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Beyond Eyes abstracts the world as perceived by a blind girl photo
Beyond Eyes abstracts the world as perceived by a blind girl
by Darren Nakamura

I have been following Beyond Eyes since I first heard about it a year and a half ago. Videogames can be powerful tools for relating experiences that may otherwise be difficult to comprehend. Blindness both fascinates and terrifies me; I know I would be utterly useless without my sense of sight, but others manage impressive feats despite the disability.

So when I heard that Team17 was bringing Beyond Eyes to PAX East, I had to go and check it out. Despite starring a blind girl, it makes excellent use of color in telling her story. Not only that, but it uses other visual tricks to represent her perception of the world through hearing, smell, and touch.

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Talk turns technical with Masquerada: Songs and Shadows' Ian Gregory  photo
Talk turns technical with Masquerada: Songs and Shadows' Ian Gregory
by Rob Morrow

While at PAX East, I was fortunate enough to schedule a chat with the co-founder and creative director of Singapore-based Witching Hour Studios, Ian Gregory, to talk about the studio's beautiful upcoming "pause-for-tactics" 2.5D isometric RPG Masquerada: Songs and Shadows, planned for release on PC, Mac, and consoles (TBD) sometime in early 2016.

The game takes place in a Venetian-inspired fantasy city called Ombre, and as it happens, is the only place in the game's world where magic exists. However, discovering and donning rare masks are the key to learning and harnessing that magical power. Gregory describes the mask's function in the game as that of "batteries," storing built-up magical energy to be released in the form of the different classes' skills and abilities.

Players follow the story of Inspettore Cicero Gavar as he returns from exile to solve a kidnapping that, as the game's description states, will  "shake up the foundations of the city." Cicero, your starting character in the game, is a Maestro, a hybrid class that draws from the skills of all three main character classes.

The three main classes available in the game are the Sicario, who fills the role of an assassin; the Pavisierre, the tank in the group; and lastly, the Dirge, a bard-like character who can cast both summons and buffs. Each class will have access to eight to ten different abilities, all of which possess their own skill trees.

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3:30 PM on 03.17.2015

Spacepunk dungeon crawler StarCrawlers enters Early Access

Just over one year ago today, Juggernaut Games took its promising cyberpunk-in-space, first-person dungeon crawler StarCrawler to Kickstarter. Easily surpassing the $65,000 minimum goal necessary to fund the game, it ev...

Rob Morrow



RIVE was my favorite twin-stick shooter at PAX East photo
RIVE was my favorite twin-stick shooter at PAX East
by Rob Morrow

When I learned that Netherlands-based Two Tribes Studios (Toki ToriToki Tori 2) was bringing its snazzy metal-wrecking, robot-hacking, twin-stick shooter RIVE to PAX East this year, I jumped at the chance to set up an appointment to see the current state of the game.

I finally caught up Two Tribes co-founder Collin van Ginkel at the RIVE booth where he sat me down for a little hands-on with the game. I'd had some time playing an earlier version that was released last fall before leaving for the show, but what was on display at PAX East this year had obviously seen some major improvements.

For starters, the demo on hand had my previously ground-based, spider-like vehicle transformed into a nimble spacecraft, dodging and blasting its way through an asteroid belt on route to the facility to where the rest of the demo takes place. The addition of side-scrolling flying sections was a pleasant surprise and I hope that in the final version, there's even more of them.

The touchy but precise movement controls while flying were a little tricky to get used to, but by the time I had passed (collided with) a few asteroids I had full control of my ship, chewing through all that was in my path and easily outmaneuvering the spinning, laser-firing turrets that appear towards the end of the section.

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2:00 PM on 03.17.2015

Happy St. Paddy's Day

Today is the only day of the year when everyone wants to be me. In honor of that honor (no please you're too kind but stop with the bad Irish accents), I thought it would be nice to show off some games created by Irish develo...

