PAX East 2017


Award Nominations from PAX East 2017

Some of the Greatest Games We Played

Award Nominations from PAX East 2017

Boston, an often overwhelming city, offers one of the best opportunities to see the newest games and ideas in the industry. Six of our writers descended into the city from all over the country and we want to take the time to show some of the most noteworthy games we had the pleasure to check out. Now, it is important to note that there were far too many games for us to see. There was no way we could play everything, but from what we go to play, these games deserve the spotlight. Enjoy our nominations, in various categories, for some of the best games at PAX East 2017.

Best Casual Game Nominations

PAX Best Casual Game - Spooky's Jump Scare Mansion HD RenovationSpooky’s Jump Scare Mansion: HD Renovation (Albino Moose Games/Screenwave Media)

Spooky’s House of Jumpscares was a pleasant surprise of a game, one that poked fun at all the tropes of horror games from the past few years, while still retaining a creepy atmosphere. Taking a cuter approach than most, Spooky’s House of Jumpscares still spooked its players through an uncanny setting, maddening repeating floors, and monsters that contrast the overall look of the game. Spooky’s Jump Mansion: HD Renovation takes all the core elements of the original and puts it into a more full-fledged title, bringing it to the Unity Engine. Adding in support for HTC Vive and Oculus makes this adorable horror game that much more engaging, perfect for those looking to get more spook without the barrier that traditional horror games have. It’s simple and scary, just the way it should be.  – Alex McCumbers

Best of PAX Nom Casual KingswayKingsway (Adult Swim Games)

Combine a classic RPG with randomized elements and Windows 95 and apparently you get one of the most unique games at the show. Kingsway somehow has taken what makes computing so intuitive and created a whole RPG adventure to play in. Every window can be manipulated just like a real operating system, inventory management is just like file management, and battles still remain as exciting as they would be in a traditional RPG. It doesn’t sound like it would work, but it does, wonderfully so. – Alex McCumbers


PAX Best Casual Game - Pit PeoplePit People (The Behemoth)

Behemoth recently and successfully ventured into unknown waters with the creation of their newest game Pit People, a turn-based strategy RPG. Pit People instantly captivates and draws players in thanks to its witty, bizarre, and often morbid story and narration style, but one of the game’s biggest strengths is that it is a game that can be played casually. The game makes everything quite simple so it can be easily picked up by anyone and really begins to flourish once players are able to start going into the pit and participating in 2v2 fights. Another great part of Pit People is that it allows players to play alone or with others, and even allows players the freedom of trying silly unconventional team comps and strategies. In short, Pit People is the perfect strategy game for people who don’t play strategy games or are looking for a casual strategy game. However, it is also an amazing strategy title that every strategy game fan will love and adore because despite being simple, there is also a great deal of depth. – Lindsey Revis

Best Multiplayer Game Nominations

Best of PAX Nom Multiplayer QuakeQuake Champions (Bethesda Softworks)

Riding the storm of success off of DOOM, Quake Champions is bringing back the frag-a-friend arenas of yesteryear to the modern age with a few cool spins to keep it fresh. Players will now have different characters to choose from, giving a slight MOBA feel to the game and making sure there are unique ways to play. Retro players need not worry though. In tact are the classic elements like a focus on precision, map awareness, and tons of pickups. The result is an addictive game that will make any LAN party a success. – Alex McCumbers


PAX Best Multiplayer Game Nominee - Kritika OnlineKritika Online (Play Park)

Kritika Online is an MMO that was just recently made available to our region and brings about a sense of flair and action that just screams late nights at the computer. Characters are a bit more streamlined to fit into certain archetypes, each with their own styles and techniques. We’re glad to see more games like this become localized and can’t wait to see how this MMO evolves over the next few months. – Alex McCumbers


Best Multiplayer Nidhogg 2Nidhogg 2 (Messhof)

