Busy Gamer Nation #250 - Fortified!

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fortified610Fortified! is all about laying down turrets and other fortifications (hence the name, get it?). But it's also a challenging co-op shooter you can play with your friends.

Once a wave begins, you may have to abandon your carefully considered plans and work together to take down the alien scum. You can go it alone, if that's your thing, but the developers are clear that the best experiences will be shared.

If you have 2 minutes, you can learn more about this game's dynamics.

You can download Busy Gamer Nation from our podcast page, on iTunes, or via RSS feed.

This is part of our continuing PAX Prime 2015 coverage.

Only a few more interviews to go, and then we're back to expanding the I Love Bees Definitive Edition. And other cool stuff, such as a Fallout 4 music revue similar to what we did for Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas.

Busy Gamer Nation #249 - FutureGrind

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FutureGrindAt first glance, FutureGrind reminded me of those rail missions in the Ratchet & Clank series. But it's really more like a stunt game in the vein of OlliOlli or Tony Hawk.

Once you get past the basic task of surviving a track, you'll need to up your game by chaining tricks to get a worthy score. It's punishing and not for everyone, but if mastering the art of rail grind is your thing, it sure is pretty - and hard.

You can download Busy Gamer Nation from our podcast page, on iTunes, or via RSS feed.

This is part of our continuing PAX Prime 2015 coverage.

Busy Gamer Nation #248 - To Leave

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To LeaveTo Leave is a little odd. You're this guy, and there's this flying door. You grab the door and try to escape but the door is fragile and breaks if it hits almost anything.

Fortunately, there are a fair number of checkpoints so you don't always have to start back at the beginning.

The game starts out hard and gets mindblowingly difficult from there. You'll need strategic thinking and quick thumbs to beat it.

If you have 2 minutes, you can get to know all about this game from one of its Ecuadorian creators.

You can download Busy Gamer Nation from our podcast page, on iTunes, or via RSS feed.

This is part of our continuing PAX Prime 2015 coverage.

Ladykiller in a Bind

Ladykiller in a Bind definitely was a showstopper at PAX Prime 2015. It was hard not to walk by the booth, read the signage (shown at right), and not stop and ask WTF?!

So here's the scoop: It's a lesbian erotic visual novel with some innovative gameplay mechanics.

There's more, and if you have two-and-a-half minutes, you can hear all about it in this quick but captivating interview. And, yes, the interview is PG. But the game itself? AO.

You can download Busy Gamer Nation from our podcast page, on iTunes, or via RSS feed.

This is part of our continuing PAX Prime 2015 coverage.

Dragon Fin SoupTwo years ago, we spoke with developer Grimm Bros about their fledgling roguelike adventure, Dragon Fin Soup. This year we followed up on the finished game, just released on Steam and PlayStation (if you're PlayStation Plus, you can grab it for free this month).

If you've got 3 minute and 5 seconds (the length of a '70s record company's idea of a hit single according to Billy Joel), we'll tell you all about its three modes and alcoholic protagonist, the barely veiled Red Riding Hood knockoff Red Robin. (Our first Dragon Fin Soup interview was nearly 10 minutes, if you want to hear it.)

You can download the latest Busy Gamer Nation from our podcast page, on iTunes, or via RSS feed.

This is part of our continuing PAX Prime 2015 coverage. Check back for more exciting interviews! Only 10 more interviews to go, and then we're back to expanding the I Love Bees Definitive Edition.

How To Survive 2GrrlGotGame loves zombie killing. It's sort of her life's work. She also loves crafting weapons. So when she heard about How To Survive 2's blend of zombie killing and crafting, she had to get a taste.

The game builds on the original by adding more co-op (up to 4 players at a time and more who can visit), never-ending play, and pretty much whatever the fan base wants in terms of things you can make and places you can go.

The game is out just now in Steam Early Access but it's far from done. If you want to get in on the action and provide input, there's still time. If you have 5 minutes, we'll tell you all about it including how you can help shape the game.

You can download Busy Gamer Nation from our podcast page, on iTunes, or via RSS feed.

This is part of our continuing PAX Prime 2015 coverage. Check back for more exciting interviews! Only 10 more interviews to go, and then we're back to expanding the I Love Bees Definitive Edition.

Sometimes Always MonstersThis is one of the more interesting conversations we've had with a PAX exhibitor over the years.

