PAX East 2013 - Thoughts from the show floor

Written by on March 24, 2013 in [, , , ]

It’s been a pretty incredible weekend so far here at PAX East 2013. I’ve spent a lot of time wandering throughout the show floor, the tabletop area, and even catching a few panels when I can fit them in. I’ve seen some triple A titles, some indie stuff, some board games, and a ton of cosplay.

Stay tuned for our sights and sounds from the PAX Show Floor including a ton of pictures of cosplayers and short interviews I was able to do with all sorts of people on the show floor.

I don’t necessarily define myself as an indie gamer, but I found my favorite games are often games I didn’t know about or know much about when I first entered the doors Friday morning. Here are some of my favorites:

BeatBuddy - Beatbuddy is a game by Threaks Game Development. This is a puzzle platformer with a dynamic soundtrack that is built up throughout the levels. The gameplay reminded me a lot of Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, but a lot of the barriers and gameplay elements were heavily informed by the music in the background. The introduction of new environmental elements added more tracks to the background music, and certain things had to be done on the beat to be successful.

Nun Attack - Nun Attack is a hilarious game wrapped around Nuns with Guns. Frima Studios is delivering a great game about a nun sister has fallen and is now wreaking havoc and creating “Hell on Earth” You start with Eva, the base character, who’s packing two pistols, and as you fight through numerous worlds you team up with three other nuns (my favorite being the “Heavy class” Olga) to battle as light against the darkness. Defeat the Fallen Nun and restore balance to the World!

Octodad: Dadliest Catch - Oh Octodad. Where to start? While building Octodad, Young Horses took a lot of inspiration from old cartoons where something is wildly out of sorts and yet everyone around them seems to not notice at all. In Octodad you play as, well, the octupus dad. You have a wife (human) and two kids (also human). A little odd, I know. The thing is, Octodad is living in a human’s world, where things like bones and skeletal structures are assumed. Hilarity ensues as you try to flail your tentacles almost without control to do simple things like put on clothes, clean off the counter, pour coffee, etcetera. It’s pretty ridiculous, but the frustration is well tempered by an exceptionally healthy dose of hilarity. You can check out the concept game for free on their website at

Contrast - Contrast is a game so beautiful I literally stopped in my tracks and watched people play. Contrast is a game based in the 1920s with a gorgeous art style taking heavy inspiration from old-school vaudeville players. All of the art is terrifically rendered and the gameplay is exceptionally smooth. In Contrast, you play as the imaginary friend of a little girl as she processes and deals with the relationship of her parents, which is a bit strained. As an imaginary friend you have special abilities - most notably the ability to fade into the shadows. The standard gameplay is 3d, but if you shift into the shadows, you’re now playing a 2d game with the shadows as the terrain. This leads to fantastic combinations of puzzles - moving light sources or other objects to sculpt terrain to move to a location and then pop back into 3d space, for example. The music is all original composition for the game, commissioned by studio head Guillaume Provost specifically for Contrast. The game will be out in the fall (I believe) and I am extremely excited for it. Though I love everything I’ve mentioned above, I think Contrast is my favorite game so far.

Stay tuned for more coverage at PAX East 2013 sponsored by!


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Author: Andrew Smith View all posts by

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