Nidhogg 2 takes Nidhogg and amps it up to whole new level. The game features a slew of new weapons accompanied by a brand new aesthetic that only works to enhance and improve on the original depth and complexity of the game without over-complicating things. Nidhogg 2 is the perfect game for players of all experience levels because of the fact that anyone is able to pick it up and enjoy it due to the relatively simple yet strongly based expansion on the game’s core. This makes it great for first time players yet still allows it to be entertaining for veteran players thanks to the the new depth, carefully thought-out interplay, and the overarching social aspect of the game. Gamers think of Nidhogg 2 as a wonderful and welcomed upgrade to the Nidhogg series as it has already proven that it captures the hearts of fans old and new. – Lindsey Revis

Best Single Player Game Nominations  

Best of PAX Nom Single Player MasqueradaMasquerada: Songs and Shadows (Ysbryd Games)

Masquerada: Songs and Shadows quickly and effectively builds a wonderfully detailed fantasy world, combining elements of the table top play space as well as some inspiration from popular RPG games. Playing like a combination of Diablo and Dragon Age, Masquerada uses cell-shaded characters on a beautiful hand drawn background. While the combat is tight and rewarding, the real star of this game is its storytelling. Each character is voiced by talented actors from Matt Mercer to Felicia Day. Masquerada uses this talent well with its well written script, crafting a tale of intrigue and mystery surrounding the Venice-like city. This could very well be a game that we obsess over for many years to come. – Alex McCumbers

Best Single Player Game Nominee - The Town of LightThe Town of Light (LKA)

The Town of Light is a first-person psychological thriller of sorts. I want to refrain from calling this “survival horror” as I think that would be an insult to what developer LKA is hoping to achieve with this title. Taking on the role of main protagonist, Renée, players will explore haunting environments that reveal clues her past. What sets this title apart from others in the genre is that it’s psychological rather than supernatural. Renée had a very dark upbringing and was institutionalized around the beginning of World War II. When exploring environments, it is all real in theory, but when in Renée’s shoes, things don’t look as they really are, which is even scarier than anything actually supernatural in my opinion. In my hands-on demo, it was clear that this subject matter was handled with maturity and should not be overlooked. – Josh Pedroza

Best Single Player Game Nominee - Super Rude Bear ResurrectionSuper Rude Bear: Resurrection (Alex Rose Games)

Super Rude Bear: Resurrection was a surprise joy for me when going through PAX East’s Indie Mega Booth. There happened to be a long line for the game I wanted to play, then I heard some catchy and intense techno playing, so I hopped on over to see what this was. Developed by Alex Rose Games, this platformer is an absolute blast to play. Clearly inspired by the indie hit Super Meat Boy, the game has you playing as a plush teddy bear making its way through complicated platforming environments filled with traps that create absolute carnage.  What made this game stand out was just how fast paced it was and the music added to the colorful aesthetic. Make no mistake though, this game is tough as nails. Every move requires precision and patience and one wrong move can send you back to the checkpoint. Even the level design has so plenty of variety to it, making it stand out among its inspiration. Going to a different map totally changes up the playstyle, which will definitely help the game rarely feel repetitive. If Super Meat Boy was your cup of tea, Super Rude Bear: Resurrection will be right up your alley. Instead of chunks of meat exploding, you’ll have a teddy bear exploding into purple goo! Fun stuff! – Josh Pedroza

Best Handheld Game Nominations

Best of PAX Nom handheld Has Been HeroesHas Been Heroes (GameStop)

Has Been Heroes is one interesting concept of a game, one part action another part tactical rogue-like game. Once you die it’s all over, you unlock new abilities, and repeat. The game can go on forever it seems, but you don’t see me complaining at all. Has-Been Heroes is an action video game developed by Frozenbyte and published by GameTrust. You can see where the team put in lots of time to bring out a game that will having you coming back for more or wondering what new things you’ll be able to unlock as you progress throughout the game. Will it be better moves, new characters or something else? It’s all a mystery on this game, but well worth playing. – Andrew Peggs