Despite the confusing name - Sometimes Always Monsters is a sorta sequel to Always Sometimes Monsters - the level of free choice and resulting consequences sounds endlessly fascinating.

As in, the game has no end.

The interview does. It's actually less than 4 minutes long but - like the game itself - it's a bit of a journey of discovery. Which path will you choose?

You can download Busy Gamer Nation from our podcast page, on iTunes, or via RSS feed.

This is part of our continuing PAX Prime 2015 coverage. Check back for more exciting interviews! Next up: How to Survive 2

Through The WoodsOur first thought when hearing about Through The Woods was: A Red Riding Hood horror adventure? Then, after seeing the game's roving flashlight, we imagined it to be a spiritual successor to Slender.

Neither proved true. The game is actually based on a blend of Nordic fairy tales and mythology that promises to transcend the jump scare for something more psychologically haunting. Listen through to the end to get a small taste of the game's audio and authentic sound effects, recorded in a wooded setting.

You can download Busy Gamer Nation from our podcast page, on iTunes, or via RSS feed.

This is part of our continuing PAX Prime 2015 coverage. Check back for more exciting interviews!

Minecraft: Story ModeIf you play Minecraft, then Minecraft: Story Mode is a no-brainer. If you enjoy episodic adventures, which Telltale Games is renowned for, you'll probably want to pick this up at some point.

If you're on the fence, we at Busy Gamer Nation - Gamewatcher, GrrlGotGame, and even our 12-year-old ThePikachuFan - interviewed Telltale at PAX Prime 2015. The response to the question about Herobrine is worth it alone.

The whole interview is less than 5 minutes, so give it a listen and then tell us if you'll be picking this one up.

You can download Busy Gamer Nation from our podcast page, on iTunes, or via RSS feed.

This is part of our continuing PAX Prime 2015 coverage. Check back for more exciting interviews. Next up: Some spooky and scary games for Halloween!

Corpse of DiscoveryThis was an odd interview. Corpse of Discovery is not your typical exploration game, though there's plenty of that. You traverse several planets while battling feelings of isolation and uncovering mysterious anomalies.

The developers consider it an allegory for how it feels to make a game or perform any intense project work that pulls you away from your family and friends. Consider it a parable on work/life balance for today's "always on" society.

Interested? Listen to our interview and then find the game available now for PC on Steam.

You can download Busy Gamer Nation from our podcast page, on iTunes, or via RSS feed.

This is part of our continuing PAX Prime 2015 coverage. Check back for more exciting interviews including Minecraft: Story Mode and several scary games for October!

Mimic ArenaMimic Arena looks like a traditional multiplayer party game, but there's a twist that adds an interesting layer of strategy. When you die, you spawn a mimic that replicates your past actions. With careful planning, you can turn your deaths into victory.

This game has been approved on Steam Greenlight, and its developers have big plans they hope to realize in the coming year. Listen to our PAX Prime 2015 interview to learn all about it!

You can download Busy Gamer Nation from our podcast page, on iTunes, or via RSS feed.

This is part of our continuing PAX Prime 2015 coverage. Check back for more exciting interviews!

The Rust BeltThe Rust Belt is one of our many indie game discoveries at PAX Prime 2015. The Mad Max/Borderlands look couples with a gameplay mechanic that's easy to pick up and lose yourself in for a spell. Drag your enemies with a tow chain, smash things, blast open new areas, collect useful objects and, if you like, rebuild society.

If this sounds like your kind of jam, listen to our super short interview and get the details.

You can download Busy Gamer Nation from our podcast page, on iTunes, or via RSS feed.

This is part of our continuing PAX Prime 2015 coverage. Check back for more exciting interviews including Minecraft: Story Mode and several scary games for October!

Keep Talking and Nobody ExplodesOriginally envisioned as a VR game that engages the people not wearing the virtual reality goggles, Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is out now for Samsung Gear VR in the Oculus Store and coming out for PC via Steam (where VR is optional) on Oct. 8.

There are also plans to support additional VR headsets including the recently announced PlayStation VR (formerly known as Project Morpheus). 

The premise of the game is simple, lifted from hundreds of action movies and TV dramas: You've discovered a bomb but have no idea how to defuse it. Your buddies have the bomb manual but they need you to describe the bomb so they can find the relevant steps and guide you.

You can get a taste for how playing this ultimate party game can go if you listen to the end of this short but sweet interview from PAX Prime 2015.

