Our PAX experience was a bit abbreviated this year. We missed out on our chance to purchase tickets (they were sold out within 25 minutes!) and due to the break I took from blogging, I didn’t even bother applying for a press badge this time.
We did wind up getting two badges for Sunday and two for Monday. Super Dad and Nate went on Sunday (when the gaming floor remained open until midnight), and SD and I did Monday (when the whole thing closed up at 7, way closer to my bedtime). Due to a raging headache, I didn’t even make to the convention center until about one in the afternoon. So it was kind of a PAX Fail this year. I buzzed around the expo halls and tried to take in as much as possible, and so now I present to you:
Parenting Geekly’s very brief PAX Prime 2014 Wrap Up:
Highlights for the kiddos:
Cartoon Network Studios has the Adventure Time Game Wizard coming out in time for the holidays. Cartoon Network has partnered with Pixel Press and this game will be based on the same technology as Pixel Press Floors, a game in which you design a platformer by drawing it. This could be a really cool licensing partnership that helps introduce kids to game design principles. I’m excited to check this one out with the kids once it’s available.
On Monday I played Shadowrun: Crossfire, a cooperative deck building game from Catalyst Games. As with many modern tabletop games, there was a bit of a learning curve, but it was fun and I *loved* the cooperative aspect. It reminded me of Upper Deck Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game, where the players are essentially playing against the board. We sometimes play the Shadowrun RPG, so it was fun to see that world in a tabletop environment. This one is probably well suited for teens and up.
Nathan had a lot of fun playing a BattleTech expansion called Alpha Strike. It was a quicker, faster
to get started version of the main game. Combat is simplified and it was a great introduction to the popular miniatures game for a young teenager.
Super Smash Bros. comes out for the 3DS in early October and for the WiiU during the holiday season. Nate spent a lot of time in the console gaming room playing older versions of Super Smash Bros. for the N64 and the Gamecube. This was one the big highlights of his PAX experience.
Sega was pushing their new Sonic BOOM series, which will feature the speedy hedgehog and his friends in a television show and in games for Nintendo. I am long time Sonic fan, and giddily ran up to have my picture taken with him. He doesn’t seem as impressed as I was.
While the line to demo the game was too crazy long for me to wait in, we are pretty excited about Borderlands the Pre-Sequel. I even got up close and personal with Handsome Jack. Definitely not for the little kids, but the Borderlands franchise is one of Nate’s favorites. We also picked up some cool Civilization merch while at the 2K booth.
We spent a lot of time, as we do each year, in the retro arcade. They have lots of pinball and retro arcade games, all free to play. It’s great fun for the adults and it’s a great place to take kids who are bored of the expo hall. Thanks to Ground Kontrol, one of our favorite spots in Portland, for hosting!
I’ve been hearing a lot about Habitat recently. From the game’s Steam Page:
“Habitat is a successfully funded Kickstarter game from indie developer 4gency. It is a real-time, physics-driven orbital strategy game where you build, fly, and fight with the unique space stations that you create out of space debris orbiting earth. In its simplest terms it is a strategic space survival game.”
Our friends who have played have raved about it and reviews are all pretty positive. What really got me interested though, was 4gency founder Charles Cox’s incredible enthusiasm. For me, this is what PAX is all about. I really enjoy learning about new games from Indie game developers. I plan on purchasing a copy of Habitat this weekend, you can expect a full review soon.
*Amazon links are affiliate links, which means that if you buy from that link I make a few cents (literally cents, but every little bit helps!). All other links are just there so you can check out some of the things I saw.