Pax East 2024 Part 1

  Pax East has wrapped for another year, and it was once again a great showcase for video games.  In case you are not aware, PAX, Penny Arcade Expo, is a convention that brings a slew of game developers together in one of the most gamer centric gathering around.  Currently there are 4 Pax conventions – East located in Boston in the Spring, West takes place in Seattle Labor Day Weekend, Australia in the fall, and Unplugged in Philadelphia which focuses solely on tabletop games.

  Over the four days of the convention I was able to go hands on with many new and upcoming games.  From indie developers, AAA studios, tabletop, PC, mobile, and console.  The release dates of the titles vary from just released to a year or so from now.  Playing games that are pre-alpha to fully complete gives you an appreciation for the story you are playing.  Seeing the passion that a developer has for a game that they have brought from idea to fruition is inspiring.

  I was able to play a few new asymmetrical horror games that will excite fans of the genre.  First was Killer Klowns from Outer Space.  This is a 3 vs 7 game based on the 80’s cult classic movie from the Chiodo Brothers.  3 klowns try to take over the town by cocooning the townsfolk in cotton candy.  The humans have to either escape or take down the clowns.  If a klown is killed, they will respawn after suffering a time penalty.  If a human escapes or is cocooned, they can play a series of mini games to give their teammates items that may help in their mission. 

  The other asymmetrical game was 7 Days : Blood Moons.  In this title, 4 humans are pitted against a zombie horde.  Humans have the day time to collect resources and build defenses with only the occasional shambling undead to worry about.  But once the night falls, the zombie master has complete control to place zombie spawners almost anywhere on the map.  And once they see a zombie nearing a human, they can jump right in and personally it.  With a wide arsenal of undead, this title seems skewed a bit toward the zombies at the moment, but I see rebalancing before initial release.

  There were also several lane combat games on display at the show.  The first one I played was World of Grimm.  This is a free game that is available now on Steam based on the characters from the Grimm Brothers fairy tales.  It is a fairly straight forward battling game that features some amazing art.  The game is free to play, but you can buy art variant cards in the store.  This is not a pay to win game, the variants are simply cosmetic.  With a variety of art styles, and the artists listed in each card’s details, there is a style for every taste.  It only takes about 5 minutes to play a match, so this is a good option for quick gaming.

  SolForge Fusion is another deck builder, but this one is available in both physical and digital forms.  This title is brought to you by the creators of Magic The Gathering and Ascension.  This game features 5 lane combat that takes place after each player has taken 2 turns.  The interesting thing about this game is the decks.  Decks are randomly built, and you can fuse 2 decks together to make up your even more personal creation.  If you get the physical version you are gifted a digital copy as well.  This is made even more relevant in that each deck you purchase comes with a QR Code that you can scan, and your physical cards are instantly added to your digital game.  This allows you to play with friends in person or online.  If you are playing online there are also matching games, solo play, and a roguelike campaign that you can play.

  There are more games to come, but that is for a Part 2,3, and probably 4.