You can download Busy Gamer Nation from our podcast page, on iTunes, or via RSS feed.

This is part of our continuing PAX Prime 2015 coverage. Check back for more exciting interviews including Minecraft: Story Mode and several scary games for October!Check back for more exciting interviews!

Castle StoryCastle Story's tale is fraught with drama. One look at the Steam Early Access reviews and you'd probably run screaming.

But the game seems solid for a voxel-style building game with both exploration and strategy elements, and the developers explain why the game hit some speed bumps but how they plan to get it back on track in coming months for a formal release n 2016.

Even if you're not one to dive into the Early Access pool, this is a game to watch if you enjoy a blend of Minecraft contruction and castle defense. You can also blow up your creations (quite possibly with co-op buddies), which is kind of the point of building them in the first place, isn't it?

You can download Busy Gamer Nation from our podcast page, on iTunes, or via RSS feed.

This is part of our continuing PAX Prime 2015 coverage. Check back for more exciting interviews!

Rock Band 4 wireless adapter for Xbox One We revealed from PAX Prime 2015 that Xbox One users buying Rock Band 4 who wish to use legacy Xbox 360 instruments would need to purchase an adapter.

As reported in our podcast interview with Harmonix from the show floor, the wireless protocols for Xbox One are different from Xbox 360, so instruments will not be able to communicate natively with the next-gen console. PlayStation 4 apparently has no such limitation.

We now have more details on how this works:

Up to 4 wireless Xbox 360 instruments are supported via the optional wireless adapter, which plugs into an Xbox One's USB port.

USB microphones work directly with Xbox One. It appears that wired guitars and drums may not work at all. Keyboards are not supported in Rock Band 4, so they won't work.

MadCatz, the maker of this adapter, has posted a compatibility list and detailed FAQ.

The adapter is available to pre-order now:

  • Adapter with Rock Band 4 game is $80 (Amazon, Best Buy)
  • Adapter by itself (for players wanting a digital purchase of the game) is $25 (Amazon) - UPDATE: Use code "RB4ADAPTER" at checkout to get it for $10

This will likely appear at other retailers, including brick and mortar stores, but for now that's all we've found.

Digital pre-order of Rock Band 4 is now live on Xbox.com and includes 12 bonus tracks. It's $60 - no price break - so the disc bundle is the better deal. We're going all digital on this one only so we won't have to go hunting for this disc each time we want to rock out, but we have a lot invested in Rock Band including hundreds of DLC songs - most if not all of which are due to be ported over by the game's October 6 launch date.

Busy Gamer Nation #236 - Hob

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HobRunic Games is known for their Torchlight franchise, but their next game breaks the mold on past endeavors.

Hob is a puzzle platformer with a free range of movement (no more being tethered to pre-assigned paths) and boasts no dialogue, just a mysterious premise that plays out visually.

And the visuals are amazing, even in the early stages. This steampunk world will no doubt consume us when it comes out, probably in 2016, for PC and at least one console to be named later.

You can download Busy Gamer Nation on iTunes or our own RSS feed.

This is part of our continuing PAX Prime 2015 coverage. Check back for more exciting interviews!

Busy Gamer Nation #235 - Gigantic


GiganticIf you like team multiplayer games in the style of Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas (aka MOBAs), Gigantic may the free-to-play game for you when it releases on Xbox One and Windows 10 this year. We spoke with the game's story editor (yes, there is a story!) at PAX Prime 2015.

You can download Busy Gamer Nation on iTunes or our own RSS feed.

If you want a code for the closed beta happening now, we have a few to spare. The first four intelligent comments on this post will get one. Just make sure you supply a valid email address when you sign in. Oh, and you'll need an Xbox One or Windows 10 PC.

This is part of our continuing PAX Prime 2015 coverage. Check back for more exciting interviews!

The Magic CircleThe Magic Circle is perhaps one of the most meta games to date. You play as a gamer in an unfinished game, one that's been considered vaporware for 20 years. It's your job to take control of the situation and finish making the game from the inside.

What started as a joke amongst three AAA developers (whose credits include BioShock and Dishonored) has became a reality. The game is out now on Steam and coming to PS4 and Xbox One as soon as the developers can finish porting it.

You can download Busy Gamer Nation on iTunes or our own RSS feed.

This is part of our continuing PAX Prime 2015 coverage. Check back for more exciting interviews!

Fallout Boy welcomes you to PAX Prime 2015Our 12th PAX featured some small improvements and many impediments.