PAX Best Handheld Game Nominee - Flipping DeathFlipping Death (Zoink Games)

Flipping Death is a game from the creators of Stick It to the Man and brings the art style from the game to this new title. After seeing tons of people playing the game on the show floor and enjoying Stick It to the Man. How can one not be excited for yet another adventure from Zoink Games since this game is a spiritual successor to Stick it To The Man. This game follows Penny as Death goes on vacation. You’ll get to play as Penny solving puzzles in both the living and dead world. This game provides a unique mix of adventure and platforming set in a twisted, rich and colorful world. – Andrew Peggs

Best Mobile Game Nominations

PAX Best Mobile Game Nominee - OK KO Lakewood Plaza TurboOK KO: Lakewood Plaza Turbo (Cartoon Network)

With the slick animation of the cartoon of the same name, OK KO: Lakewood Plaza Turbo is a fun adaptation of the many excellent 2D brawlers of the arcades. Fans of the cartoon will love the looks of the game, while those looking for some casual fun will feel right at home. It’s simple in its execution, making it one of our favorite mobile games on the show floor. – Alex McCumbers


Best of PAX Nom Mobile West of LoathingWest of loathing (Asymmetric)

West of Loathing is a fun little gem that I had the pleasure of getting my hands-on at PAX East. Available for PC and mobile, players take on the role of a stick figure in a side scrolling, stencil drawn open world. The reason we chose this for Best Mobile Game is due to it’s deep RPG elements in such a simple aesthetic. The world is roughly drawn, but yet there’s so much personality to the world. With various side missions to take on, there’s a plethora of content in this little title. There were even a few different classes to choose from when starting the game, and they were all silly in their own way. I think this game deserved the nomination just because of how addicting exploring the world felt, but also just how simple of a title it can be. Have a long car ride? Well just boot up West of Loathing on your tablet and enjoy a fun little title. – Josh Pedroza 

Best VR Game Nominations

Best VR Game Nominee - I Expect You To DieI Expect You to Die (Schell Games)

If virtual reality gaming has taught us anything, its that single room puzzle games work really well on these systems. I Expect You To Die, plays with these spaces in creative ways, resulting into some downright brilliant puzzles. Each challenge remains fresh and fun to figure out, easily making it one of our favorite VR experiences on the show floor. Now, if only I can get one of these VR units into my home. – Alex McCumbers 


Best of PAX Nom VR Rick and Morty SimulatorRick and Morty Simulator: Virtual Rick-ality (Adult Swim)

Rick and Morty has become one of the most popular adult-centered cartoons, basically combining the dimension hopping of Dr. Who with alcoholism and nihilistic views on the universe. Reaching a high point with the end of Season 2, bringing the show to the world of video games is a no-brainer, making it a virtual reality romp though is a stroke of genius. Hitting HTC Vive and Oculus, players are able to mess around in Rick’s garage in gameplay that is similar to Job Simulator, packing in that sandbox playground of wacky items. I love Rick and Morty and I can’t wait to step into their world and really spend some time with it. – Alex McCumbers


Best PC Game Nominations

Best PC Game Nominee - Starpoint Gemini WarlordsStarpoint Gemini Warlords (Iceberg Interactive)

Starpoint Gemini Warlords was definitely one of the best space sims I’ve played in a while. As a devout fan of Elite Dangerous, this game differed in several aspects, but gave a sincere resemblance to it. Instead of being a single man ship, you captain a giant cruiser-style ship. At PAX, they had a mission set up where I had to take out a band of pirates attacking a derelict ship. Every time I got them whittled down, they’d call more backup. What I thought was going to be a easy mission turned into a battle for my life, dodging fire and taking down enemies one at a time. It was epic and had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. Definitely a game for those that love space sims. – Jesse Collins


PAX Best PC Game Nominee - Hand of Fate 2Hand of Fate 2 (Defiant Development)

