PAX West 2017: Humble Bundle Trio

Sunday, September 3rd, 2017

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I honestly didn’t expect to be demoing three games at PAX West under the banner of Humble Bundle, but that’s indeed what happened, courtesy of the kind folks at Uberstrategist! I got to visit a private suite at the Grand Hyatt and sit down in a comfortable chair and acquaint myself with Aegis Defenders (which I had backed but never demoed), No Truce with the Furies and A Hat in Time! Read on to see what I thought of each.

I figure I might as well start alphabetically, so let’s begin with A Hat in Time. I know this one was something of a sensation when it was originally kickstarted, and even though I didn’t personally back it, I admit to curiosity as to what the fuss was all about. From the get go I could tell the game was gorgeous, like a 3D cartoon world with hints of Disney, Layton and more. Combat was relatively intuitive, as it mostly featured running about, doing double jumps and using your magical hats to utilize new abilities. The demo stage took place on a train full of shifty crow men and doddering owl conductors, and it felt like being inside an animated feature film. While the controls were simple enough, switching hats and using the abilities was less intuitive, though not boring by any stretch. You could put on a witch hat to hurl explosive vials, an ice crown to turn into a block of ice and shatter into the ground and even a detective hat to sniff out suspicious areas. Though I didn’t finish the demo, since I was a bit pressed for time, I admit I mostly enjoyed myself. I’m sincerely curious to find out more about A Hat in Time, and the release date isn’t that far off.

Next up is Aegis Defenders, a beautifully animated pixelated tower defense game. Especially cool was the demo let me try it out co-op with other media members who were there, and though there was a learning curve, we soon got into the swing of things. I played Bart, the elderly gentleman with a penchant for building robotic turrets and a love of swinging hammers. My partner in crime played Clu, who is much more aggressive, with a rapid fire charged gun and bombs aplenty. It was really fun working together to stop hordes of beasts from reaching various objectives, and the art continued to impress me as much as the concept itself. I’m very glad I backed this game, and feel it’s shaping up nicely for when it releases later this year.

Finally I got to try out No Truce With the Furies. I wish I could tell you more about it, but I found it perplexing and atmospheric. It’s a point and click RPG of sorts, and felt heavily inspired by noir. The game started out with me answering various questions, and the branching questions that resulted from that. Then I got to wander around my character’s room in a drunken haze, helping him locate his missing clothing. I wish I could say that was the beginning of an incredible journey, but I couldn’t figure out how to leave his room (for the record, only the game character had been drinking). I do feel there might be something special in the final version of No Truce With the Furies, and perhaps it’s a game you’re meant to take your time with and enjoy over a nice bourbon. It might be worth a look when it releases.

That said, overall I was very pleased with what Humble Bundle had on offer, and look forward to playing more great games they market.

About Josh Speer

Josh is a passionate gamer, finding time to clock in around 30-40 hours of gaming a week. He discovered Operation Rainfall while avidly following the localization of the Big 3 Wii RPGs. He enjoys SHMUPS, Platformers, RPGs, Roguelikes and the occasional Fighter. He’s also an unashamedly giant Mega Man fan, having played the series since he was eight. As Head Editor and Review Manager, he spends far too much time editing reviews and random articles. In his limited spare time he devours indies whole and anticipates the release of quirky, unpredictable and innovative games.