While there were a host of new puzzle games to be intrigued by this year, I actually found I had a hard time narrowing down the field of party games, mainly because most of my old favorites from last PAX East were back again, showing off their improvements, updates, and additions.
In this year’s list, I won’t be mentioning ARENA GODS or INVERSUS, which were both at this year’s show, but were part of our list of 4 Fantastic Party Games last year. They are both absolutely phenomenal games though, so don’t hesitate to check them out.
Here are 4 NEW party games we saw at PAX East 2017 to get excited about:
Title: Nidhogg II
Release Date: TBD 2017
Nidhogg II has had a bit of mixed reception since its announcement: The art style of the sequel IS vastly different than the original, and a lot of people don’t really seem to like that. However, having played the game and had my but thoroughly trounced over multiple levels by developer Mark Essen, I can say the the gameplay is better than ever.
Instead of one weapon, you now play with a rotating series of weapons, gaining a new one every time you die/ There are rapiers, broadswords, daggers, and bows with Mark hinting at the inclusion of a few more. The variety of weapons is incredible, and forces you to think on your feet even more so than the original Nidhogg. In particular the Bow, can completely change the way you have to approach your assault: Mark was a particularly good shot with the bow, and I was particularly bad at timing my arrow dodges, which gave him a massive advantage for a while.
Personally, I don’t mind the change in artistic direction. I definitely liked the minimalism of the first Nidhogg more than the cartoony style of Nidhogg II, but it’s not going to stop me from enjoying dueling for many evenings to come.
Developer: Mild Beast Games
Release Date: TBA 2017
SUNDOWN is a top-down multiplayer stealth game where all the maps are covered in darkness, and every player shares the same view of the screen.
Use the darkness to sneak up on your friends and shoot them. But be careful; shooting will light you up and reveal yourself to everyone!
SUNDOWN surprised the heck out of me. It’s a relatively simple concept that is pulled off superbly, and came out of nowhere.
In SUNDOWN, you select a character and a weapon, ranging from SMG’s to shotguns, to a sword. Then you’re dropped into an environment where things are a little bit dark. Be it a creepy old mansion or a shut down factory, there isn’t a lot of light, and that darkness is your friend.
Unless you fire, trigger a trap or walk into one of the few illuminated corners of the map, you’re invisible in SUNDOWN. Suddenly, a simple 4 player arena shooter becomes a tactical game of cat and mouse, where standing still in wait is an entirely viable tactic, and baiting people into guessing where you’re going is a necessity.
SUNDOWN is incredible fun, and I’m very eager to see what other fantastic things they do with to concept of light and darkness.
Title: Think of the Children
Developer: Jammed Up Studios
Release Date: Q2 2017
Little Bobby’s chasing a feral dog, the BBQ’s on fire, Jen’s eating poisonous berries and the birthday cake still needs icing. It’s just another wonderful day with the kids so… Ready! Set! Parent!
Honestly, I can’t think of a game that made me both shake my head and think “why hasn’t anyone done this before” more than Think of the Children.
In Think of the Children, you play as a parent, either a single parent or a group of them. You have a to-do list that has to get done, be it work around the house, cleaning up the lawn, or shopping for groceries. You also have what can only be called a gaggle of children, all to eager to touch what they shouldn’t touch, play with things they shouldn’t be playing with, and eat things guaranteed to poison them.
Your goal is to complete your list with minimal child injury or death. It’s absolute chaos, handles amazingly well, is incredibly fun and feels oddly relatable: we’ve all seen someone in a market dealing with a kid that could have come out of this game, and I’m sure many readers have far more personal examples of child-rangling they can relate to.
Title: Sausage Sports Club
Developer: Chris Wade
Release Date: 2017
Sausage Sports Club is a sausage-themed physics game about adorable, long-necked animals competing on a reality sports TV show!
The game’s focus is multiplayer, where up to 8 players can play tons of different sports games, customize their characters and unlock modes, levels, characters, skins and hats. In addition to multiplayer, the game will also have a single player/co-op mode where you can test your skills against AI.
Taping into the chaotic fun of games like Gang Beasts, Sausage Sports Club offers you the best of floppy character models, with a fantastic number of party games to give you an actual goal.
In Sausage Sports Club, you’ll pick a sausage shaped animal (or bus) avatar and be dropped into a series of games ranging from capture the flag, to soccer to a Splatoon-like area control game. One joystick controls movement, and the other controls the flailing sausage shaped body of your avatar, which you can use to push and slap other players around.
It’s ridiculous in a very good way, and immense fun. I’m hoping for a bit of a Mario Party-esq addition to the game, as it feels a little flash in the pan and random right now, but there’s some very good sausage shaped bones to work with.
Want to learn more about the games we saw at PAX East 2017? Check out this page, which lists all the game’s we saw, and we will be updating with links to our coverage as we complete it