer than its predecessor, and runs at a 1080p resolution with 60 fps. The menus have also increased dramatically, expanding to over 180 different dishes that you can prepare and offer in your restaurant. If you’re a fan of the original, Cook, Serve, Delicious 2 looks like it’s going to be an improvement in pretty much every way.
Graveyard Keeper (PC, Xbox One)
TinyBuild has never been a developer to shy away from sensitive or taboo subjects. A fact made all the more clear by their recent partnership with Yandere Simulator. So of course when the publisher does their best Stardew Valley impression it takes place in a graveyard.
As a gravekeeper you’ll experience a wide array of ethical dilemmas. What do you do with a recently delivered body now that you’ve run out of plots? Is it really wrong to sell the organs of those who are no longer using them? Will anyone notice if the hot dogs at this year’s festival have a couple extra ingredients in them?
The demo I got to spend time with was relatively brief, so much so that I was surprised to learn Graveyard Keeper would be releasing this year. Even so it wouldn’t be the first time TinyBuild exceeded my expectations when it came to quality/deadlines. If Stardew Valley wasn’t quite macabre enough for you, this could be the solution.
The Gardens Between (PC)
The Gardens Between is a deceptively simple puzzle game that puts you in control of a pair of best friends navigating a series of islands in an abstract world. Actually I’ve already mis-spoken. In a unique twist you don’t actually control either character, instead you use the left analog stick to control time itself. Tilting the stick to the right will move time forward, and tilting it right will move time backwards. The characters navigate the levels of their own volition, though you can request that they interact with certain objects with the press of a button.
At first glance I assumed the game’s simplified control scheme would mean that its puzzles couldn’t pose any real challenge. Although I was able to clear the initial set of levels without much issue, some later levels definitely exhibited some surprising depth and challenge.
The devs seemed to be really keen on accessibility and the overall relaxed pace and simplified control scheme mean that The Gardens Between can be picked up and played by just about anybody. The game will be launching on PC early next year.