PAX East 2019 Review: Nika’s Picks

By Nika Howard on

About Nika Howard

What do you get when you have a pinch of bishie sparkles, a dash of sass, and a whole lot of Dungeons and Dragons? The monster known as Nika. Jaela on Drunks and Dragons and Editor for board and tabletop games.


Every year thousands of gaming fans flood Boston in the hopes of getting to play the newest and best games at PAX East. This year was no exception and with this being my fourth PAX, I have to say, it may have been the best yet. Walking around the show floor there were some noticeably missing companies, but the ones that were present really brought the goods. I’m highlighting my top picks so you can keep your eye out for their release.

From Borderlands 3, Gearbox

I am a person who doesn’t typically attend panels. I love the deafening drone of game noise and people on the show floor and enjoy trying out all the games I can. But this year when I saw that Gearbox was having a panel and with all the rumors flying around about BL3, I knew I had to go. After waiting in line for 1.5 hours and being some of the last folks admitted in, I grabbed a spot on the floor and my excitement grew. There were several wonderful games announced, Risk of Rain 2 and Trover Saves the Universe, but after some card based magic the moment we all were waiting happened. I know some folks were disappointed in the announcement but to me BL3 looks amazing! It may look the same but with different characters, but honestly that’s the whole point of the franchise. BL3 doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel, it just needs to give us great playable characters, too many guns to count, and of course more Tiny Tina; which it definitely did. Borderlands 3 releases in September, so only a few more months of anxiously waiting!

From Super Crush KO, Vertex Pop

This indie game made by Vertex Pop was so adorable and bright, it caught my eye immediately. It is the story of the cutest girl who has to defend earth against kitty stealing robots using strong kicks and punches and a few other accessories along the way. Super Crush KO is a brightly colored fast moving brawler game that grabs your attention and keeps you entertained. Everything from the controls to the setting seem extremely well thought out and developed and it shows that this was a project of passion. The game releases this year (no specific date yet) on Steam and Switch and is available now to add to your Steam wishlist!

From Shadow Fencer Theatre, ShuddaHaddaLottaFun

Another indie game, this time brought to you by ShuddaHaddaLottaFun is a battle fighting game with funky physics that will have you horrified and laughing at the same time. Choose your fighter from several hilarious choices such as; a cactus, pirate, Betsy, her ghost, and a noodle dog (giraffe) and from there pick either story or multiplayer mode. Figuring out the physics of how to efficiently stab your opponent is horrific (no one should move in that way) and hilarious because neither player can truly have a perfect strategy. Battle against your friends, throw your swords, and laugh so hard your sides hurt with Shadow Fencer Theatre. Coming out summer 2019 (no official date) to Steam.

From Fire Tower, Runaway Parade Games

So I am sure that a board game wasn’t expected on this list, but here we are! Fire Tower is a wonderful 2-4 player board game that has a simple objective yet is full of surprising twists and strategy! Each player is a forest firefighter, but instead of stopping fires; you are trying to light your other opponents’ towers on fire. Sounds easy enough, but you have to factor in wind direction, firestorms, and several other game mechanics that make this a wonderful quick paced game. There is also an option out to play teams, or of course you can always form alliances to go against another opponent and overtake their tower. Fire Tower shows as a 15-30 minute game and I would say it will be closer to 30 minutes or a bit longer. It is available now and includes free shipping to the US.

So these are just a few of the amazing games I was able to play and it really doesn’t scratch the surface of everything that is new and fun coming out. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for more games and announcements here at GeeklyInc!

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