The first PAX South has come and gone. I went down to San Antonio to not only escape the cold of my home state, but to see what game devs had in store for us. Over the course of a few days, you’ll be able to read my recap of many of the games I played. Be sure to check out part 1 of the series here!

Black Ice (by “Super Duper” Garrett Cooper)

Black Ice by “Super Duper” Garrett Cooper is an 80s cyberpunk-themed first-person shooter wherein you play the part of a hacker piloting around cyberspace to take down servers of different evil corporations.

Taking each one down requires you to fend off a wave of countermeasures while the hacking algorithm completes. Countermeasures include various programs represented by an assortment of creatures from digital scorpions to floating, cloaked squid-things. These intelligent creatures will try various tactics such as swarming you, hiding, and going to high locations to get the jump on you. One of my favorite things to do was to attempt to hack two servers at once which would cause the countermeasures to fight amongst themselves along with me.


To build up your own offense, each time you take down a server, you are rewarded with money to spend on upgrades for your hacker program which increase your firepower.

The look of the game is similar to that of the classic Tron world with bright, neon colors outlining all of the shapes. To me it’s a delight because I grew up with that view of the cyber world in the 80s, though I know it may not be for everyone. It is a very bright and flashy game as well. I don’t have a photosensitivity, but I know others who do. For that reason, a mode that tones down such flashiness has been included.

All of this comes together to make a fun, fast-paced adventure through classic cyberspace.


Pixel: ru^2 (by C63 Industries)

Pixel is a punishingly hard but very rewarding platformer/shooter/puzzle game. You are an intelligent pixel that is out to eliminate a virus threat and restore corrupted image files and, to do this, must make your way through a maze of different hazards by shifting gravity and adjusting your color to get through obstacles or defeat enemies. Simple in concept, tricky to master in a short play session on a convention floor.

Picking up the controller and diving right in, I started to get a feel for the game which had me finding colored blocks that allowed me to take on the color of a nearby wall so I may pass through. Next, coming across a brick which quite obviously “bad” as it took potshots at me, I had to obtain a color opposite it on the color wheel so my attacks would land. Thankfully there’s a color wheel in game to help with that because, while I know my colors, I have never taken the time to memorize which color, exactly, is opposite of another.


Finally, I took part in one of the team’s daily challenges. Whomever could get the highest score in one of the later stages could win a prize. Not one to let a challenge such as this pass me by, I took them up. My pride, however, wishes I would have walked away and been happy with just learning how to play and letting that be.

I was treated to a puzzle which had me bouncing around like some kind of digital parkour artist as I struggled to avoid falling into bottomless pits (death), hitting platforms made of static (death), or walls made entirely of spikes (death). I was determined to not let the puzzle defeat me and, after struggling for a while, I finally succeeded in passing the level. Excited that I was finally done, I entered my name for the scoreboard, hit Enter and… last place. All of my deaths had resulted in me getting a very, very, negative score. Meh, all’s well that ends well.


Adventures of Pip (by TicToc Games)

Adventures of Pip is an adorable game that takes place in a kingdom of different castes. The upper-class are people who live in full, 16-bit glory, the middle-class live as 8-bit creatures, and the peasants are all pixels. An evil sorceress has kidnapped the princess, is hellbent on destroying the kingdom and you, a lowly pixel named Pip, must save the day.

Granted powers by a ghost knight, you have the ability to use the “Bit Stream” (think of The Force) to evolve and devolve into pixel, 8-bit, and 16-bit versions of yourself, each with their own abilities and weaknesses used to progress through this cute platformer. The pixel can jump high and get through small areas, 8-bit can wall jump and run, and 16-bit you has strength to push rocks and swing a sword, but are also too heavy to jump high or wall jump.


The PAX South demo was only one level, but it did show how much of the basics of the game work. Essentially, you will be jumping back and forth between different forms in order for you to advance in each stage. Those with a penchant for exploring will be rewarded as, hidden in each stage, are a number of secrets to find.

The team hope to have the game out for all of the consoles and PC and Mac this year.

About The Author


Sabriel Mastin writes about and creates videos about video games, enjoying the indie side of things most of all. She has many aspirations in life, one of those being sharing the games and the stories of independent developers from around the world.

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