It's the first year in many that we weren't granted media access (most niche media and smaller outlets were cut this year to make room for more exhibitor badges). This meant that we had a harder time than usual securing access to talk, on the record, with AAA title developers or even PR reps. Booths are staffed with exhibitors who are there to talk you through their games, but the second you ask to record they clam up.

What was more frustrating: the consistent runaround. First we'd be told we could talk to someone, and then hop three or more times to the next person in the booth who was supposedly authorized for media handling only to be ultimately told: No you can't record anyone here.

On top of that, Bethesda Softworks - while having probably the largest booth at the show - did not have playable Fallout 4, Doom, or Dishonored 2. Highlights of past shows were playable demos of their predecessor games, but clearly Bethesda thinks they'll sell just fine without the word of mouth. There's also the risk that 50,000+ people descending at once on one corner of the expo hall would have triggered a collapse, so maybe they did us a favor. We did empty our wallets at their store, more than once. And scored nifty masks like the one pictured above.

All that didn't stop us from playing many games of all stripes and sizes, and sharing out thoughts on them. But our podcast coverage is primarily indie this year with a few notable exceptions.

Sorry folks, we tried. (You know we tried.)

But we still found some amazing and fascinating stories. We'll be adding lots of podcast links over the next few weeks as we edit and post them, as vigorously as we can, so we can get to expanding the I Love Bees Definitive Edition (more on that below).

There were many highlights of PAX Prime 2015. Here's our full report:


Rock Band 4 main stageRock Band 4. We've nearly always had a lot of fun at the Harmonix booth, particularly when there's a new Rock Band to kick around.

They're also one of the more media friendly AAA gaming companies, and they spoke with us about some of the new features, new songs, how DLC carryover from last gen works, and the issue with Xbox One digital preorders.

Apparently your Xbox 360 instruments, at least the wireless ones, will need some sort of adapter to work on the Xbox One. You heard it here first!

Gamewatcher tried the guitar but didn't get the hang of freestyle (despite the handy instructional chart). Apparently it can take a few rounds to learn but then it'll be easy.

Either way, it's more Rock Band and we're eager to get our hands on it!


Mad Max boothMad Max. Before you get excited, this is NOT based on Fury Road, or any of the other Mad Max films. It's a sandbox game with an original story that evokes key elements of the Mad Max series. The lead character doesn't look like Mel Gibson, but we're not really seeing Tom Hardy in there, either.

We both played Mad Max and enjoyed it for different reasons. Gamewatcher dug the car combat and GrrlGotGame loves punching bad dudes. So yeah, we're getting the game. Best PAX moment: GrrlGotGame blew up a Mad Max boss in a way no one else had done while misogynists who'd been dissing girl gamers flailed at their own demo stations.

The cars have lots of customization options, and the brawling mechanics seem easy if you've played any Batman - but there is fun to be had on either path. We just wish they featured Furiosa. Maybe next game?


Minecraft: Story ModeMinecraft: Story Mode. We all love Telltale's quirky story-driven games (dating back to Sam & Max) but this visit to their incredible booth was (primarily) for our 12-year-old, The Pikachu Fan. He totally geeked out over the game's Minecraft lore but we all enjoyed the tale of a boy and his pig trying to get to back to Endercon (in the final game you can play as a girl if you prefer - take that, Ubisoft!).

We won't spoil the story but there are zombies and other baddies from the sandbox game for you to fight and choices to make that will yield "<fill in the blank> will remember that." Our son got into a debate with Telltale staff on whether their games had karma elements, but it was off mike so you'll just have to imagine how that went. Fortunately, we still recorded many great details to hold you over until the game's release.


Assassin's Creed: SyndicateAssassin's Creed: Syndicate. We are seriously on the fence here. On the one hand, the gameplay looks like something out of an action movie with exciting cross-town chases where you jack a carriage, GTA-style, and then battle enemies on the top of a moving train. And there's the matter of the long overdue female protagonist, who - alas! - you can't play the entire game, just selected chapters (something a bit less than half the time from what we've heard). Still, baby steps, right?

On the other, the demo left us wanting more - as in something different. The last few chapters of the Assassin's Creed saga haven't grabbed us like the first 2 or 3 did, and we're not sure we're ready to dive into Syndicate.

Pre-order denied. We'll be waiting on the reviews for this one, and probably a sale.

