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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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Magnetic: Cage Closed let me fling myself around with physics photo
Magnetic: Cage Closed let me fling myself around with physics
by Darren Nakamura

"It's not a gravity gun; it's a magnet." Guru Games, developer of Magnetic: Cage Closed, stressed this to me at PAX East. It works like a real magnet, with fields radiating out in all directions, rather than affecting only a forward-facing space.

In practice, it functions similarly in a lot of cases. Attract to pull objects closer, repel to push them further. It's a bit of an oversimplification, but the magnet gun is central to solving the puzzles found in Cage Closed. However, puzzles aren't all the title has going for it; Magnetic also features more action-oriented sections, branching pathways, and a focus on player choice.

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7:00 PM on 03.13.2015

Make eye contact with this super cute Octodad vinyl

To distract myself from the incessant sports talk happening in Destructoid chat this laid-back afternoon, I've been staring at the wonderful 7" Octodad: Dadliest Catch record. What a cutie. Nice to see Young Horses stick with...

Jordan Devore

4:30 PM on 03.13.2015

Escalator Pitch: Funktronic Labs sells me on some all-time classics

It may not be as enthralling (or wacky) as a cat cafe timeshare, but Funktronic Labs has something it wants to sell me.  You see, these two guys heard I was wandering around GDC last week with a satchel full of money, j...

Brett Makedonski



Dropsy challenges perceptions of beauty, proves that love really can conquer all photo
Dropsy challenges perceptions of beauty, proves that love really can conquer all
by Rob Morrow

One of the highlights of my time at PAX East was sitting down and chatting with Dropsy’s creator, Jay Tholen. Jay’s a quiet, thoughtful man with what seems to be unlimited creative energy at his disposal. His sometimes offbeat, but unquestionably engaging creative force shines through in his surreal point-and-click “hugventure” Dropsy. At first glance, the Devolver-published game may seem as though it could be reduced to a psychedelic walking simulator built to shock or surprise the player, offering no real substance beyond that.

For some players that will surely suffice, and they’ll be very happy playing that game. That’s part of the sly brilliance Tholen’s weaving into Dropsy, in that it can be enjoyed, or perhaps more accurately said, interpreted, on many different levels.

In some ways it functions like a mirror – the observer, or in this case, the player, unconsciously injects something of themselves into the experience, ultimately shaping their perception of what the game is really about. Which is quite refreshing in that the game doesn't lead you by the nose, telling you what to think; it offers plenty of room for your own interpretations.

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CrossCode is a beautiful 16-bit ball-filled adventure photo
CrossCode is a beautiful 16-bit ball-filled adventure
by Jed Whitaker

CrossCode is one of those games where I've heard mention of it by word of mouth, saw videos of it, but never though much of it. Then, I got bored and decided to try out the demo and boy, am I glad I did, because the game is wonderful.

The world of CrossCode reminds me of A Link to the Past in the sense that it has dungeons filled with puzzles, and an overworld replete with items waiting to be found which upgrade the protagonist's weapons and stats. The demo, which can be downloaded or played in-browser, is fairly lengthy for an early product that is looking to get crowdfunded. It includes a story mission, a dungeon and an overworld area to explore. Each portion feels really polished with gorgeous 16-bit graphics, a nostalgia-inspiring chiptune soundtrack, and an interesting story complemented by engaging gameplay. 

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5:30 PM on 03.12.2015

Terraria: Otherworld's GDC trailer drops more hints about its alternate universe

When Terraria: Otherworld was announced, it was difficult to tell from the trailer what makes it stand apart from its big brother Terraria or futuristic half-cousin Starbound. Developer Re-Logic's description gave some insig...

Darren Nakamura