We finally come to the last part of our PAX West 2016 game preview coverage. Some of these games I will be doing a more in-depth review on in the near future, so keep an eye out. Let’s dive into the final round up.
When I was a kid my mother would play solitaire when she was bored and didn't have a book to read. At some point, I became interested in what she was playing and she taught me. Not the most glamorous game in the world, but something to while away time. Eventually, I would find it on computers, much like everyone else. It was included with so many versions of Windows over the years. I have played quite few video game variations that have added a story, rules, changed configurations, and other things to put a fresh spin on an old classic. Solitairica is the latest.
The basics of the game are a simplistic form of solitaire. You have two rows of playing cards. On the top are the five stacks that consist of your visible playing cards. Below that are your draw pile and your active play pile. You take cards from your playing board that are one higher or one lower than your current active card and play it. This card now becomes the new base for your next play. Continue to do this until you run out of cards on your board or you do not have a playable card one higher or lower than your active card. When you can't make a play, you’ll take a card from your draw pile until you can make a play.
Solitairica adds a new layer of rules to the basics. Each game you are fighting an opponent. This means you have abilities: life points, defense points, stab spells, and agility spells. Each card you play off the playing board adds to your abilities, collect enough and you can power your spells. Each draw from your draw pile allows your opponent to attack you. Lose all your life points and you are done.
It all gave an interesting twist on solitaire. I want to take another good run through of it before I give it a more thorough review. However, if you’re a Solitaire fan and it already sounds interesting to you, the game is available now on iTunes and Steam.
Eternal is a strategy card game that will be releasing on iOS and PC. It plays a lot like Magic the Gathering only a bit quicker and easier to pick up. Because it’s still in closed beta, I don't have much concrete information on it at the moment. I do know it will be a "free to play" game with the ability to earn all of your cards in-game, but it will also have micro-transactions. They promise that all of the cards will be available through gameplay. What little I did see of it when I played at PAX intrigued me enough that I am currently waiting to receive my beta invite to learn more.
For more information see the Eternal website.
Daedalic Entertainment’s State of Mind
State of Mind is set in a dystopian cyberpunk future Berlin. You are Richard Nolan, a father, and a journalist. You wake up in an alley with some destroyed androids. Richard is a sort of technophobe; the kind of person that, in our times, would shun a smartphone and stubbornly carry an old flip phone. In this future people are able to upload their consciousness to computers. Someone has attempted to do that to Richard, with disastrous results. He is now plagued with missing memories. Worse yet his wife and child seem to have disappeared without a trace. In their place is an android that Richard’s wife appears to have bought for him, even though he hates them. And so begins Richard’s story of sorting out what is real and what isn’t.
The developer informed me that the game would focus mainly on telling the story. It is his first 3D game after years of successful 2D "point and click" style games. Overall it very compelling to me and I can't wait to play more.
Daedalic Entertainment’s Long Journey Home
Long Journey Home is a space exploration role-playing game. The story? Earth is testing its first long distance spaceship with a full crew. A malfunction sends the ship and crew millions of light years away, all the way to the other side of the universe. With not much else to do the crew makes it their mission to find a way back to Earth and explore the universe along the way.
Long Journey Home will have you exploring galaxies and the planets therein, discovering aliens, and forging alliances with them. My time with the demo found me encountering a race that thinks it is the "kings of the universe." Unknown to them, they actually have a subliminal influence on others. So when I encountered them they asked if I would sell one of my crew to him to be part of his zoo. When I selected “no” his subliminal influence kicked in and made me say “yes.” I did make a handsome profit on that crewmember, though.
Long Journey Home is going to be a game I keep an eye on.
Osiris: New Dawn
Osiris: New Dawn is also a space exploration game, but with a crafting system. You start crash landed on a planet with the remnants of your ship and a robot helper. The robot is good for patrolling or mining elements for you. Using elements you or the robot collect, you can build a base to work from. Beware, though, there are alien creatures that want to kill you. At night those alien creatures are more active than in the day.
PAX West was Osiris: New Dawn’s premier and the game they brought was an early playable build so it was a little buggy. For example after building the main section of my base I could not get out to build the airlock door. I had to tear down a wall to get out. No problem, it's not the final product and the developers are aware of the bug.
This is another game that has piqued my curiosity. I’ll be looking forward to its release.
For more information watch Fenix Fire's web page for Osiris: New Dawn.
Death Stair is a party game. What else would you call a game where one player stands at the top of a set of stairs armed with beach balls, land mines, and super dodgeballs while all of the rest of the players are racing to be first to the top.
That’s the basics of Death Stair. There are currently two other maps with different weapons (tar balls and a brick shooting mini-gun anyone?) and different layouts. I did find one problem with the game, no invert aim. Yes, I am one of those people. So when it was my turn on the gun I struggled with the controls using the gamepad. I would have to switch to mouse and keyboard. I was told at PAX that invert aim was in the game; maybe it just hasn't been pushed out to the playable build yet.
It is built with pure fun in mind. It is brand new and is available on Steam, though if the developers are smart, they’ll get this on a console soon. I easily see this as a great on the couch with friends and family game.
For more information see Fun Sponge's Death Stair web page.
Lastly is Dungeon Boss, a quick dungeon crawler game available for mobile. You start with one warrior, but soon build out a team to fight the creatures within. Improve your character's stats, weapons, and armor. Fight some more and unlock more characters. There is also a player vs player arena, but I haven't gotten that far yet. I just started and am working my way through the game. So far its quick fun style is perfect for short pockets of time. Though it wouldn’t be very hard to play for long stretches of time, if one wished to. I’ll be coming back to this one later.
For more information on Dungeon Boss see the official web page.
World of Warships
The video you see up top is a LEGO recreation of the U.S.S. Missouri. This was done for the game World of Warships by the creators of World of Tanks, Wargaming.net. If you enjoy WWII naval warfare then you might want to check them out at their website Wargaming.net.
Once again PAX West brought together developers, publishers, and players for an entertaining weekend that celebrated games of all types. Again, I’m left with plenty of new and old games to look forward to playing. Now, I’m not sure if I’m dreading or excited to lose sleep to all the games I’m going to play!