  • Launches Oct 23 on PS4 and Xbox One, and Nov 19 on PC
  • Sorry, no podcast interview


Rise of the Tomb RaiderRise of the Tomb Raider. The short review here is that, based on the demo we played, this is simply more Tomb Raider. If you enjoyed the last one, this is more of the same. Climbing, shooting, running, jumping, and some mild puzzle solving. And it looks fantastic.

The demo featured mostly climbing at the start, so when it was time to shoot something to unlock an area we forgot we were even armed. Fortunately there's a new hint system: If you push in the right thumbstick, the game will highlight where to go next. You may still need to figure out what to do there, but at least you'll know where to go. The demo also cut most of the combat sections to speed us to the big finish, so we're looking forward to shooting more baddies when this comes out in November. You will need an Xbox One to play it, at least for the timed exclusivity window (the length of which has not been revealed).

  • Releases Nov 10 on Xbox One
  • Sorry, no podcast interview

Plants Vs Zombies Garden Warfare 2Plants Vs Zombies Garden Warfare 2. We are big Plants vs Zombies fans but never got into Garden Warfare, the FPS multiplayer battle game. On a lark, we tried the demo for the sequel, where you get to play as the zombies (instead of the usual plants) and overcome wave after wave of flora.

We actually had fun using our individual specialized abilities and armed turrets to decimate the barrage of vegetation controlled by AI. A round lasts about 10 minutes, so it's easy to enjoy in short bursts.

Not sure if there's any single-player worth playing - but if team games are your thing, this felt solid.

  • Releases on PC, PS4, and Xbox One in 2016
  • Sorry, no podcast interview


I Am BreadI Am Bread. This is one of those quirky games we couldn't pass by, especially when there was little to no line. Alas, the wonky controls ensured that we struggled to keep our bread edible on its long journey to toast itself. That's right, you play as a piece of bread that's hellbent on preparing itself to be eaten. Now this game isn't new; it's been on Steam for months, and I toyed with the idea of picking it up there. But we usually play our games in the living room, so a console release seemed a better match.

Having played it - barely managing to succeed in overcooking hisself to a disgusting mishmash of toast coated in dirt, eggshells and ants - Gamewatcher suspects this might play better with touch controls on iOS, where it just launched as well. This is a game where tapping and swiping should lead to fewer falls in the muck, but by all accounts all of the various versions are wrought with tension. Because you might fail to become toast.

What a weird game. Not to say that's a bad thing.


Lego Dimensions platform baseLego Dimensions. We played this game twice, both times opting for the Portal-themed adventure because... well, I don't think anyone tried anything else at PAX. Every time we passed the booth it was Portal on every screen, all of the time.

The game is... interesting. You place various characters and vehicles made of Legos onto special base platforms that, like Skylanders and Disney Infinity before it, get scanned into the world of the game. There are spots where you're supposed to modify an item - like upgrading the Batmobile with blocks - but it's all subterfuge. All you really need to do is acknowledge the brick adjustments on screen and then place the item on the platform. The game doesn't know if you actually made any changes to it.

Anyway, GrrlGotGame and Gamewatcher took a first pass, and barely got to enjoy it since the short demo period meant our station host had to walk us through every step to keep within the time limit. We figured very little out for ourselves, and had little fun as a result. There are lots of little puzzles that involve placing the right item on the right section of the base at the right time and using certain characters' powers to advance the story. As usual, you collect bolts (which seem a bit out of place here - can we please end having all Lego games score you on bolt collection?!).

Pikachu Fan took a pass at the game too, and after making it through the same levels in record time declared that we don't need to buy this one, even on sale. After playing with Legos for years and collecting many Skylanders and Disney Infinity figures, this is a ringing un-endorsement.

  • Releases Sept 27 for PS3, PS4, Wii U, Xbox 360, and Xbox One
  • Sorry, no podcast interview


Kitty DisastrousKitty Disastrous. This charming tale of interspecies love is still in the very early stages but promises to a fun whimsical romp that both adults and kids can enjoy. You play a purple kitty that has fallen head over paws for a ferret. Tragically, the ferret falls through the roof into a shop just moments after they meet... and it's up to kitty to save the day.

Anyone who has lived with a cat can predict what happens next: Everyday objects are destroyed. Dangling items are attacked. Fake mustaches are acquired. (Yes, really.) Mice – scratch that. We'll let you discover what the mice do for yourself. The developers hope to have a finished game ready to show by next year's PAX. We can't wait to see what disasters kitty causes next.

