Mecha Dating, Angry Geese, Pretty Jumps: Three Games That Looked Rad at PAX

In-between stops at the bar, 'Star Renegades,' 'Gris,' and 'Untitled Goose Game' caught my eye.

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Sep 5 2018, 7:49pm

Image courtesy of Massive Damage

There are a billion games at every PAX, and because most of my time is spent socializing with friends and fans, I’m left with a limited amount of time. That said, I usually come away with a handful of games on my radar, games I’ll be keeping a closer eye on going forward, and PAX West 2018 was no different. Icould spend a bunch of time talking about The Quiet Man, but we’ll, uh, save that for another post.

Instead, here are three games suddenly hyped on:

Star Renegades

The brief teaser trailer released in March didn’t show much beyond mechs and pixels, and while, truetruetrue, that should be enough at a website called Waypoint, it didn’t stick. When I asked for the elevator pitch at PAX, here’s what I was told: mecha JRPG roguelike with dating sim elements. At Waypoint Radio’s live panel, there was an audible “Oooooh" when I passed this on. You’re right to have that reaction; Star Renegades already has a ton of promise. The game has only been in development since January and shows—the combat was flashy but confusing to follow—but it’s playing with enough interesting ideas and so much style that, despite today’s glut of roguelikes, Star Renegades still stands out.

Gris

Just...wow. The easy comparison here is Journey in 2D, but lemme try another angle. Every year, the Oscars have a handful of semi-condescending “foreign” categories, a brief moment for Hollywood to acknowledge movies are sometimes made in non-English languages. There’s an award for foreign film animations, too, right? And every time I watch this category, there’s always some incredible, I dunno, German/French/whatever film with an aesthetic so striking because we're so used to things in the Disney/Pixar mold. Gris feels like that slapped onto a great puzzle-centric platformer. I didn’t spend enough time with Gris to grasp how much platforming it’s going to demand of people, but hopefully not much; its visuals are enough.

Untitled Goose Game

I know the Internet already loves this game, but it’s one thing to cackle at GIFs, it’s another to play the game and see if it actually works. Untitled Goose Game wouldn’t be the first game to work better as a trailer than a game. But…so far, so good; as it turns out, it’s not only fun to watch a goose be a dick, it’s fun to be that dickish goose. Untitled Goose Game’s charm extends beyond its looks and into the gameplay. I laughed every time I watched a poor farmer chase after the goose who’d stolen his keys, and it was just as funny when I sat down to do it myself. And dang, this’ll be a good Switch game, the kind of “you have to see this” experience you’ll want to show friends and family.

Follow Patrick on Twitter. If you have a tip or a story idea, drop him an email: patrick.klepek@vice.com.

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