game thoughts: EGX PAX Online 2020 – demos (post the first)

Since I treated myself to a little staycation during the epic week long EGX Digital PAX Online crossover convention, I made it a priority to try out some of the game demos offered in the Steam store. Every convention, EGX and PAX both pick out indie and smaller games to highlight on the show floor, giving them a chance to be discovered. Here are a few of the games I have played so far:

Strings Theory – A fun puzzle games set in a 3D space. You control three different types of strings with their own abilities. Use their unique abilities to flip tiles, float around and create a path to the exit. This was one of those games where I was kind of relieved to be playing at home rather than on the show floor as I had to pause and scratch my head, trying to figure out what the correct approach to the puzzle was.

Nine Witches – Rather than the usual demo, Nine Witches offers up a prologue to the main game. This feels like a classic point-and-click adventure from the 90s, especially with it’s pixelated graphics style, but the attitude is definitely a modern one with lots of nods and winks to experiences gamers.

GameDec – A cyberpunk detective story. I was a little disappointed in this one – the image on the “box” shows a POC cyberpunk woman and I thought “cool!” and then I went to play it and it was just another dude detective. And then the case centered around a kid going into a VR machine to play some sex game and it just felt very cliche. The game mechanics were interesting though – I liked that it made me actually investigate a space and didn’t immediately highlight all of the items you could interact with. You had to walk towards them and be in range. But since the story itself wasn’t engaging me, I don’t know if I would pick this up again.

Innchanted – the quickest way to describe this is Overcooked but in a fantasy realm. I played this by myself on a keyboard which was probably not ideal – the controls are clearly meant to be on a controller and you need your friends to help manage the inn as the levels get crazier. But I really liked the extra aspects of this that went beyond managing a kitchen and instead managing the inns and outs (see what I did there?) of running a business. Not only do you need to serve the potions and cook the meats, you have to fight off attacking monsters and keep the literal CAT burglars away from your piggie bank. I could see this being a lot of fun with a full group of friends to play with.

I have more to post about but I’m going to break here. What demos have you played for PAX Online? Any stand-outs? Let me know in the comments!

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