  • Release is still to be announced; likely for PC and at least one console in 2016
  • Busy Gamer Nation interview incoming!


MekaZooMekaZoo. This puzzle platformer is vividly hued with a neon glow, which is one way to stand out at a busy show like PAX.

The demo we tried had you play as a high-jumping frog and a fast-rolling armadillo (think Sonic). Several other animals will be in the final game including a panda, wallaby, and pelican.

The action was fast and fun, using your creatures' skills to access hard-to-reach places. You swap characters as needed, and landing in cannon-like structures shoots you into new sections to explore.

We didn't try multiplayer but there's a co-op mode in there too. Might be a fun one to enjoy together in the living room.


The Magic CircleThe Magic Circle. This is a truly odd experience. You're playing an unfinished game and, rather than wait for the developers to finish it, you take on that task yourself. It's very meta, majorly geeky, and created by developers of AAA titles you've actually heard of.

We won't steal the thunder from our podcast interview, but this may be one of the more interesting games you check out this year.



How To Survive 2How To Survive 2. GrrlGotGame is a major zombie game fanatic, and she's on the fence about this one largely because it's... well, it's in the third-person. She generally prefers her zombie bashing to be up close, personal, and in the first person thank you very much (with the exception of the Dead Rising series). The level she played, set in New Orleans, was also pretty light on zombies, perhaps by design or because it was an early prototype. That said, she doesn't know that she would have survived if there were many more of them.

This game seems to be more about the atmosphere and puzzles than how many undead can you kill. GrrlGotGame spent a great deal of time just wandering around, killing a zombie about every 20-30 seconds while trying to figure out where to go next. When she entered a building, the walls would go translucent, allowing her to see in without following her character too closely. It was kind of a neat effect.

One thing that impressed us is the developer's devotion to pleasing its fan base, which has been enjoying the first How to Survive game for some time now. The Steam forum for that game is being used to collect suggestions for the sequel.

While the game isn't a perfect fit for our personal zombie bashing tastes, we're planning to give the original How to Survive a shot on our Xbox One (free at the moment for Gold members) before the sequel arrives on Steam Early Access ... just in time for Halloween 2015.


GiganticGigantic. This enticing third-person action game is actually a distinctive entry in the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) genre.

There is no single player - instead you team up or get matched up with four other players, each with their own special attacks or skills that evolve throughout a match against another team of five. Likewise, your mission objectives shift as you explore the large brilliantly colored worlds of the game.

If you have an Xbox One and/or Windows 10 PC, you can sign up for the closed beta now.


Keep Talking And Nobody ExplodesKeep Talking And Nobody Explodes. What started as a VR game is now coming out on Steam for gamers with or without a virtual reality headset.

The concept is ripped from most action movies. There's a bomb set to blow up and someone has to walk you through the steps to defuse it by whispering the steps in your ear.

Only the people helping you are wading through complex instruction manuals to help you dismantle the random puzzle traps. You describe what you see, they find the right details - you hope.

Will KTANE (as it's abbreviated) take off as the next big geek party game? Time will tell. But if you ever dreamed of cutting the red wire with 0:07 seconds left on the clock, this might be the game for you.


HobHob. From the makers of Torchlight comes a game that diverges from their core action RPG comfort zone. Essentially a puzzle platformer (and a striking one at that), the game drops you into a strange steampunk realm that you must explore to uncover its mysteries.

There's no text or dialogue, just a story that unfolds via the action of the game itself. There is combat, naturally, but the game is more about discovery.


Knight SquadKnight Squad. It's been a while since we've found a party game that really appealed. Knight Squad definitely fits the bill. It takes basic concepts that we've all played (capture the flag, soccer, etc.) and adds a hack-and-slash flare. Up to four "knights" (points for including pink and purple options!) can battle it out using standard issue swords or souped-up weapons found on the field. A personal favorite: the long-sword, a blade truly worthy of the Highlander.

The base mechanics were pretty much the same on every game – capture an item and take it to the destination (your home base, the goal post, etc.). But each map had nice variation and there was some skill involved. GrrlGotGame had a wonderful time playing, even when she was getting stomped by someone's trash-talking kid.

