Making Sense Out Of The Penny Arcade Expo – Apple Gaming Is Alive And Well [PAX 2013]

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SEATTLE, PAX 2013 – As I sit here on the 10th floor of Seattle’s public library, I’m trying to make some sense of the last four days of gaming conference, the Penny Arcade Expo.

It’s not like gaming is as important as, say, the current crisis in Syria, or attempts to fight poverty and homelessness, or even the inability of spaces like PAX to provide a safe place for women or people who are trangendered.

On the other hand, gaming is a massive cultural phenomenon. PAX’s founders, webcomic writers Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik, wanted to create a convention that would focus on gamers, whether they play tabletop games, video games, or card games. That there is a massive interest in this convergence of different kinds of gamers, from D&D nerds to arcade geeks, is an understatement, as evidenced by quickly sold-out tickets months in advance of the conference as well as by the huge herds of human beings of all stripe who I saw traipsing from one booth to another this weekend in the Washington State Convention Center.

Gaijin Games To Self Publish Bit.Trip Runner2 On iOS Winter 2013 [PAX 2013]

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SEATTLE, PAX 2013 – We spoke a bit with indie studio, Gaijin Games, at the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) this weekend in Seattle, about the upcoming release of Runner 2 to iOS (and Sony’s PS Vita). Runner2, aka Bit.Trip Presents Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien, is a side-scrolling platform game with heavy rhythm elements that’s already out on console and Steam for Mac.

The team wanted to publish Runner2 on iOS on its own, in contrast to the console versions, which were published by Aksys Games. The Bit.Trip series has been a critical and consumer success, selling well on a variety of platforms since it began with Bit.Trip Beat in 2009.

Crypt Of The NecroDancer – Monsters Die From Your Killer Dance Moves [PAX 2013]

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SEATTLE, PAX 2013 – Picture this: you pull out that old Dance Dance Revolution pad, connect it to your Mac, and then dance your way through procedurally generated dungeons, tapping your feet and bouncing to the beat as you kill monsters, loot chests, and equip yourself with ever more powerful weapons.

Wait, what?

Vancouver-based Brace Yourself Games (aka Ryan Clark) has perhaps stumped even the most open minded among us with this new combination, found in upcoming game, Crypt of the NecroDancer.

Magic The Gathering 2014 Announces New Expansion, Coming September 18th [PAX 2013]

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SEATTLE, PAX 2013 – Wizards of the Coast is at the Penny Arcade Epo (PAX) this year to show off the most recent digital version of its digital card battler, Magic the Gathering 2014: Duels of the Planeswalkers, available for iPad, PC, select Android devices, and gaming consoles. This is the first expansion set for the game, which was originally released this past June.

We sat down with Mark Purvis, a brand manager for the Washington-based gaming company, to talk about the new expansion and some cool connections between the digital game and the paper one the company also produces.

Recently Greenlit Steam Game Teslagrad Is One Pretty Puzzle Platformer [PAX 2013]

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SEATTLE, PAX 2013 – As we walked around the show floor at Penny Arcade this year, our attention was drawn to a beautifully hand-drawn platform game playing on a Wii U in one corner of the more independent gaming section of the expo. Called Teslagrad, this is a 2D puzzle platformer with action elements that uses magnetism and electricity as its main mechanic.

This is the second game from developer Rain AS, itself based in Bergen, Norway, and it’s just gotten picked up for Steam’s Greenlight program, a way for Valve to support independent game developers on its own digital distribution platform.