A while back, we shared a ton of amazing games that we nominated in various categories as some of the best games from our time at PAX East 2017. That weekend brought many of the Marooners’ Rock team to Boston, checking out hundreds of games and experiencing quite a bit of sensory overload. Just as I mentioned in our nominations post, there are plenty of games that we missed out on; this isn’t a definitive list of the highest quality games that were there. No, this is the best games that we got to play ourselves. If we did miss something astounding though, please share with us on social media or in the comments.
Here are the annual Marooners’ Rock choices for the Best Games of PAX 2017:
Best Casual Game
It’s an RPG that’s played like an old Windows OS. Yes, the concept of Kingsway sounds strange, but what results is one of the most unique games I played at the whole event. Items are sorted in folders, quests are managed like emails, it all feels just like doing office work in the 90s and it somehow makes it fun and engaging. This is why PAX is so important to me, as I never would’ve have discovered this ingenious title otherwise. – Alex McCumbers
For more information on Kingsway check out the official website.
Best Multiplayer Game
Quake was the big name in multiplayer on the PC in the 90s. Built on the foundation of Doom‘s deathmatch mode, Quake brought that addictive arena bloodbath to the third dimension, giving players superior movement options and powerful weaponry. Quake Champions does all that in the modern era and more with multiple characters, each with their own unique traits and abilities. Old-school fans and newcomers alike will feel right at home. – Alex McCumbers
For more information on Quake Champions check out the official website.
Best Single Player Game
Masquerada: Songs and Shadows was born out of the tabletop gaming of the game’s creative director, who tested his rich world on his players over many years. Now the game has been since published thanks in part to its successful Kickstarter campaign, also picking up an incredible cast of voice actors that includes Felicia Day and Matt Mercer. Playing this tactical RPG is a blast, but the story and art direction is what really set it apart from the rest. Fans of Dragon Age: Origins, Diablo, or Final Fantasy should look into this unique indie game. – Alex McCumbers
For more information on Masquerada: Songs and Shadows check out the official website.
To see more extended coverage of the game from PAX, check out this Hands-On piece.
Best Handheld Game
Has-Been Heroes is a special kind of game that brings in what you found enjoyable in card games, RPG’s, and adventures all in one. My time with it at PAX had me coming back to the booth at least three different times so I could see it played on different formats. Although the majority of my time was with the Nintendo Switch, because of the portability it provided. Has-Been Heroes is a game that has players thinking outside the box to beat the levels. I clearly see why it’s a hit today as well. – Andrew Peggs
For more information on Has-Been Heroes check out the official website.
Best Mobile Game
From the makers of the strange, yet awesome MMO that was Kingdom of Loathing comes a new stick-person RPG called West of Loathing. With tons of funny classes and dialogue, mixed with classic RPG play, West of Loathing is the essence of the phrase, “looks can be deceiving.” An expansive world awaits for those willing to put aside the simple aesthetic and enjoy the game and its systems. Definitely look into this title. – Alex McCumbers
For more information on West of Loathing check out the official website.
Best VR Game
Virtual reality is still going through its growing pains. However, more are looking into VR just for the pure fun and fan service that is Rick and Morty Simulator: Virtual Rick-ality. Putting the players in the eyes of a Morty clone tasked to do the bidding of the mad, often drunk, scientist players will have to solve puzzles in order to proceed. We played with Plumbuses and tossed Meseeks to pick up far away items, all while hearing the babble of our favorite cartoon duo. It’s a game full of jokes and references to the show and it pulled us in like we couldn’t believe. Rick and Morty Simulator is also out now! – Alex McCumbers
For more information on Rick and Morty Simulator: Virtual Rick-ality check out the official website.
Best PC Game
Every time a new Elder Scrolls hits the PC, there is a fan project to put the world of Morrowind into it. Now ZeniMax is doing it for us, by adding much of Morrowind into The Elder Scrolls Online, complete with a new class the Warden. Bethesda really struck things out of the park back in the day with Morrowind and fans haven’t forgotten that misty land yet. It’s an expansion that brings us back in the best ways. – Alex McCumbers
For more information on The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind check out the official website.
Best Console Game
An isometric adventure game, Oceanhorn brings us back to those long nights trying to save the Princess Zelda, but with new twists and modern designs. Mixing in ocean exploration, this game feels a lot like Wind Waker if it were made in the Link Between Worlds engine. While its clear to see the Zelda inspirations, we found the game to play wonderfully, full of secrets and challenges. Adventure game fans will definitely want to add this title to their library. – Alex McCumbers
For more information on Oceanhorn check out the Steam page.
Best Indie Game
Snake Pass was the game that made the biggest impact on me during my time at PAX, as I’m always on the lookout for interesting takes on mechanics. This one feels like a classic N64-era platformer, (Banjo Kazooie, Super Mario 64, Donkey Kong 64) but plays in a way that perfectly captures what it means to be Noodle the Snake. The game’s simple set of mechanics are complimented by the clever level design that slowly challenges the player further, eventually requiring mastery of being a snake. Musically, the game features one of video game’s legendary composers, David Wise, which adds to the playfulness of the title. There is a ton to love in this game and its available on all major systems, including Nintendo Switch. – Alex McCumbers
For more information on Snake Pass check out the official website.
Find a full review on Snake Pass here.
Best AAA Game
Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition brought a cult classic out of the graveyard and upped the intensity to eleven. The booth at Gearbox was massive, with multiple play stations and people competing for high scores that were then shown on the main screen. It was as much of a blast to watch as it was to play and with the addition of Duke Nukem to make the action hilarious. Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition is out now and we’ve loved every minute of it. – Alex McCumbers
For more information on Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition check out the official website.
Find a full review on Bullestorm: Full Clip Edition here.
Best of Show
Hob is an outstanding title, setting itself apart with its gorgeous art style and interesting character. Played like a typical top-down RPG adventure from the SNES, Hob brings beauty and majesty to its world without dialogue, focusing instead on visual mood and music. This could very well be another example of incredible indie games that deserve to transcend into the AAA space to sit alongside titles like Bastion and Shovel Knight. We wish Runic Games the best of luck in their journey. There’s definitely a massive amount of potential for the full release and we can’t wait. – Alex McCumbers
Hob rightfully earned the title for Best of Show, PAX East 2017, as it unanimously received the votes from our staff members here at Marooners Rock. I think the reason for this is because the game reignites that long-desired spark and thrill of discovery that many of us as gamers have been missing from games for a long time. This Zelda-inspired puzzle adventure captivated our staff, as well as seemingly all those who played it, as the line for the game demo was always capped. The most beautiful thing about this game, surprisingly, wasn’t just the level design or just the story or just the artwork, but instead it was the entire package. Hob as whole is a long awaited and fulfilling masterpiece that instilled a sense of purpose and desire within us as the players. We weren’t playing Hob just for the sake of having a game to play. Instead, we were playing to appease the greater sense of longing and desire that the game granted us and that we have long missed as gamers. We fell in love this game and believe that you will too. – Lindsey Revis
For more information on Hob check out the official website.