In a recent episode of the Single Player Experience Podcast, I talked about the best games that I played during my Second day at Pax and I gave my Day 2 Awards. We talked about indies like 30xx, Chicken Police, And Lost Eidolons. We also talked about the AAA games that I played like Prince of Persia, Tekken 8, Persona 5 Tactical, and more. Before we closed out that episode of the Single Player Experience, I gave my Day 2 MVP award. Here, I’m going to do the same thing with the games that I played on Day 3. Here are the Pax West 2023 Day 3 Awards!
Most Unique Game: Sky the Scrapper
Every once in a while I come across a game that I look at sideways due to it’s concept being out there. That was my initial reaction when I heard about Sky the Scrapper. Then I heard the magic words that always seem to make me interested in a game. Sky the Scrapper is a Roguelike game. That genre continues to be my kryptonite or the dessert that I can’t seem to resist.
Here is their description of the game: “This is a building cleaning Roguelike action game, about a young man named Sky, who chases uncertain dreams as a building cleaner. Conquer thrilling randomly changing high-rise stages, upgrade skills and gear with your money and will, and find your path within a two-month limit.”
My Impressions: Right off the back I’ll admit that I didn’t do well in the demo. The PR rep often laughed with me as I continuously fell off of the building. I’d rest my character up a bit and do one of the many side activities and then gear up to once again try to clean off another skyscrapper. It didn’t take long for me to once again fail quickly in that endeavor. The dangerous part was that in that little time that I played the game, that loop was enough to get it hooks into me. Like many of the roguelike games that I adore, the Sky the Scrapper got me hooked and wanting more. This game drops in 2024 and best believe I’ll be playing it. Not only because it was entertaining, but to earn my redemption.
Other Dope Games I played:
The next game I want to talk about is a first-person shooter but with a Roguelite twist. This is a game that I couldn’t believe someone else hasn’t done before because it is such a cool concept. The game is called Skopje, which is named after the city. Fun fact this city is also the Capital of the Republic of Macedonia.
Their description of the game: “Dive into Skopje, a comic book-styled first-person shooter with rogue-lite elements and an open-ended world gameplay. Explore a city thrust into disarray by an unknown event and survive the hordes of mutated abominations that lurk at every corner.”
My impression of the game: Skopje is a game that I don’t know how to pronounce, but I do know that it has the potential to be something special. Playing the demo gave me the vibes of playing Call of Duty Zombies from back in the day. The comic book art style gives the game a borderlands aesthetic, but it has the tight gameplay of Call of Duty. I love a Roguelite game and this one feels different from the ones I’ve played lately. I didn’t get a date window, but I’ll be playing the hell out of it when it drops.
Demon School a 2d turn-based RPG felt like a fusion of Yu Yu Hakusho and Persona which speaks to the 90s kid in me on every level. The 2d artsyle had a great splash of color and the game’s dialogue felt modern. The tactics were fun and challenging without being overwhelming. I loved that you could plot and preview your whole team’s moves for a turn and see how that strategy would work out for you HP-wise without having to learn that in retrospect afterward. If you don’t like the preview of the strategy you did then you can back out and try another. This is a smaller RPG to keep an eye on.
Morphing into your opponents is a concept that years ago I thought would be a major trend in video games. Turns out I was wrong, but the French Studio, Yummy Games is out to show why that is a cool feature in their upcoming game, Project Tower. This is a Sci-Fi game that not only intrigued me with its morphing concept, but also with it’s visuals. It is running in Unreal Engine 5, and is another great example of how Indie studios are using Unreal to redefine the landscape of 3D Modern indies.
Their description of the game: “Project Tower is a 3rd person shooter set in a science fiction world. You play as a poisoner trapped in a tower. The only way to regain your freedom is by reaching its summit. For that, unlock new weapons, new abilities and fight those who locked you here. Metamorphose yourself to better surprise your enemies. Use this unique mechanic to get out of all sorts of situations. Are you ready to take up this challenge?”
My impression of the game: Project Tower was a delightfully fun game that impressed me in many ways. I like the “become the Aliens” concept and it has gameplay that reminds me of Returnal. The Yummy Games team said that they still have some work to do and didn’t provide a release date, but whenever they decide to bless us with Project Tower you can be sure that I’ll be playing this game of Day 1 of it’s release.
There hasn’t been a pod racing game in a very long time. The Dark side of the video game industry has been strong evident. Out to bring balance back to the world by way of giving us a Pod racing type of game is Genungames with their upcoming games Ascent: Rivals. Genungames is a studio based out of Seattle Washington and they are a passionate team who showcased some dope games at Pax West. One of them is Ascent: Rivals. This pod racing-like experience is fast-paced, with some speed running elements and an emphasis on utilizing your turbo boost at the right time. The controls are very different than Star Wars Episode 1: Racer which is appropriate since this team is out to put their own spin on the concept. While the game is still a bit early in development, it demo’d well both with its controls and it’s visuals. I’ve been wanting a modern day pod racing game for years and I lost hope that I would ever get one. Thanks to Ascent: Rivals that hope is back in full force.
MVP award of Day 3: Big Boy Boxing
Over the years one of my most played games has been Fight Night Champion. Its partly because it is a good game and it also because I love boxing. So when I heard that there was a boxing game that was going to be a Pax West I was excited to see what it was going to bring to table. Big Boy Boxing did enough to not only impress, but earn the Day 3 MVP award.
Here is their description of the game: “Experience the singleplayer action-boss-rush game with pixel-perfect retro aesthetics and inspiration from classic titles like ‘Punch-Out!!’, and recent indie hits like ‘Cuphead’. Starting off as a typical underdog story, you encounter, challenge, and befriend different characters all with their own unique personalities & backstories. Reading your opponent is key to getting the upper hand in the boxing ring!”
Big Boy Boxing feels like Punch-out’s gameplay meets Cuphead’s artstlye. The bosses are varied enough that each level feels unique and presents its own challenges. I can see myself playing this game on any platform…even the Switch and I avoid playing my Switch these days. I can’t wait for the game to come out and it is firmly on my most anticipated games list.
Overall Day 3 impressions:
My Pax day 3 was filled with a lot of variety. There was a pod racing games, a Boxing game, a game where I got to turn into an alien, and a Roguelike Window cleaning game. I was blown away by each game in a different way. Pax West 2023 Day 3 Awards was tough because there were so many great games. It made me want to add more categories just so that I could give them all awards. There is a bit of something for everyone here.
So that’s it for my Pax West 2023 Day 3 Awards. It was a good time and it made me look forward to a solid list of upcoming indies. Stay tuned for more PaxWest Impressions right here and on the Single Player Experience Podcast!
Check out our Day 1 Impressions and the Day 1 MVP!
Until next time stay safe, keep gaming, and enjoy the Single Player Experience.