Hand of Fate 2 takes what made the original (our review of the first game) so interesting and unique and builds upon it in a natural, dynamic way. This time the game players will be taking the matters of entire empires into their own hands, as we once again deal with the dealer. However, what’s the plans this time? Part collectible card game, part arcade brawler, Hand of Fate 2 is definitely a fantastic experience that’s hard to get anywhere else. – Andrew Peggs


PAX Best PC Game Nominee - DauntlessDauntless (Phoenix Labs)

Taking the gameplay and style of Monster Hunter, but bringing it into the PC space, Dauntless offers large environments and epic monster face-offs. Using unique weaponry that adds new layers of skill and tactical options, Dauntless is making waves even in its earliest stages of development. While our demo was short due to the sheer popularity of the game at the event, my instincts built from years of playing Monster Hunter transferred well into Dauntless. It will be interesting to see how much Phoenix Labs adds to the formula, especially since these sort of games are incredibly sparse for PC players. All in all, Dauntless has some damn good potential, but I will add that players not used to this sort of game may spend more time than most learning how to hunt these powerful creatures. – Alex McCumbers

Best of PAX Nom PC ESO MorrowindThe Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind (Bethesda Softworks)

While The Elder Scrolls Online had a rough start, over time it has developed into a solid online experience that is worth the legendary name of the franchise. For this new expansion, players are taking a trip back to the glory days of Morrowind with tons of new quests, gear, and more. Seeing Morrowind again is not only nostalgic, but also epic and we can’t wait to dive into this rich world once again. – Alex McCumbers


PAX Best PC Game Nominee - NorthgardNorthgard (Shiro Games)

Those looking to build up their own Viking settlements should definitely look into this new real-time strategy title by Shiro Games. Players will slowly build up their clan and try to survive the harsh wilderness, as well as other enemy clans. It has all the complexities one can expect from this genre, with the slick interface that’s always a plus. Strategy fans keep an eye on this one! – Alex McCumbers


Best Console Game Nominations

Best of PAX Nom Console Sonic ManiaSonic Mania (Sega)

I’ll admit, I’ve never been into the latest Sonic games with the exception of Sonic Generations. As a fan of retro gaming though, seeing the little blue hedgehog return to his roots with Sonic Mania is an absolute joy. Super colorful, tons of speed, Sonic Mania is just what I would’ve pictured a true next entry into the classic series would look like. Hopefully, this will help put Sega back on the map in the world of gaming. – Alex McCumbers


PAX Best Console Game Nominee - Victor Vran

Victor Vran: Overkill Edition (EuroVideo Medien)

At first glance, Victor Vran may look like a normal isometric RPG. It certainly handles all of the staples in that genre, but it’s the unique tone and gothic atmosphere that lets it stand out among the others. The game was originally released on PC and now moving to consoles with the Overkill Edition. Who would’ve thought there would be a game based on lore created on the English metal band; Motörhead. With a Diablo style loot system and some pretty awesome demon powers to unleash on enemies, there’s plenty to keep someone occupied and having a damn fun time with it. I realized the full extent of how quirky the world was when I was able to shoot a gun that let out exploding chickens. If that’s not enough to get you interested in their new console version, I don’t know what will. – Josh Pedroza

PAX Best Console Game Nominee - Has-Been HeroesHas Been Heroes (GameStop)

Has Been Heroes takes the rogue-like RPG into a fun little game that is great to see as an early Nintendo Switch title. Players will tackle waves of enemies that travel down lanes, using heroes that are quite a few steps below epic, but still capable as fun to play underdogs. The art style is slick and the gameplay is addictive. Go check it out. – Alex McCumbers


PAX Best Console Game Nominee - Bulletstorm Full Clip EditionBulletstorm: Full Clip Edition (Gearbox Publishing)

Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition was a bit of show stealer at PAX this year. With its constant need to score higher and higher, many of our staff kept coming back to it. With the addition of Duke Nukem for some seriously ridiculous moments, Bulletstorm is finally getting the attention it deserved the first time around. Add in a few performance upgrades and we have a game action fans will want to definitely pick up. – Alex McCumbers


PAX Best Console Game Nominee - RedoutRedout (34BigThings srl)

Redout is the surprising spiritual successor to F-Zero and Wipeout, hitting that need to go absurdly fast in all the right ways. Now headed to console, including the Switch, Redout‘s crazy looped tracks and sharp visuals are set to take a new audience by storm. Many of us were amazed by the sense of speed this game captures. It’s high octane racing action that everyone needs to experience! – Alex McCumbers


Best of PAX Nom Console OceanhornOceanhorn (FDG Entertainment)

Striking chords similar to the 2D Legend of Zelda games, Oceanhorn is a fantistic experience coming to pretty much all consoles later this year. There is an immediate charm to this one, what with its cutesy graphics and playful soundtrack. Full of surprises, I can’t wait to try out the full version for myself. This could be the multi-platform adventure game fans of the genre have wanted for years.


Best Indie Game Nominations

PAX Best Indie Game Nominee - SongbringerSongbringer (Wizard Fu Games)

Songbringer is a psychedelic romp through Zelda conventions that quickly takes on its own personality and uniqueness. I’ve actually been watching the project for a while, amazed at the fact that the entire game was made by a single man with a particular vision. Those used to playing the 2D Zelda classics will have no problem picking up Songbringer, but there are surprises abound as the game’s world is built procedurally. This gives the game a stellar replay value as one never knows what new challenge awaits them. Exploring Songbringer’s alien world is pure exploration, a dive worth looking into taking. – Alex McCumbers


Best of PAX Nom Indie Snake PassSnake Pass (Sumo Digital)

From a pure mechanics perspective, Snake Pass is unlike anything I’ve ever played. Players must solve environmental challenges as a snake, using their body to coil around poles and ladders and slithering to move forward. Using simple controls, Snake Pass builds upon the player’s skill set, edging them closer to mastery. Once mastered, solving these challenges quickly looks incredibly impressive, but it can take some getting used to. Add in cute characters that are clearly inspired by the glory days of Rareware and it looks like we have a real gem on our hands. The fact the game is one of the early releases for Switch, is just a bonus. – Alex McCumbers


PAX Best Indie Game Nominee - The MetronomiconThe Metronomicon (Kasedo Games)

Rhythm game tropes combined with a traditional RPG? It sounds crazy, yes, but The Metronomicon pulls it off with absolute flair. Quickly becoming a favorite with our whole team, Metronomicon not only takes skill, but sound strategy as well. It’s a game that just has to be played to understand. Hurry, go check it out. – Alex McCumbers 



PAX Best Indie Game Nominee - Party Hard 2Party Hard 2 (Tiny Build)

Pixelated murder has never been so damn fun. Party Hard 2 takes the formula of the original and cranks up the crazy. Now set during the holiday season, players will have to find the best way to take out all of their victims, without being overwhelmed by police. Using either mayhem or sneaky tactics, players will also find a steep challenge in each stage. Truly our staff had some trouble beating the demo, but it always remained intriguing and fun. Look forward to partying hard and murdering harder! – Alex McCumbers


PAX Best Indie Game Nominee - Slime-SanSlime-san (Headup Games)

Oh man, it’s been a hot minute since I’ve experienced a game quite like this! If you’re big into insanely fast-paced, heart-racing, palm-sweating, competitive, and highly addictive platformers, then look no further, because Slime-san has taken the stage. If Beethoven created platformer games instead of compose music, Slime-san would have been his gaming masterpiece. This game is astonishingly captivating in every sense. Everything from the chaotic game play itself down to the art, music, controls and characters are seamlessly brought together to create a game that will leave you wanting more. It is by far one of the best indie games and platformers that I have ever had the honor of playing at PAX. Slime-san does everything right and I predict that it will be one of the most popular indie games of 2017 (and for many years to come). – Lindsey Revis

