The Games Of PAX West 2018
As one of the biggest gaming conventions on the west coast, PAX West has remained a popular destination for developers to get their next big titles in front of their audience, and for fans to discover something new brand new. With indies and AAA titles out in full force, there were a lot of games to check out at private events and on the show floor.
After spending some time whittling down our picks, we drafted our selection of some of PAX West 2018’s most noteworthy games. While some of these titles are quite well known, there are many others that were just recently revealed to the public, allowing us the opportunity to get first hands-on with the games. In addition to being among the first to play Streets of Rage 4 and Windjammers 2, we also got a detailed look of the upcoming Torchlight Frontiers, which will be a big change for the action-RPG series.
In addition to those games, we also saw a number of other games that possess an incredible amount of creativity and personality, which goes a long way in the eyes of passionate gamers. Along with Lab Zero Games’ action-RPG Indivisible, Devolver Digital’s Gato Roboto, and the chilling World of Horror, the indie scene is looking very exciting. Here are 24 games that stood out the most to us at PAX West 2018.
For more info on PAX West and the other games coming later this year and in early 2019, check out our impressions of Streets of Rage 4, Life is Strange 2, and along with our bizarre, yet fun interview with SUDA51 regarding the upcoming Killer7 Remaster.
Astroneer | PC
Though the concept of Astroneer makes it sound like Minecraft in space, in actuality it’s far more advanced than the popular terrestrial-based builder ever could. Focusing on the pioneering spirit behind space-exploration, the ensuing adventures will prompt players to think big to come up with some unorthodox solutions to some of Astroneer’s more complex challenges. Currently in early access, the game’s approach to online exploration and base-building–allowing players to break down and recreate the environment at will–has given players plenty of options to come up with some clever solutions.
However, Astroneer is planning to shoot even further to the stars with its upcoming 1.0 update, launching this December. In order to give the community some added challenge after they’ve established themselves on their planets, players will eventually uncover mysterious alien monoliths while exploring–which will force players to work together to figure out their origins. Along with more planets and other new additions coming in the next update, the space-exploration game has plenty in store for its community. The sense of scale in Astroneer is already impressive, and it’ll be exciting the see where the game goes from here with its ambitious new update. | Alessandro Fillari
Black Future ’88 | PC
Black Future ‘88 pitches a dark cyberpunk world where you must climb a procedural tower and face off against waves of enemies–where death is all but inevitable. A familiar concept to be sure, but Black Future ‘88 brings a style all its own with a slick neon presentation and over-the-top weapons. In my demo at PAX I got my hands on a teleportation gun that swapped me with the enemies I killed. Add a second player into the mix and the game becomes a chaotic mess of color and bullets that’s exhilarating to play.
Games like Dead Cells have brought fresh new takes on the roguelike genre and Black Future ‘88 has the potential to do this at well. It feels great to play and its use of the cyberpunk genre could make it a real winner. | Jean-Luc Seipke
The Blackout Club | PC
In The Blackout Club, you control of a group of teenagers who take matters into their own hands after discovering their town, and all the adults in it, are a part of a secret conspiracy that puts the entire world at risk. Though this premise sounds very similar to other shows and films like Stranger Things and Stephen King’s IT, the co-op survival-horror experience does things a bit differently, putting players deeper into the experience of fighting the so-called “truth monster”. Coming from the same developers behind games like Thief: Deadly Shadows, BioShock 2, and the underrated The Magic Circle, The Blackout Club pulls from a large pedigree of games in the immersive sim sub-genre to craft something that feels all its own.
Though it can be played solo, The Blackout Club shines when it’s played with others online. With much of the game’s objectives and resources randomized, each playthrough will result in some different encounters, forcing players to communicate and use their tools carefully. However, the one constant throughout your many missions is the enigmatic force known as The Shape, an invisible entity that stalks players throughout the level. And the only way for players to see is by having their characters close their eyes, and call out its location to the others. The Blackout Club shows a lot of promise, and the atmosphere it exudes is both unnerving and exciting, which makes us eager to dive back in for another round. | Alessandro Fillari
Boyfriend Dungeon | PC
For anyone who loves either social simulations or dungeon-crawling action RPGs, there is Boyfriend Dungeon. It cleverly brings both genres together by letting you, yes, build relationships with your weapons. Outside of dungeons, weapons manifest themselves as actual people with different personalities of all genders. You’ll have heartfelt conversations with them, and dialogue options will determine the outcome of your dates, which turns into upgraded attributes for when you have to slash through hordes of enemies. There’s a small overworld to walk around, filled with date spots, but we only had the chance to take a nice stroll around the park with our dagger Valeria.
