PAX East 2019: The Games

3 Minutes to Midnight

Developer: Scarecrow Studio
Publisher: Scarecrow Studio
Release Date: Late 2019
Platforms: Steam, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PS4
Price: Unknown
Genre: Point & Click, Comedy
Number of Players: 1
Offline/Online Play: Unknown
Games as a Service Plan: None
Downloadable Content/Season Pass: Unknown
Loot boxes/Micro-transactions: None
Control Options: Mouse and Keyboard on PC, standard controllers on all Platforms.

Comedy/horror point-and-click game in the vein of classic LucasArts games. Fun cartoony art style and female protagonists are always a plus in my book. I found the demo to be enjoyable–though occasionally a little awkward in terms of the sensible order of events being ignored for a more nonsensical solution. It has a Kickstarter launching in August, and I will keep my eye on it.
I would like to note that one of the two other characters who interact with you in the demo is the predictable and rather offensive trope of a person with a split-personality disorder, obviously played for laughs. I don’t know enough of the context to be able to say for sure how the character plays out, but it wasn’t a great look.

Destiny’s Sword

Developer: 2Dogs Games Ltd
Publisher: 2Dogs Games Ltd
Release Date: Unknown
Platforms: PC
Price: Unknown
Genre: Strategy MMO
Number of Players: MMO
Offline/Online Play: MMO
Games as a Service Plan: Unknown
Downloadable Content/Season Pass: Unknown
Loot boxes/Micro-transactions: Unknown
Control Options: Mouse and keyboard were used on show floor.

No gameplay screenshots seem to have been provided by the Developer as of 4/9/19.

Destiny’s Sword has an interesting concept–balance the emotional and physical health of your troops as you learn their stories and use them in strategy card based combats in a multiplayer world. It was a rough early demo though–many assets seemed bare-bones at best, and the conversation piece of the demo lacked labels on the emotional pie chart for the characters. The combat was honestly kind of plan. An interesting concept, but needs more bake time to make a real judgement call on–was definitely, as the developer running the demo said–a prototype more than a demo.
I will say in looking up the developer that they are taking the time to consult with experts on PTSD and other combat stress issues, which does speak well for their intentions with the game, but doesn’t change that the build I played was lackluster.

Conglomerate 451

Developer: RuneHeads
Publisher: 1C Entertainment
Release Date: Unknown, Coming soon to Early Access
Platforms: Steam
Price: Unknown
Genre: Sci-Fi, First-Person, grid-based RPG
Number of Players: 1
Offline/Online Play: Offline
Games as a Service Plan: Unknown
Downloadable Content/Season Pass: Unknown
Loot boxes/Micro-transactions: Unknown
Control Options: Partial controller support listed on Steam, Mouse and Keyboard are the default.

Modern graphics sensibilities coupled with the classic dungeon crawling of games like Wizardry, makes me think Conglomerate would scratch the same itch that Legends of Grimrock does, but I left a little disappointed. The pace was really slow in combat, with animations taking a long time to complete. There were only a couple enemy types that always fought me one at a time, making battles very repetitive. Enemies also always got the first hit no matter how I approached the combat which was rude.
There is a whole customization/research/cloning aspect to the game and characters I didn’t get to try out, so while it seemed full featured on that end I can’t really speak to it.
There is a permadeath mechanic in place, and probably some other features that the developer is calling “roguelike elements.”

Boyfriend Dungeon

Developer: Kitfox Games
Publisher: Kitfox Games
Release Date: “When weapons are beautiful enough.”
Platforms: Steam , PC/MAC DRM-Free
Price: Unknown
Genre: Dating Sim, Action RPG/Dungeon Crawler
Number of Players: 1
Offline/Online Play: Unknown, Offline only likely.
Games as a Service Plan: Unknown
Downloadable Content/Season Pass: Unknown
Loot boxes/Micro-transactions: Unknown
Control Options: Full gamepad support.

Cute as buttons with really smooth dungeon action and well-written dates. Think Bastion plus a good dating sim. A game in which you date people who transform into weapons that you wield while fighting in the dungeon. Lots of queer points for letting you date people of varying genders and for asking you what pronouns you prefer, without tying it to your avatar’s appearance. I want to gush about this game quite a bit but I also backed it on Kickstarter, so I’ll leave it there to try to cut off my bias.

Kelipot

Developer: Unknown
Publisher: Unknown
Release Date: Unknown
Platforms: I played it with a controller. All I know.
Price: Unknown
Genre: Action/Platformer. A bit of bullet hell
Number of Players: 1
Offline/Online Play: Unknown
Games as a Service Plan: Unknown
Downloadable Content/Season Pass: Unknown
Loot boxes/Micro-transactions: Unknown
Control Options: See: Platforms

Fun action sidescroller, possibly a metroidvania but it was not clear from the demo. The story pacing and sound design were nothing to talk about but the boss fight was a fun mix of the platformer and bullet hell genres. Stars talking dogs named Kain and Abel, so that tells you everything you need to know about the plot, which also involves time travel.
This game is a goddamn enigma that took me over an hour to find online in any capacity, partly due to a typo in my notes, but even so I can’t find a developer name, or publisher, or anything beyond a twitter account that’s around a month old, and a YouTube channel with just the trailer with maybe a couple dozen views.

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