PAX Best Indie Game Nominee - Flint HookFlinthook (Tribute Games)

Flinthook caught my eye with the sheer charm of its characters and artwork. I later learned just how tight the gameplay could be and was blown away by this retro inspired romp. Flinthook has the player take on the role of a space pirate that invades randomly generated ships to plunder. Featuring clever rogue-like elements, 2D platforming precision, and the speed of using a grappling hook, Flinthook hits all the nostalgia bones and carves out its place as a unique gem. – Alex McCumbers


PAX Best Indie Game Nominee - Thimbleweed Park

Thimbleweed Park (Terrible Toybox)

Thimbleweed Park is a brilliant tribute to the point and click adventure games from Lucas Arts. Emulating Secret of Monkey Island and other such classics, this game has nostalgia in spades and hits in a genre that becoming fairly uncommon. In fact this one was designed in part by the legendary designer Ron Gilbert! Players will solve mysteries and use their wits to solve puzzles, all while being taken on a fantastic adventure with tons of unique characters. Taking place in the 80s, fans of things like Stranger Things will probably want to sit down with this one. – Alex McCumbers


PAX Best Indie Game Nominee - Mages of MystralliaMages of Mystralia (Borealys Games)

Mages of Mystralia is a game that I’ve had my eyes on for a while. My first encounter with the game was back in 2016 and to sum it up, I was thoroughly impressed. Over a year later I had the opportunity to play this game again at PAX East 2017 and was blown away by how far it has come and by how in love I was falling with the mystical charm of Mages of Mystralia. The game is in its final stages of development and is readying for release later this year. What has me so excited about this indie game is that it is a fantasy adventure where much of the focus of the game is centered around giving players the ability to craft their own spells as they explore their destiny and uncover the secrets of themselves. The spellcrafting interface allows for seemingly infinite spell combinations and makes it impossible for players to not feel a connection to the story and themselves. This game is a must-play!  – Lindsey Revis

PAX Best Indie Game Nominee - Dead CellsDEAD CELLS (Motion Twin)

Castlevania style gameplay meets rogue-like goodness, Dead Cells is an incredible looking indie that I could play for hours upon hours. Rocking that rich pixel art and finding cool spins on conventions of the genre, I found Dead Cells to be a logical combination of two awesome genres. With tons of little risk reward systems, every encounter is tense, but always rewarding. Fans of rogue-like challenge and those with a soft spot for the Belmont legacy need to look it up. – Alex McCumbers


Best AAA Game Nominations 

Best of PAX Nom AAA BullestormBulletstorm Full Clip Edition (Gearbox Publishing)

Bulletstorm was a bit of a cult classic, one that was sadly destined to dwell in the bargain bins of retailers. However, fans touted this unique action game, which is partly why the remake is on the way. Gearbox has put an expert level of polish on this score driven action shooter, making everything look awesome and play smoothly. Toss in the ability to play as Duke Nukem after a pre-order and this is the treatment Bulletstorm really deserved at launch. Watching people compete with their scores in a huge booth at PAX was just awesome. – Alex McCumbers


PAX Best AAA Nominee - Law BreakersLawbreakers (Nexon)

Ciff Blizinksi is at it again with this arena multiplayer game Lawbreakers. While the game has had a few Alpha tests already, what we saw at PAX solidifies our hype. With tons of unique characters and new ways to frag opponents. What’s most notable is just how much movement players have, giving players fast and creative ways to approach the environment. Can’t wait to blast my mates when Lawbreakers hits PCs later this year. – Alex McCumbers


Best of Show Nominations 

Best of PAX Nom best of show HOBHob (Runic Games) 