  • Out now for PC and Mac on Steam Early Access; releases on Xbox One in the next year
  • Sorry, no podcast interview


Castle Story

Castle Story. At first glance this looked like a Minecraft knockoff but during the interview that ensued, Minecraft didn't come up at all. It goes to show that looks can be deceiving. You do collect cube-style elements and can build whatever you can imagine but Castle Story is at its heart a strategy game.

All that said, the Steam Early Access reviews are concerning so this is, at best, a watch-and-wait game. Still, if Minecraft and strategy ring your bell, at some point this may come together.



ChasmChasm. We don't stop for every shiny new platformer we spot at PAX, but this one really caught our eye. The result of a 2013 Kickstarter, the game is more than a year late.

But it looks like it will have been worth the wait. Procedurally generated, you'll never play the same dungeon twice - unless you want to. There will be seeds, so you can sock away favorite worlds to revisit or speed run against your friends.

The game is nearly complete and will do doubt help you scratch that "Metroidvania" platformer itch.

  • Releases for PC, Mac, and Linux on Steam and PS4 in 2015
  • Busy Gamer Nation interview incoming!


Corpse Of DiscoveryCorpse Of Discovery. This looks a little like Destiny (minus the combat) with a splash of Portal (minus the snark), but deeper than both.

You explore six planets, dealing with harsh conditions and aided by an AssistBot named AVA.

The goals are a bit more existential, with self-discovery sharing narrative weight with your discovery of new lifeforms, alien history, and otherworldly stuff like lava oceans and floating islands.

If you shy away from so-called "walking simulators" and games that make you think, this isn't for you. But if you want to examine fantastical new worlds and enjoy pondering the nature of the universe, you'll want to dive right in.


FutureGrindFutureGrind. Our first thought when passing by the booth for this game was Ratchet and Clank. You know those addictive rail jumping sections?

This is sort of like that, only in two dimensions and with more of a Tony Hawk feel. You grind and flip on magnetic rails, matching the color of your wheel to the track to avoid repeatedly crashing to your death.

Which you will. A lot.

  • Releases on PC on Steam and PS4 in 2016
  • Busy Gamer Nation interview incoming!


DistanceDistance. This is the successor to Nitronic Rush, a well-regarded student racer made at Digipen (available for free).

The team decided to go pro, increase the "Tron" factor, and add all of the bells and whistles including co-op, leaderboards, level editor, and even cross-platform multiplayer.

Rather than just drive, you'll jump, spin, and even fly through a futuristic cityscape that tries to destroy you at every turn. You'll boost up the sides of buildings and seek out shortcuts to not just get the best time, but survive to the end.

There's even a single-player story mode for those of us (like Gamewatcher) who are into that.


Ladykiller In A BindLadykiller In A Bind. When you walk by a booth with a garish sign title "My Twin Brother Made Me Crossdress as Him and Now I Have to Deal With a Geeky Stalker and a Domme Beauty Who Wants Me in a Bind," you stop and take a look.

This is not your typical PAX game and it's not for everyone (especially not kids). But for those who enjoy visual novels with a lesbian theme, it sounds quite compelling. There are elements of dating sims with an erotic story set on a cruise ship.

  • Releases for PC and Mac in 2016
  • Busy Gamer Nation interview incoming!


Fortified! Fortified! The aliens are coming, and it’s up to you to stop them in this multiplayer game for PC. The level GrrlGotGame tried at PAX involved three rounds of alien invaders trying to destroy an Earth-bound rocket. (No explanation was given for the rocket – we assume it was Team Earth.)

Players may choose from one of four characters – three men, one woman. Points for making the woman a literal rocket scientist! It’s a basic tower defense ploy that requires some strategy when selecting a load-out.

HINT: Don’t start a level without at least one ground-to-air missile launcher. You. Will. Die. GrrlGotGame tried the same level six times with three different partners over the weekend, but only managed to beat the level once. Naturally, it was with our 12-year-old son. Which is to say, it was tough... but fun.

  • Releases for PC on Steam in early 2016
  • Busy Gamer Nation interview incoming!


Mimic ArenaMimic Arena. We don't play a lot of couch multiplayer party games but this is one of the few we might enjoy. You don't just jump and shoot, you create mimics that match your every move and can be deployed to distract and destroy while you take avoid obstacles and take out the other players.

If this sounds like your sort of game, check it out on Steam's Project Greenlight, and if you like it, give it a vote.


