I’m still recovering from Overcooked
Pikuniku was such a fitting game to play first at PAX West. It encapsulates the show perfectly.
It was situated all the way in the back of the Indie Megabooth, an area of the show floor that has gotten increasingly (and deservedly) more crowded over the years but is still absolutely worth touring at least once. It had a cute, inviting look to its art. And best of all, it had co-op that required teamwork but also gave convention-goers the freedom to kick the shit out of each other and let off some steam.
The co-op mode was simple in terms of mechanics and solving puzzles, but that’s not to say it was unengaging. Just hopping around, kicking objects (and your teammate, causing their eyes to bug way out), and flinging yourself around ledges with a grappling hook is good, silly fun.
In short, the expressive animation and intentionally fumbly physics are on point — enough to make up for Pikuniku‘s borderline-too-basic art direction. This is one of those games that’ll have you thinking “That’s it?” when you’re just looking at screenshots. But, actually play it, and you’ll be going “That’s it!“
I’m curious to see if I’ll like the story mode as much. Developer Sectordub says we’ll help townsfolk “face their fears, uncover a deep state conspiracy, and rebuild a cheerful community in a delightful dystopian adventure,” which is much different than anything I saw in the co-op levels.
Look for this one on PC and Nintendo Switch (!) next year. And choose your co-op partner carefully.