We selected our ten Golden Sushi of Sophistication Award winners and now it’s time to honor them. This PAX East housed so many incredible games that we felt bad only having ten prestigious medallions to hand out. But we did it and here is the list of games and studios who we felt had the best things to show on the floor of PAX East.
I can’t contain myself on my love for this game, or any of the games by Game Oven for that matter. I love games that help facilitate awesome social interactions. It’s why I love games like D&D. Game Oven makes wonderful games that serve as a backdrop to real and meaningful human interactions. With the advent of online multiplayer and all of us getting older, finding way to giggle and shout like we used to as children passing controllers back and forth is a true miracle.
Red Hook Studios
It’s hard not to fall in love with this game at first glance. It has an incredible art style, a dark fantasy world setting, turn based combat, and a sanity meter. Darkest Dungeon is reminiscent of games like Ultima Underworld or Legends of Grimrock, but more elegant in its mechanics. This is also the first game which Landon did better than me; he beat the final room with all his members alive. Having finally played it, it is NO wonder why it’s Kickstarter was so successful.
We challenge you to sit down and play this and not have a smile creep across your face. Yes we live in a world where first person explorative puzzle games are dominated by games like Antichamber and Portal, but FRACT, FRACT OSC stands with them. Not near them. Not leaning on them. FRACT OSC is an incredible audio visual experience; puzzles start as discordant sounds then swell into aural explosions of pure elation. It also made me do what all great puzzle/exploration games do; take notes of glyphs and symbols I discover to use for solutions in later puzzles. PEN AND PAPER! VIDEO GAMES! WE LOVE IT!
Galak-Z: The Dimensional
Alright so let’s take one part awesome Saturday morning cartoons, one part awesome space combat, one part procedural generation and BAM you got Galak-Z. 17 Bit is becoming synonymous with awesome games, from their under-exposed but awesome Skulls of the Shogun, these guys know good game design. We’ve seen Galak-Z at several events and it is always a joy to play. It’s challenging, allows for multiple play styles and just plain old fashioned fun. Remember when it was enough for a game to just be fun to play!? They sure as hell do! TAKE THAT VLAMBEER.
Gods Will Be Watching
Gods Will Be Watching reminds me of old choose your own adventure or adventure books where making a seemingly innocuous decision will lead to your immediate death. It’s only after dying over and over that you understand how to proceed, turning this beautiful pixel-based game about making hard choices into something more akin to a puzzle game. A puzzle game where you decide who lives and dies.
IGF award winning Gorogoa doesn’t need our help in highlighting it, but we love it too much not to give it an award. Visually stunning and complex game mechanics make Gorogoa one of our favorite games. Seeing others play and seeing those same expressions on their faces that we had is awesome. If you haven’t been paying attention to this game, check yourself.
Hyper Light Drifter
Our love for this game should be well known. First the team is ULTRA-talented. The look, sound, and feel of Hyper Light Drifter is exactly what we’ve been craving. Super tight, frame counting, combat mixed in with an incredible visual style and hypnotic sound design. Having finally played it all of our non-existent doubts were put to rest and we were sent to video game joy-land.
Lovers In A Dangerous Space Time
We had to check if we had already given an award to Lovers. That’s how much we love this game. It is so good that we could not believe we hadn’t already awarded it with a Golden Sushi. ERROR CORRECTED. Lovers is another example of local cooperative gameplay done right. A true cooperative experience as you and your co-pilot navigate the beautiful universe to save helpless bunny-people from cute-but-gross space bugs.
Mushroom 11 is going to be an incredible game. It already is incredible. Itay is so passionate about making sure that Mushroom 11 is the best. Having seen it at three separate events, and seeing the iterations on the puzzles it just solidifies how committed Itay and Julia, are to making something truly great.
I remember the first time I saw Relativity and its creator Willy. It was at IndieCade and I thought, holy crap does this guy have his work cut out. Just like Itay and Mushroom 11, every time I see Relativity it has improved by degrees. Willy is such a passionate and affable guy that you can’t help but root for him. It becomes easier as you play his game and slowly realize that he is onto something magical. Relativity is a game that everyone should be keeping an eye on.