Actual dungeons are made up of multiple floors filled with varied enemy types, but Boyfriend Dungeon shines in how fast and fluid combat feels. Responsive controls make the isometric hacking, slashing, and combo-stringing wholly satisfying, and the soothing synth-pop soundtrack makes it all the more enjoyable. We’re looking forward to digging more into Boyfriend Dungeon and see where these relationships take us when the game launches sometime in 2019. | Michael Higham
Breach | PC
Breach is a co-op brawler that takes influence from several cultures’ mythologies and several genres’ tropes, putting them into a free-to-play game where our Earth has collided with the Mythological Earth. You and a group of friends take on levels based on a specific mythology with various styles of gameplay depending on which class you choose. For example, in Egypt, me and my teammates took on appropriately-themed enemies such as the crocodile god Sobek and the jackal deity Anubis.
I played as the Reaper class, which had me wielding a scythe and casting Death-like abilities. I had zombie-like hands rising from the ground to impede my enemies, while I ominously made my way towards them as if I was Death slowly following my next victim. Other classes I tried out let me shoot enemies from afar or attack them up close with launchers and air combos as if I was Dante from Devil May Cry–in fact, the developer was eager to admit they took inspiration from Capcom’s demon hunter.
I had fun with Breach, but I felt my enjoyment was dependent on the type of class I chose: there were several others that I just didn’t vibe with. I was told that Breach is taking inspiration from League of Legends in that it will be a free-to-play game that has classes on a free rotation, allowing you to buy the ones you want to keep. You can test every class before buying them, but if you’re not willing to throw down money, then some rotations could prove to be obstacles. It’ll be interesting to see how the game evolves once it hits Steam Early Access. | Mat Paget
Get In The Car, Loser! | PC
Road trips can often be a boring tests of patience as you head to your destination. But in Get in The Car, Loser!, it’s very much about the journey you take while you’re on that long stretch of road. Announced this year for PC, the developers at Love Conquers All Games, the same team behind the visual novel game Ladykiller In A Bind, brings their similar sense of lovelorn style to a new genre. Bringing together a diverse crew of queer vagabonds–including a brawler, mage, a soldier, and an always reliable driver–the road-trip romance RPG will have the party share their feelings on life, dating, and love while on their drive–stopping every so often to fuel up, and engage in some fights with monsters that get in the way.
Get In the Car, Loser! isn’t shy about sharing its influences from the Final Fantasy series, with many of the battles and similar premise pulling from Final Fantasy XIII and XV respectively. However, it does a clever job of recontextualizing the party gameplay and battles from the JRPG series into a more down-to-earth and surprisingly honest story. The romance roadtrip role-playing game still has a ways to go before release, but the early look we had offered a refreshing and fun take on familiar RPG gameplay. | Alessandro Fillari
Killer Queen Black | PC, Switch
When Killer Queen was first introduced, the only way to play it was at your local arcade–which are always so few and far between. Even then, very few places were fortunate enough to house one, making it one of the more rare arcade games. With the newest version of Killer Queen, now called Killer Queen Black, it’s a much more accessible take on the original, and it’s set for release on PC and the Nintendo Switch. Much like the original release, two teams compete to secure enough resources to mount an attack on the opposing team’s queen. However, Killer Queen Black is quite different from the arcade version.
While the original game in the arcade allows for ten players, the Black release dials it down to 8 to make a it bit more manageable for players. As the first time people can play this game out of the arcades, there’s several different ways to enjoy the game. Killer Queen Black on Switch is quite the experience, allowing for multiple players to come together with several joycons and consoles. Playing Killer Queen Black was an absolute blast, and I can’t wait to play it some more. | Gajan Kulasingham
Knights and Bikes | PC
I often think back to my childhood and long for those days of innocence. Childhood is kinda what Knights and Bikes is all about. You and a friend play as two virtual friends called Nessa and Demelza, as they explore the British island of Penfurzy. You run around the world, finding stuff to do, items to use, and puzzles to solve. I didn’t come across any combat, but there are apparently enemies you’ll have to deal with. What I got to see involved puzzle solving, high fives, and goofy activities like racing your friend.
