PAX East is always the place to find and play party games. The environment of a convention, full of tons of people eager to dunk on either their best friends, or an unsuspecting 10 year old, is perfect for those kind of crazy, hectic games that nearly always end up in shouts of joy and yells of disbelief.
This year was no different, and we are here to highlight five indie games that are doing the party multiplayer vibe justice:
Title: Aqua Lungers
Developer: WarpedCore Studios
Release Date: Available Now on Steam Early Access
Aqua Lungers is a fast paced split screen platformer where up to four players compete to collect treasures in dangerous locations guarded by savage creatures.
While everyone’s goal is the same, each player is afforded several options to get an edge over their competitors. Players can use their speed and agility to outpace and evade their opponents, while others might use devastating attacks to slow them down and steal their hard earned goods.
What I think I like most about Aqua Lungers is that is give you the choice to be a pain to your friends/competitors or not. The core goal of the game is simply to gather the most gold possible. This is made a bit difficult because that’s exactly what everyone else is trying to do, including the local wildlife. You’ve got to balance actually diving down into the depths to break open shipwrecks for new gold, or spending the time harassing other players, poking them over and over to get them to drop the gold they are carrying, all while avoiding the gold-hungry fish and sea-beasts.
It’s chaotic, colorful and a threat to friendships in the best way: exactly what you want in this kidn of game!
Developer: Studio Erikson
Release Date: Later in 2019
Fromto is a horrible, childish 2D sandbox racing game with in game track building. All players race an unfinished track in turn. When everyone fails all players must ‘work together’ to modify the track before they try again. Think strategic, build sneaky routes and trick your opponents with nifty traps and obstacles. Experiment endlessly with tons of track parts and win in unthinkable ways. Play with up to four friends (online or offline) in this action packed living playground.
Fromto is one of the most adorable concepts for a party game I’ve ever run into, with almost all it’s artistic assets being created by the developers young children. Don’t let its childish aesthetic fool you though, because the competition can get fierce.
Played in a similar way to Ultimate Chicken Horse, Fromto involves players adding aids or obstacles to the track after each rounds of attempts to reach the finish line. While Ultimate Chicken Horse combines this with platforming, Fromto adds it to physics based car racing, which can make some absolutely hilarious moments when the physics of the level decide to rain on your parade.
Title:Fruit Postal Service
Developer: Chris DiNome, Tyler Gier, Anna Hegyaljai, Matteus van der Wilden, Sawyer Warden
Platform: PC, ?
Release Date: Unknown
Fruit Postal Service is a student game we saw at Playcrafting’s PREGAMER event, which took place the night before PAX East got underway proper. FPS is still very early in development (hence no trailer to show), but it has incredibly good foundations, so I wanted to mention it here.
In FPS, each player plays as a fruit, driving a delivery truck around to pick up different color packages to deliver to different color-coded delivery locations. Each fruit has different abilities, like the Banana’s ability to through a peel on the road, or the Watermelon’s ability to shoot seeds, and there’s a surprising bit of strategy in the gameplay. Each truck can carry 3 packages of any color, so you have to weigh variety versus focusing on one color, since you’ll be able to score more points at one delivery if you are only carrying blue packages when you get to the blue delivery point.
There’s a TON of potential in FPS, and I am very eager to see it develop.
Title: Fling to the Finish
Developer: SplitSide Games
Platform: PC, Nintendo Switch
Release Date: Q3 2019
Demo Build Available on Itch
Fling to the Finish is a cooperative racing game where teammates are tethered together by a stretchy elastic rope. Get up close and personal with your partner as you share a controller to maneuver two characters bouncing, rolling, and flinging their way to the finish line!
It was tough for me to decide if I was going to put Fling to The Finish on the Party Game list, or the Cooperative Game list, because it’s a unique combination of both head-to-head competition and cooperation.
In Fling to The Finish, you and a partner are tied together, two rolley-polley balls with a rubber band between you. Your plopped onto a track opposite another similarly situated team, and the race is on. You’ll have to work together to make it through the race quickly, avoiding the rubber band being caught on terrain obstacle, using it to fling each other along, and even wrapping it around things to keep from falling.
It hilarious to watch and even more hilarious to play, and involves a whole lot of screaming to each other as you try to make something with no intention of working work to your advantage.
BOMBFEST is an award-winning party game for you and up to three friends! Battle in wooden forts, on folding chairs, and inside the kitchen sink as you attempt to be the last player standing. Use bombs to eliminate your foes, but don’t get caught in a chain reaction of explosions!
Finally, BOMBFEST is a party game born from something we’ve all done: knocking things down. Inspired by the childhood acting of smashing down the wooden block buildings you just constructed, BOMBFEST sees your party dropped into a miniature battleground, with beautifully rendered environments set up on kitchen tables and bed stands.
Each player can throw and pickup bombs, and that’s about as easy a mechanic as you can get, as resulting explosions will fling your little playing piece out of bounds. Fear not however, as even when you are out of a round, you’ll respawn as a a bomb able to exert a little bit of control on the battle even if you were eliminated from an early explosion.
Stay Tuned, because will bringing you a breakdown of our favorite Cooperative Multiplayer Games and Puzzle Games from PAX East as well!