Claire Sharkey

6:00 AM on 03.17.2015

Five Nights at Freddy's fan charity stream receives huge donation from developer

Over this past weekend a Twitch streamer named Dawko, a huge fan of Five Nights at Freddy's, set up a twitch stream to raise money for St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. His lofty aim was to try and raise $15,000 in do...

Laura Kate Dale







It's easy to zone out in the open ocean of Windward photo
It's easy to zone out in the open ocean of Windward
by Darren Nakamura

The PAX East expo floor is one of the least peaceful places to play a game. There are sweaty crowds, children who haven't learned to use their inside voices, and booths blasting dance music and/or eSports commentary. And yet, at the back of the floor sat Tasharen Entertainment's booth, where I was able to don some headphones, relax, and lose myself in the high seas of Windward.

Before I knew it, half an hour had passed, a line was forming behind me, and I felt like I had hardly scratched the surface of the genre-blending ship game. I needed more time with it to get a really good feel for it. I started up the Early Access build the other day and the time melted away. I managed to get six hours of play in that same day.

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3:00 PM on 03.16.2015

Anti-dads, claymores, and hotdogs in Dad by the Sword

While at PAX East, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kepa just before the show floor closed on the first day. He and I were both frazzled, but that didn't stop him from smiling and refusing to take my bait to say that his g...

Jed Whitaker

2:00 PM on 03.16.2015

Wander by Wander lets you wander in Wander while wondering why you're a tree

At PAX East, I spent a majority of my time playing indie games but the one that really stood out is Wander, a non-combat exploration MMO about discovering the story of the world around you. The booth was an outlier...

Jed Whitaker

12:30 PM on 03.16.2015

Colonial shmup Jamestown+ launches on PS4 tomorrow

The definitive version of Jamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony, a bullet hell shooter set on 17th-century British colonial Mars, was planned to release last summer on the PS4. But as luck would have it, there were some delay...

Ben Davis

12:00 PM on 03.16.2015

Put your one true love back together in A.N.N.E

As someone who never got into non-linear Castlevania games and had never finished a Metroid, I've recently been really turned on by metroidvania games. Aroused, even. A.N.N.E takes the genre a step further and mixe...

Jed Whitaker

5:00 AM on 03.16.2015

LED dungeon crawler Line Wobbler sold me on 1D games

Of all the games I saw at this year's EGX Rezzed convention, Line Wobbler is the one I kept finding myself recommending that people go and check out. It wasn't the most in depth or complex, but a 1D dungeon crawler played wi...

Laura Kate Dale

10:00 PM on 03.15.2015

Isbarah is an unforgiving bullet hell platformer

I often browse the Steam store for new releases that could be interesting, and was excited when I read Isbarah's description as a bullet hell platformer. I love bullet hell games and have played basically everything that...

Jed Whitaker

1:00 PM on 03.15.2015

Did a clown who farts in a Porta Potty win PAX East?

Last week on Sup Holmes, I ranted to David Fox about how his game Zak McKracken is the greatest point and click adventure about subversion of corporate power structures, empathy,  and opening your eyes to the world...

Jonathan Holmes

10:00 AM on 03.15.2015

David Fox on forming LucasArts with George, writing with Douglas Adams and more

[Sup Holmes is a weekly talk show for people that make great videogames. It airs live every Sunday at 4pm EST on YouTube, and can be found in Podcast form on Libsyn and iTunes.] Last Sunday's Sup Holmes i...

Jonathan Holmes



Just Shapes & Beats is bullet hell without the shooter photo
Just Shapes & Beats is bullet hell without the shooter
by Kyle MacGregor

"Congratulations, you just survived the tutorial," Just Shapes & Beats coder Mike Ducarme teased the small crowd clustered around Berzerk Studio's PAX East booth. A quartet of us had just run the gauntlet, bobbing and weaving our way through an imposing cannonade of pink missile fire.

We barely managed to scratch out a victory -- and that was only the tutorial? Glancing around the throng, there was a clear sense bewilderment and excitement among us. We wanted to see more.

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