The freedom of exploration reminds me a lot of the first time my friend and I were allowed to run around our hometown on our own. Getting into trouble, finding dumb and fun things do, and imagining grand adventures was our MO, and Knights and Bikes seems to capture that feeling quite well. I’m looking forward to jumping into it for real with a close friend. | Mat Paget
Metal Wolf Chaos XD | PC
Part of me thinks to myself, “how the hell is Metal Wolf Chaos getting remastered today?” But here we are. From Software has made a name for itself with the likes of Dark Souls and Bloodborne, but the developer put out the comedic Metal Wolf Chaos exclusively in Japan for the original Xbox back in 2004, and its gone on to earn cult status despite. It’s a third-person mech-based shooter that puts you in the shoes of US President Michael Wilson, who is seeking revenge on Vice President Richard Hawk after he staged a military coup. Also, you’re related to 28th President Woodrow Wilson.
At its core, Metal Wolf Chaos remains untouched. It plays nearly identical to its original release, clunkiness and all. Voice acting, sound effects, levels, and almost all graphical assets are just as they were 14 years ago. Thankfully the game gets native widescreen support and modern screen resolutions, but there are also bloom effects to make the lighting pop a bit more. President Wilson’s mech has two firing modes that can be outfitted with different weapons on the fly, in addition to jumping and boost jets.
We’ll be able to revel in all its absurdity when Metal Wolf Chaos XD launches sometime in 2019, and it’ll be the first time the game gets localized and released worldwide. | Michael Higham
My Friend Pedro | PC, Switch
If Max Payne went 2D and threw any level of seriousness out the window, you’d get My Friend Pedro. This side-scrolling shooter brings together a few unique mechanics for some real wild moments. You can dive, flip, and somersault into firefights while going into a bullet time slow-mo to take down a room full of bad guys. Object physics also play a role in pulling off ridiculous stunts; for example, we kicked a frying pan up in the air, shot at it so bullets would ricochet off it to hit enemies perched on high up ledges. Core mechanics like the spinning dodge and splitting your dual-wielded weapons to shoot at both sides of the screen come in handy for staying nimble.
My Friend Pedro does move a little slower than you might expect, but given the number of things happening on screen at once, you’re at least given time to devise a course of action and make your moves. Oh yeah, and your friend Pedro is that talking banana that guides you along the way. | Michael Higham
Ninjala | Switch
Ninjala takes its premise of young ninjas wielding weapons made from bubble gum very seriously. Which is to say that it goes all the way with its ridiculous premise. As a multiplayer focused online action-game, with some hints of Splatoon‘s sense of color and whimsy, Ninjala focuses heavily on fast-paced action to overcome other rival ninjas to reach number one. Set against the backdrop of a massive ninja tournament, you and other agile fighters will use their special bubblegum-jutsu to pull off some slick maneuver and skills.
Though there is a story mode focusing on the game’s eight characters, the developers at Gung Ho have kept much of it underwraps, opting to show off more of the game’s multiplayer mode. After spending a few rounds in the game, I came away excited to see more of what’s to come with Ninjala, and what other bubblegum-jutsu skills there are to take advantage of. | Alessandro Fillari
Ooblets | PC, Xbox One
I’m an absolute sucker for games like Stardew Valley and Animal Crossing, so anything where I get to run away from real life, move to a new town, and meet its citizens already has my attention. Ooblets combines farming and town exploration gameplay with something similar to Pokemon. You farm, grow, and collect Ooblets, which you can use to battle other trainers and their Ooblets. However, this game is entirely wholesome, so you’re not fighting each other–no, instead you’re competing in dance battles.
Unfortunately, my time with Ooblets was limited, and I was told there were areas outside of the town to explore and find new Ooblets in. I’m excited to spend my own time with it, where I can grow bonds with both the citizens of Oob and my Ooblets. It’s not the type of game that benefits from short, impersonal demos; however, for the short amount of time I spent with it, I was relaxed, charmed, and happy. And that’s exactly what I look for in this type of game. | Mat Paget
Rebel Galaxy Outlaw | PC
No Man’s Sky took me across the galaxy, but it just wasn’t the Han Solo simulator I was itching for. And if the first Rebel Galaxy was a single finger scratching said itch, then Rebel Galaxy Outlaw could be a full body scratch-fest that makes a dog’s tail wag like a turbo-induced grandfather clock. I was completely enraptured with Outlaw during my brief time with it. Shooting down enemy cruisers, taking on Star Destroyers, and helping victims of spaces pirates was immediately appealing. But as exciting as the intergalactic dog fights were, that’s not what has me thinking of the game weeks after playing it: it was the style that permeated every nook and cranny of this game.