The Rust BeltThe Rust Belt. Set in a world that looks to be somewhere between Mad Max and Borderlands, we immediately found much to love about this game. There's plenty to explore, lots of enemies to destroy along the way, and cool pickups that make demolishing said enemies even more satisfying.

Gameplay starts out deceptively easy. You drag a tow chain that grapples enemies and scrap, turning them into weapons to use against other foes and to open up new areas of the map.

Over time, you upgrade your truck, build a town that supplies you with resources, and - well - explore more of the dust bowl you call home and bash more enemies.


Sometimes Always MonstersSometimes Always Monsters. This is the follow up to the indie story-driven and consequence-laden adventure Always Sometimes Monsters (no, that's not going to prove confusing). This is more of the same, only different.

Now you're a successful author on a book tour. The choices you make determine the outcome of your adventure. Rest assured this will go to many dark places, as the original did.

Or you could play it safe and just stay at home. What could possibly go wrong? Our guess is that something always will, but it should be entertaining and even thought-provoking no matter which path you take.


Through The WoodsThrough The Woods. At first glance, this is very reminiscent of Slender: The Arrival. Armed with a flashlight, you investigate a dark wooded area with folktale horror overtones. The game's creators admit comparisons are inevitable, but claim their story is deeper and more compelling. The developers, who are from Norway, modeled after Norse mythology and folk tales.

All we know is that the flashlight at night thing doesn't seem to get old, and it's usually a good play for survival horror. If you feel the same, check it out on Steam Greenlight (it's already been approved).

The demo from the successful Kickstarter campaign was pulled but a new demo is due in coming weeks (mid-September).


To LeaveTo Leave. This is a tricky little platformer/puzzle game. You grab onto a magical door that lets you fly but to clear a room you need to avoid many obstacles.

There are checkpoints that save some of your progress, which is good because you will fail often. Even with nerves of steel, you will - much like with that wacky doctor's game, Operation - touch the edge of something toxic and BAM. Back to checkpoint.

That said, this was fun and we're curious to see where it goes.

  • Releases for PC, PS4, and PS Vita in 2016
  • Busy Gamer Nation interview incoming!


We Are ChicagoWe Are Chicago. At first glance, this looks like something you'd see from Telltale Games but with a real world sheen. You play a black teen in the projects of Chicago trying to deal with real issues that the developers collected from true stories.

Alas, the gameplay we tried is a bit slow and plodding - mired by little tasks such as setting the dinner table - but it could prove worthwhile if it shares some of the real experiences of living in gang territory on Chicago's South Side.

  • Releases on PC in early 2016
  • Busy Gamer Nation interview incoming!


Dragon Fin SoupDragon Fin Soup. We spoke with the developers of this game two years ago, and they've come a long way since then. Back in 2013, it was all prototypes and concepts.

Now, the game is essentially finished and about to be released.

Dragon Fin Soup revolves around Red Robin (basically a morally challenged Red Riding Hood) as an alcoholic bounty hunter battling through rogue-like adventures and her own frailties. There are additional modes including survival mode and endless labyrinth.


Elan LeeI Love Bees & Exploding Kittens. You may be tired of hearing about I Love Bees (if so, we suspect you haven't actually heard it). Well, one of the creators of I Love Bees is Elan Lee, known more recently for collaborating on the Exploding Kittens card game with The Oatmeal (which we bought but haven't played yet; GrrlGotGame and ThePikachuFan are both wary of the whole dead cats premise).

We found him nestled in the bowels of the ACT Theater adjacent to the Convention Center and he seemed thrilled to hear about the Definitive Edition. We’re going to work with him on expanding the extras.

We're already cataloguing some amazing early versions of scenes and other audio that's never before heard before unless you worked on the project.

Stay tuned, and if you haven't tried I Love Bees:


That's our PAX Prime 2015 coverage in a nutshell. Check back as we post and link up the remaining podcast interviews, and then watch for more I Love Bees!

Rock Band 4 freestyle guitar solos - cliclk to enlargeThis is the first of our Busy Gamer Nation reports from PAX Prime 2015.

Rock Band 4 is the new version of the popular rhythm band game for the current generation of consoles. It's due out October 6 on PS4 and Xbox One.

Harmonix' Eric Pope told us about some of the game's new features including the freestyle guitar solo (see chart at right for details; click to enlarge). We're still trying to make sense of it, but apparently you'll catch on after a song or three.

We also learned how the last generation DLC will carry over (perhaps not all at once) and what the hold up is on Xbox One digital preorders.

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