Here's an incomplete list of things I played and enjoyed. Mostly so that I don't forget them later.
Game I Tell People About When They Ask What I Saw At PAX
Elsinore - Do you ever experience Hamlet and ask yourself, Man, if only Ophelia were stuck in a time loop that she could only escape once she stopped everyone from murdering each other? Well, do I have a game for you. The build I played was still relatively new and filled with minor annoyances (omg, slow the fuck down so I can talk to you. so I went to the place and then did the thing, now what?). But I do love time loops as a mechanic, and I do love Shakespeare, so this is right up my alley.
Game That Is a Sequel to an Indie Game I Like
Steamworld Dig 2 - Stemworld Dig is such a pleasantly tight game. You dig your way through the ground, collecting gems along the way, and then making your way back up to the surface with your loot when your bag is full. This seems to be more of the same, though I'm a little worried about how some of the magic may be lost once it gets bigger. I also need to play Steamworld Heist which is very different mechanically, but also looks like a ton of fun.
Game That I Really Want to Play More Of Right Now
Ticket To Earth - There's apparently a storyline that goes with this game, but I didn't get to see it in the demo I played. It seems like a pretty fun tactical RPG designed for mobile devices, with the 'twist' being that the floor is made up of colored tiles. You can only walk on one set of colored tiles per turn and walking on those tiles charge up your special abilities. It was pleasing to both the parts of my brain that enjoy tactical turn-based games like XCOM and the parts of my brain that like Match-3 games.
Game That Compelled and Confused Me In Equal Measures But Hopefully Won't In the Final Version
Moonlighter - Both a management sim and an adventure-y dungeon crawl? The Dungeon Crawl parts were excellent and delightful. I didn't get the management sim parts, but that might be because it needs some more polish and/or explanation? The art is lovely and I stuck with it so long I missed texts telling me to meet up with my friends.
Game That Has an Adorable Slug-Cat in It
Rain World - I am not good at this game, but it was pretty, and I enjoyed watching other people play it.
Game That Is Basically Monument Valley, Which Isn't the Worst Thing in the World To Be
Where Shadows Slumber - Instead of weird 3-dimensional Escher-like manipulations, you have a lantern and manipulate shadows. Not as inherently awesome, but the devs were super open to feedback when talking to them, so hopefully the final product will sparkle.
Other things I did/saw:
Utility Kilts Booth - idk why, but this delighted me. Kilts! But functional ones! I'm sure it has a very specific niche and I'm happy for them.
Escape Room panel - I haven't really done escape rooms, but my friends wanted to see this panel, and I'm glad I did. It was fun to listen to the panelists talk about the struggle of being in a fledgling industry. I definitely need to gather people together to attempt one.
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