It was the radio, playing everything from metal to country and rock n’ roll to big band music, while I dodged enemy fire. It was the space stations that were home to aliens playing pool and people looking to hire for a job. It was the finger guns the main character shoots at her enemies before blowing them up with some carefully-aimed missiles. Rebel Galaxy Outlaw has one heck of a style, and it’s one I can’t wait to revisit once it releases next year. | Mat Paget
Samurai Gunn 2 | Switch
One neat surprise going into PAX West was Samurai Gunn 2, a sequel to the 2013 PC game that focuses on fast-paced multiplayer action with a sleek retro look. Once again, up to four players can slash and shoot at each other in a deathmatch that takes place in single-screen combat arenas. However, a big addition this time around is the inclusion of single-player, which consists of side-scrolling levels where you mow down enemies. Boss fights will also pit you against one of the playable characters in unique arenas with deadly obstacles to dodge.
Aside from running, jumping, and slashing, players have three gunshots or dashes per life in multiplayer. You can slash upward or downward, and swinging your sword carries momentum. You can pull of some neat tricks by adding momentum to your jumps. Each combat arena has unique conditions such as deadly spikes, sticky walls, or puddles that’ll jam your gun.
New artwork was done for the game, and a digital graphic novel by French artist Valentin Seiche will also be included; characters now have their own backstory. Samurai Gunn 2 is fast and hectic, and it’s set to hit the Nintendo Switch in early 2019. | Michael Higham
Steel Rats | PC
Steel Rats follows a motorcycle gang in the post-apocalypse, where the player controls its multiple members as they ride through various levels full of enemies. With its side-scrolling, motorcycle gameplay, comparisons could be made to the Trials series, though from what I played, Steel Rats is much more focused on combat and light puzzle-solving than actual platforming. The levels I played were relatively easy, though I was told the difficulty would ramp up as the game progressed.
Each character has their own unique weapon or ability to take out the robotic enemies–one of the characters I had access to used a laser of sorts to shoot enemies as you rode past them. However, each character has a blade on their front tire that can be used to break through obstacles and enemies, as well as a way to ride up walls and on ceilings. Getting through each level without stopping was tricky yet exciting, and I’ll be interested to see how the later levels challenge you. | Mat Paget
Stormland | PC
You may be praising developer Insomniac right now for its wonderful work on the PlayStation 4 exclusive Spider-Man game. But the team is hard at work with its fourth VR game called Stormland. It’s one of the more ambitious VR games on the horizon as its attempting to build a persistent open world that’s constantly changing.
It’s a first-person shooter and adventure where you’re a robot that was once just a gardener who now has to protect its world from an evil robot force–not a groundbreaking premise. However, Stormland stands out by pushing the boundaries of VR gameplay-wise, especially with traversal. Artificial locomotion is the only way to walk in the world, and you’ll be climbing walls, jumping off cliffs, and gliding through the air to get around the open world. You may want to get acquainted with movement in VR to see if you can handle these types of motions. Aside from that, you’ll take on quests, loot for upgrades, and shoot down enemy robots, which can be done with a group of friends. The game world is said to change in physical structure every week with new objectives to mix things up.
Stormland will launch for Oculus Rift sometime in 2019. | Michael Higham
Super Meat Boy Forever | PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One
Super Meat Boy represents that rare game that became a classic almost the instant it was released. Its tightly tuned platforming and unforgiving challenge is rarely matched even today. I spent countless hours retrying level after level to get the perfect run, while the pile of Meat Boy bodies continued to rise.
At first glance a sequel might not seem necessary, but Super Meat Boy Forever is bringing new ideas while keeping the feel that makes the first game so good intact. As the name suggests, the Forever is an endless runner. Meat Boy auto runs while you use jump and punch to make your way through each gauntlet. The lack of direct control may feel strange as first but you quickly find that by removing the need to worry about movement, Forever refines the Super Meat Boy formula to its purest form. Levels are auto generated and adapt to your skill level. While it’s hard to say how this works overall, in my time with the game’s first world I found each level to be a well crafted nightmare of saw-blades and death, with no signs of the seams that put them together.
