PAX East 2017: Day Two

The air hurts my face today. The rest of the crew are going to a Resident Evil Escape the Room this afternoon, so I’m on my own for a while. I take a shuttle to the con for the first time in years because it’s too cold out to walk there. Good thing I have my Bruins socks to keep me warm.

The con has changed a lot since we first came here six years ago. Before, the indie section was almost non-existent. Now it’s at least half the floor, and there are actually lines even at the smaller booths. I find myself skipping several booths just because of this.

The first game that sticks out is Kismet, a VR psychic reading sim. Like, literally sitting in front of a physic reader and having your fortune told. You can pick tarot cards, get an astrology reading, or play a game of chance. I don’t know what content the game offers besides this, but it’s still a pretty amusing application for VR.

I take a selfie with the creator of Myst. He’s at a booth for Obduction, the spiritual successor to Myst for VR. I tell him how much I loved his game as a kid – he seemed to appreciate that. The line is too long for now, but I make a mental note to return tomorrow.

Up next I try Asura, a top-down rogue-like dungeon crawler. Same old story, I know, but what makes this one interesting is that it’s based on Indian mythology. The developer is also Indian, but that’s probably pure coincidence.

And what the hell is this!? Two dudes on stationary bikes wearing VR headsets? Oh god, that one episode of Black Mirror is coming true. Sadly, it’s not much more than a tech demo, but we all knew exercise VR would happen eventually. It’s kind of comical to watch to be honest.

Lunch break. I bump into Andrew on the conference floor. He tells me to look out for Absolver. Noted.

More games in the second half of the afternoon:

  • What Remains of Edith Finch has a really cool house prop built for its booth.
  • Bounty Train is a Railroad Tycoon-like sim with more of a micro-management/adventure approach. Plus stagecoach robberies. I play it for about an hour. It’s actually a lot of fun.
  • Kona is back from last year! With a bigger booth this time. It’s a narrative murder mystery set in the wastes of northern Canada. They release on Friday, and I really want to try it out.
  • The Church in the Darkness is a stealth-action thriller that appears to involve you infiltrating a cult-like church community. Looks well-polished.
  • Someone is releasing a new game on the NES called Haunted Halloween ’86. It’s programmed in the NES assembly language (good lord).
  • A Night in the Woods was on the floor, but it’s already out on digital download. It’s supposedly very good.

Towards the end of the day I bump into my old room mate Chris Delgado and his girlfriend Amy. Considering I haven’t seen him in a few years, running into him at the con was pretty shocking. We take a selfie before parting ways.

With the con floor closing shortly, I head up to the Jackbox lounge to relax. The day has one last surprise meeting in store – Ian Noel, who’s been a PAX Enforcer for several years now. One more selfie? How could I not?

Some folks are heading to the GiantBomb panel tonight, but I’m punching out early to celebrate Dave’s birthday over dinner. It’s 15 degrees outside.

Some games I still need to check out tomorrow:

  • Fantasy Strike (Andrew)
  • Absolver (Andrew)
  • The Long Journey Home (Dave/Brett)
  • Obducted
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