We had the chance to check our publisher Sold Out Games’ booth during PAX East 2020 and sat down with a slew of unique games planned for 2020 and beyond.
KeyWe is a cutesy co-op title that has friends control two kiwi birds named Jeff and Debra as they work the mailroom in various mini-games that encourage communicating with your partner to beat your scores. Each player can control their customizable kiwi bird, complete with fur colors and hats, to hop and peck around to make telegrams and ship packages, or those playing solo can control both birds with the analog sticks. Developer Stonewheat & Sons have designed various game modes to encourage co-op partners to communicate and work together to complete tasks.
This is done with game mechanics that require players to step on keys at the same time or feed a restless emu to help your partner put letters in a satchel for delivery. This need to cooperate is a good way to get people to talk and actively be aware of each other to clock in those high scores or low times.
Our time with the game showed us that KeyWe could be for those that wish to have more couch co-op titles in their lives. Our only takeaway is that while the mailroom is fun and fitting theme to the game, maybe other themes and jobs like restaurant owners or spaceship operators with two tiny kiwi birds can hopefully land as DLC or another release.
KeyWe is aiming for a 2021 release on PC.
This single-player cyberpunk title focuses on three characters that try to solve a mystery surrounding a dystopian future New York City. Disjunction features hardcore stealth mechanics and a narrative that responds to your words and actions. This leaves the player to decide to avoid fights and murder or go quickly blast through levels without a second thought.
Either way, players can look forward to over 30 handcrafted levels with three characters, each with their cybernetic abilities and playstyles.
During our demo, Disjunction didn’t mess around as stealth maneuvers must be done carefully unless players were willing to face against crowds of guards. Luckily, the game lets us drag unconscious bodies out of sight and presented plenty of lethal and non-lethal options. Of course, our client didn’t want anyone dead in the first place and scolded our character for it. Players who are looking for more pixel art top-down action titles should give this a look.
The game is being developed My Ape Tribe Games and will be out on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC with a release window of Summer 2020.
Gestalt: Steam and Cinder
Gestalt: Steam and Cinder is a 16-bit inspired platformer set in a steampunk city of Canaan. Playing as Aletheia, players will fight a lot of robots and machines to get to understand the city’s dark past, hidden away by the corrupt overseers known as the Comitium.
The platforming action in Gestalt has plenty of melee combos that pair with Aletheia’s ranged revolver attacks. After gaining some experience, it can be used to buff up stats and gain abilities such as smashing through walls to discover new areas.
During our hands-on, we noticed how the art was the star of the demo. The fluidity and details made by Metamorphosis Games in characters and environments were well done, especially in movements and actions from the animation. The game also has proven to be pretty tough and requires a bit of action game know-how and frequent upgrading from leveling up to stay one set ahead of the enemies.
Gestalt: Steam and Cinder is working hard toward a 2020 release window on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
No Straight Roads
For those looking for music-based action games should check out No Straight Roads. This title features the imaginative Vinyl City being enveloped by the evil EDM empire No Straight Roads as they try to rid the city of other music genres.
At first glance, developer Metronomik seemed to be inspired by many things as combat exploration and settings pull from many action-adventure games. This is because the game is directed by Wan Hazmer and Daim Dziauddin, Lead game designer of Final Fantasy XV and Street Fighter V concept artist, respectively. To us, this explains the Kingdom Hearts-esque boss fights and unique character designs. Not to mention the impressive uses of matching the music to the combat cues in-game.
No Straight Road follows plenty of other third-person action cues such as full range combat with attacks, blocks, and parries based on musical instruments. Also filling out the features list with upgradable skill trees and levels based on different music genres, complete with an original soundtrack.
Our demo covered one stage, but we were interested in the two playable characters, Mayday and Zuke, that have their attacks and abilities that can be switch between or played with a co-op partner.
No Straight Roads is planned for a 2020 release window for PS4 and PC.
Radical Rabbit Stew
If you missed top-down puzzle games from the old Adventures of Lolo days, Radical Rabbit Stew is just the fix players need. Centered around chefs solving puzzles but whacking rabbits with spoons to launch them into big boiling pots to make their stews and complete the level.
The levels are either laid out in a single screen or a spanning level for large puzzles with the objective of knocking all rabbits into pots. Smacking these rabbits sends them flying in a straight direction. When the puzzles get trickier, the player can use the abilities to launch rabbits through walls or bounce against pads to change their directions.
Our time with the game had us taking out boss fights, a series of trains going in every direction forces us to dodge them while trying to smack rabbits and train carts to defeat the conductors and win the level. The pick-up-and-play approach of Radical Rabbit Stew goes well with the game’s aesthetic, but later stages picked up the difficulty. We’re looking forward to seeing how elaborate the puzzles and bosses as it seemed to us the rising challenge is when the game gets fun.
Radical Rabbit Stew is being made by Pugstorm and will be available on July 16, 2020, on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
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