We’re still not sure when Super Meat Boy Forever will finally release, but I can’t wait to punish myself in the name of perfection all over again. | Jean-Luc Seipke
Torchlight Frontiers | PC
It’s a difficult thing, making games in the lootfest action-RPG genre, because it will always have a Diablo-shaped shadow hanging over it. But although it may not have the brand recognition of Blizzard’s iconic RPG, the Torchlight series has always been an exercise in smart, refined, and creative role-playing. With Torchlight Frontiers, developer Echtra Games is taking its oft overlooked series and bringing it into the modern multiplayer scene: its core gameplay loop of isometric combat and loot management is still intact–but much of it will now unfold within a shared world. Think: Diablo meets Destiny.
During our demo at PAX West, we saw two new classes: the robot and the dusk mage. The former uses chest-mounted cannons and interchangeable appendages, while the latter relies on alternating dark and light energy. Although the shared world components weren’t present in this demo, Echtra described how the long term gameplay will take shape: you’ll spend much of your time exploring an overworld populated by other human players, before diving into “private” dungeons by yourself, or with cooperative party members.
All in all, Frontiers looks promising. The core Torchlight identity is intact, with customizable characters and an array of progression options that dwarf those of Diablo 3. However, with the shared-world options making their way to the forefront, Torchlight Frontiers could set itself apart even farther with its next entry. | Mike Mahardy
Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes | Switch
Suda51 is at it again with Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes. However, instead of the open-world action-adventure type game we’ve come to expect from this series, Travis Strikes Again will be a hack-and-slash style where you tear through hordes of enemies. Co-op is at the heart of experience with one player as series protagonist Travis Touchdown and the other as Badman, father of past boss, Bad Girl. While the two are at odds, they’ll need to fight together to get out of the Death Drive Mk II, which is the demonic possessed game console they’re trapped in. As you’d expect from a game about game characters stuck inside games, things get meta.
While it uses the conventions of other games of this genre, the attitude and aesthetic is very much true to No More Heroes–it’s crude, absurd, and relentlessly stylish. Bosses seem to be a highlight as well; during the demo at PAX West, we completed a hectic boss battle and pulled off a sweet co-op special attack to finish the fight. And yes, you still have to use the bathroom to save.
Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes is currently a Switch exclusive set to launch January 18, 2019. | Michael Higham
Treachery In Beatdown City | PC, Switch
In Treachery In Beatdown City, an ex-MMA fighter, a boxer, and a stockbroker with skills in Capoeira team up to battle the city’s most ruthless foes to save kidnapped president Blake Orama from ninjas. While on the surface Treachery in Beatdown City looks like a parody of the inherently ridiculous premise of street brawlers throwing hands with common thugs and corrupt politicians alike–which isn’t too far off–it soon reveals that it’s got a sharp eye for satire, shining a lot on some socially relevant topics through the lens of a beat-em-up. After finding success on Kickstarter back in 2014, the game’s creator, Shawn Alexander Allen, has been steadily improving his action-RPG/beat-em-up, where super moves, suplexes, and slaps are dished out by turn.
As what is likely the first truly socially aware beat-em-up game, Beatdown City takes a far more contemporary look at the beat-em-up genre. Many of the encounters the trio face come from pushy sidewalk rappers hawking their CDs, gentrifying transplants escalating innocuous run-ins through racially motivated micro-aggressions, and dirty cops taking pride in the privilege that comes from their profession. Even though there’s plenty of moments where Beatdown City revels in the familiar tropes of beat-em-up games–because there’s always gotta be fresh, healthy food found in trash cans–it’s not shy about telling you how it really feels, and how the brawlers now feel like outsiders in their own home. This satire of a beat-em-up game shows some grit in in places you’d least expect. | Alessandro Fillari
UFO 50 | PC
To say that diving into UFO 50‘s backlog of bespoke retro titles was incredibly nostalgic would be a massive understatement. Paying homage to the 8-bit era’s multi-cart that were jam-packed with over dozens of games–some decent, other not so much–these multi-game offerings were expensive, but had an enticing value. UFO 50 takes this concept and runs with it, packaging 50 freshly-made retro games that show off the splendor and glory of the 8-bit era.
