PAX South Recap 3: Top Multiplayer Games Sabriel Mastin February 7, 2015 Features Walking around the indie area of PAX South, it was clear to me that the upcoming period of indie development will be regarded as the era of local multiplayer. Down each aisle in the convention center, scores of booths were set up with four or more controllers to have people try out various games with others. Some were co-op and others were competitive, but all were quick starting and fast-paced. Thanks to the internet, online gaming has become a breeze and very common and for years now we’ve been able to play with and against people all around the world. Recently, some of that multiplayer attention has been brought back into our living rooms with our friends at our side, gaming in person. I played a great number of games, too many to talk about, so here are my top three. 3. Super Slam Dunk Touchdown (by Tipping Goat) I don’t know if I can vouch for their claim that Super Slam Dunk Touchdown delivers more than 10000% more sports than the leading sports title, but I can certainly tell you it is a load of fun, especially when you have a full roster of six players. This game takes the concept of “sportsball” to a new level by combining different sports stars, rules, and various sport balls into a crazy smorgasbord of fun. Players can choose to be either someone from football (American), baseball, hockey, soccer, and—best of all—roller derby (personal bias). During play, a random ball from a random sport will drop down onto the field, and you and your team need to run it to the goal (similar to soccer) and get past the goalie, who is ready for a lacrosse match. Score points by throwing the ball into the goal or by trying for a slam dunk. If you go for a slam dunk, the game cuts to an epic shot of your player leaping for the basket. Success here depends on your timing of letting go of the ball. While the game may be played solo, it’s definitely best with four to six players. Check out their website to download an alpha version of the game. 2. Hive Jump (by Graphite Lab) Hive Jump was a hell of a lot of fun. This is a one to four player run-and-gun, kind of like Gunstar Heroes. You take control of a space marine as you adventure through caves, destroying bugs and collecting goo in this 2D platformer. Goo is used to buy or upgrade weapons between stages, all which aid you in your bug squishing adventure. As you race to the end point of each procedurally generated stage, you’re able to respawn infinitely, provided that the backpack one player is equipped with is not destroyed. Should the player carrying the backpack be killed, it will fall to the ground and a player needs to pick it up again before the bugs destroy it. At that point, death is permanent and should every player die, you’ll need to restart the stage. The action was intense and chaotic as bullets and bugs flew everywhere. This is absolutely one of the titles I’m most looking forward to. http://hivejump.com/ 1. Brawlhalla (by Blue Mammoth Games) As the name may suggest, Brawlhalla is a brawler, one very similar to Super Smash Bros. That’s intentional as the team was inspired by the Nintendo series in concept, but they wanted make something that stood apart from it as well. If you’re familiar with Super Smash Bros., you’re already familiar with the formula here. Fast-paced fighting with characters of all sorts of strengths and skills. The more you’re beat up, the more likely you are to be thrown out of the arena. What differs from Smash, however, is the weapon system. Movesets vary depending on which weapon is wielded. Each player begins with a set of weapons unique to their character so they start each fight with a certain playstyle. Over the course of the match, they’ll be able to pick up other weapons, each that changes up how a character plays and pushes you into using another strategy to take out your opponents. The game is currently on Greenlight Early Access and you can sign up for the beta on their website. The game will be free to play, but will have purchasable items such as player skins and taunts. If you’d like to get into the beta without waiting you can buy various founders packs that include an exclusive skin, in-game money, and more! I should also mention that, even though the game works well locally, it is also meant to be played online play. Your friends can’t always come over, but you can still play the game with them! For many games, across-continent play is impossible, but the team has been working very hard to make cross-ocean play viable. Sign up for the beta on their site, or check it out on Steam.