Some games at PAX East I got to spend a bunch of time with, ask questions of developers and have enough information to really give a full overview of what a game is about. Others, I got ten minutes by myself with the game and walked away with quick impressions. Here is a PAX East 2019 demo round-up of four games that I got to play on the show floor that you should play too.
Night of the Full Moon
Night of the Full Moon, developed and published by Giant Network is a fun mobile deck-building RPG with an interesting art style that is pick up and play friendly, even with those unfamiliar with card game mechanics.
Based on the story of Little Red Riding Hood, it begins with her navigating a forest. You play as Red as you attempt to find your grandmother. Along the way challenges came up to be confronted, locations to be explored, and characters to talk with during my brief time with the game. There was a nice energy to the game’s narrative and the play was very simple.
Each turn you had cards you could play to defeat the opponent. At first you have mostly basic attacks, but as you complete challenges you upgrade your deck to take on bigger baddies. Upgrades I earned ranged from a basic attack that did more damage to a lighting attack that did both damage when played, and damage over time.
In-between challenges I always had three options to choose from for what I wanted to do next. So if a bigger enemy than I felt comfortable with showed up I could do some other things, such as exploring locations, facing smaller opponents, or visiting shops to purchase more cards, so I could build my deck up.
Night of the Full Moon is currently available for iPhone and android, with a steam release expected this summer.
Earth Defense Force Iron Rain
I have never gotten hands on time with an Earth Defense Force game until PAX East, where I got to play Earth Defense Force Iron Rain. It was very much what I had imagined.
In my demo level I ran around a big open area killing giant bugs. I was equipped with a machine gun, and a rocket launcher, and had the ability to do quick dashes to avoid enemy attacks. While these mechanics were serviceable, they were nothing to write home about. The same can be said for the graphics which landed squarely in the “not bad enough to detract, but not good enough to enhance” camp.
It certainly rang with a B-movie feel that I have heard some people praise it for. So if you are a “so bad it’s good” movie lover you might want to check it out.
Earth Defense Force Iron Rain is developed by Yuke’s, published by D3 Publisher and will be landing on the PlayStation 4 April 11.
Control is a trippy, telekinetic fueled action game developed by Remedy, and published by 505 Games. Due to some scheduling snafus and technical difficulties my demo got cut short as the show floor shutdown for the night. Nonetheless, I was left feeling very intrigued by what I got to play and hoping to play more.
The player has access to a suite of powers focused mostly around telekinesis. Whether throwing objects around, virtually everything in the environment was fair game, using debris as a shield to block incoming damage, or simply levitating yourself, there were plenty of options to face the baddies.
In addition to those powers, you can also self modifying your gun. With a press of the button you could change it between either, a machine pistol style weapon, or a charge up shot that did huge damage. While I didn’t get a chance to find out if more options would become available for gun transformations, I’d be amazed if those were the only two.
The graphics looked great and were instantly recognizable as Remedy. If you have seen this game in action but ever saw clips of Remedy’s last title, Quantum Break, the style will appear instantly familiar.
An intriguing setting, powerful move set, and beautiful visuals seems to have Control poised to make a big splash when it come to Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC later this year.
Necrosphere is a platformer, in the vein of Celeste, that you only use two buttons to control. Developed and published by Cat Nigri, Necrosphere is simplicity made brutally challenging.
The game controls with one button moving the player left, and the other right, and that’s it. Jumping is provided by touch bubble like spheres, and from what I saw, the rest was up to timing. Having to zig and zag around obstacles in mid-air, or timing movement on the ground to avoid hazards as the moved about the screen looked challenging, and required a high level of precision.
The game is beatable in about 2-3 hours on average. So, it is a challenging way to spend an afternoon, with plenty of opportunity for players to challenge their coordination, and determination, with this difficult platformer.
Necrosphere is currently available for Steam, PlayStation 4, Switch, Xbox One and an upcoming release on mobile,