Coming from a collective of indie developers, including Spelunky creator Derek Yu, UFO 50’s unique games cover a broad spectrum of genres and styles–all of which have their own strange twist to them. For instance, UFO 50’s take on tennis features a cast of ninjas and samurai squaring off on a Kabuki stage, using their sword strikes and special attributes to get ahead of the opponent. In many ways, UFO 50 feels like a time-capsule of games that never saw release during the 1980s. From beat-em-ups, golf, platformers, shooters, and even RPGs, the compilation game packs in a lot of value into such a modest pack, which makes it a rather compelling way to relive one of the 8-bit era’s forgotten gems. | Alessandro Fillari
Wandersong | PC, Switch
As you head off into the game’s first ‘battle’, Wandersong clues you in to the type of game you’re set to play. As the short Bard of average build prepares for his first encounter with a monster, the sword he struggles to wield leaves little to no effect in the fight. With no other option, the Bard relies on his singing voice, which immediately quells the monster, revealing a peaceful spirit who’s impressed with his vocal talents. In Wandersong, the many puzzles, interactions, and moments of action play out through song, with the Bard showing that there’s more than one way to become a hero in this musical fantasy adventure.
Wandersong plays with the adventure genre in a very whimsical way, with the protagonist engaging in battles and solving everyday problems by using his single voice. Similar to Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, the Bard’s connection to town citizens is just as important as his journeys in the wild. One moment you’ll quell a ghost in the town mayor’s home, and in the next you’ll try to cheer up a elderly person who’s grown incredibly bitter. Wandersong has an infectious charm, and it does a lot to show that there’s more to an adventure game than simply swinging a sword and slaying beasts in its colorful and bright world. | Alessandro Fillari
Windjammers 2 | TBD
Do you want more Windjammers? Of course you do, and thankfully Windjammers 2 is just that. The game is still in a very early state, so we were only able to play two different characters in the build, but the core gameplay remains in tact. From our short time playing, it seems that it’s still fast and responsive, which is the most important factor considering the precision required for high-level Windjammers play. One new feature is that each character will have their own unique special ability, which you can execute after filling up a meter at the bottom of the screen.
For those who are unfamiliar with Windjammers, it’s a fast-paced one-on-one sports game where your goal is to toss a frisbee into your opponent’s net. You have different types of throws to keep your opponent on their toes, so you better be quick on your feet. The original game came to SNK’s Neo Geo and arcades in 1994, and has a cult following and a strong competitive scene in France. To see the game receive a sequel 24 years later is a sight to behold. | Michael Higham
World Of Horror | PC
In World Of Horror, a small idyllic Japanese town in the early 1990s is haunted by a horrifying and grotesque supernatural presence that leaves a lasting impression. Taking inspiration from classic PC adventure role-playing games and along with the works of Japanese horror artist Junji Ito, World of Horror is an RPG-investigation game focusing on the exploits of a young girl who must use her wits and knowledge of the supernatural to solve the strange and peculiar cases behind each haunting in town, and expel the evil that lurks there.
Right from the beginning, the style and visual look of World of Horror will catch your eye. Despite the minimal 1-bit graphical style–designed entirely in MS Paint–the monochromatic visuals and tone throughout give much of the more violent and disturbing scenes an extra sense of dread. One moment you’ll be investigating the hallways of the local school at night, and in the next you’ll come face-to-face with ghosts and other demons with grotesque faces and bodies that hide within the darkest corners. Along with the investigation system, tasking you to find clues and the tools to survive, you’ll also do battle with the monsters and possessed humans using a turn-based combat system.
As one of the biggest surprises of PAX West 2018, World of Horror definitely keeps its scares close to the vest, lulling you into a false sense of security before surprising you with some unexpected frights. And yes, there are some incredibly unnerving jump-scares to encounter in this game. | Alessandro Fillari
Young Souls | TBD
Young Souls feels like a modern take on the classic side-scrolling beat-em-up action game with RPG elements sprinkled in. You play as either Jenn or Tristan, twin siblings who are outcasts within their town. Little do the townsfolk know that Jenn and Tristan defend the human world against a hostile alternate dimension where the combat takes place. At its heart, Young Souls is a cooperative experience, and it has a seamless jump-in jump-out function for a second player to join. Combat is simple enough in the early going with a block, dodge, light attack, heavy attack, and special power, which you’ll be using to clear out rooms of enemies. Boss battles also take place within dungeons for an added challenge.
Young Souls sports a charming 2D hand-painted pastel art style that gives that breathes life into the redhead duo and the world around them. There’s currently no word on a release date or platforms, though we did play the early build on PC. | Michael Higham