I can’t help but feel captivated and deeply moved by the game Hob. You play as a silent protagonist destined to uncover your reason for being as you piece back the world around you. Without narration or dialogue to guide players, Runic Games has created a stunningly alluring puzzle adventure which is single-handedly one of the most entertaining and enriching gaming experiences of 2017. This is only enhanced further by the sense of there being a deeper meaning to it all, which empowers players to work and continue to uncover the secrets of the beautiful and broken world of Hob. This game was clearly a PAX East audience favorite as the line for the game was almost always capped and you could just see the joy emanating from both the players and watchers of the game. – Lindsey Revis

PAX Best of Show Nominee - PerceptionPerception (The Deep End Games) 

Out of all the titles that I was getting an opportunity to get my hands on at PAX East, Perception was the one I was looking forward to the most. I am a huge fan of the BioShock series, and this new indie studio, The Deep End, has a few members who worked on BioShock in the past, as well as some developers who worked on the original Dead Space. In this survival horror game, players take on the role of Cassie, a young blind woman discovering secrets of her past. I got a good feel for how well the echolocation mechanic would work, and it truly does. The risk/reward factor of it really makes things feel intense. I need sound to see, but sound also attracts deadly enemies. The atmosphere was captured perfectly and I could clearly tell the shadow of BioShock was cast over this title. With some great gaming headphones, I know I will be in for a very unsettling and intense ride when this game releases in later 2017. – Josh Pedroza

PAX Best of Show Nominee - KingswayKingsway (Adult Swim Games)

Kingsway was all-out one of my favorite at PAX. It brought a hard nostalgia for my childhood RPGs, while adding the humor created by the operating system motif. As it’s all procedurally generated, I was lucky to score a second bag (AKA Folder on the desktop) early on. The key to the game is to understand old school RPGs and have some minor knowledge of mid to late 1990’s operating systems. I laughed. I cried. I miss it already. – Jesse Collins


PAX Best of Show Nominee - Quake ChampionsQuake Champions (Bethesda Softworks) 

We can’t stress enough just how much Quake has evolved for the modern era. Multiple characters for tons of unique ways to frag, plus all the features that made the classic timeless makes Quake Champions an absolute blast. This could be one of the biggest mulitplayer releases in years, possibly putting Quake back on its throne. There have been some other games that try to capture the arena action, no one does it like Quake and Bethesda is making sure for long time fans and new players that this is the best mix possible. If our time with it is any indication, Quake Champions could change how we play on our PCs. – Alex McCumbers


PAX Best of Show Nominee - Snake PassSnake Pass (Sumo Digital)

Once again, I cannot praise Snake Pass‘ unique way to play enough. I’ve played hundreds of games in my life, maybe even thousands by this point, thinking I had seen it all. Yet, here comes this deceivingly simple game to prove that there is still plenty of room for innovation in the games industry. It warms my heart to know that in the same week we can have massive releases like Mass Effect: Andromeda launch alongside a smaller game like Snake Pass and both still be on the path to do well. Snake Pass is launching on pretty much every console and I encourage everyone (especially those interested in game design) to check it out. Who knew being a snake could be so much fun? – Alex McCumbers

PAX Best of Show Nominee - Sonic ManiaSonic Mania (Sega)

The story of how Sonic Mania came to be is an interesting one. Basically, Sega snagged up those working on some amazing fan recreations of the classic 2D side-scrollers and put them to work on the ultimate passion project. Sonic Mania is essentially a modern classic, with the added features one would expect of a game hand-crafted by super fans. Sonic can now Drop Dash, giving him an additional way to build speed. Such a simple mechanic adds so much! Add in gorgeous graphics and ultra catchy music and there’s certainly a lot to love in Sonic Mania– Alex McCumbers









Most people bleed red. Alex bleeds pixels. Hailing from the deep mountains of WV, land of beautiful landscapes and internet scarceness, Alex can be found writing about games in every sense. Retro games are his life, spending more time with his GBA than his PS4. Drop by one of the social doodads for deep discussions about gaming!

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