PAX South was a surprisingly good con for local multiplayer games. Given how much consoles seem to be shrugging off local multiplayer, it was wonderful to see so many games designed to be played in a room while screaming at your friends. Here’s a collection of our favorite new games that are sure to drive a rift in your friendships.
Platforms: PC, PS4
Release Date: Early 2015
Just Shapes and Beats
It’s just a game about shapes and beats, how intense could that be?
SUPER FREAKING INTENSE.
Essentially, you’re one of four shapes trying to avoid pink environmental hazards that show up to the beat of a song. You can play with one all the way up to four players, though trust me, it’s so much more fun with friends. The resulting panic and chaos of pink beams, explosions, and vibrato circles leaves you screaming for help from your teammates, all the while nodding your head to the songs. It’s hard to explain. Take a look at this:
Release Date: TBD
What is it with these games and their intenseness? It’s a theme!
Speedrunners is essentially a mix of 2D Mario Kart and Smash Brothers. You choose a character and make laps around a map filled with speed boosts, obstacles, and items. The way you win is by either touching the edge of the screen because you’re so far ahead of everyone, or everyone else behind you touches the other edge of the screen because they’re so far behind. The game quickly becomes one of skill and path optimization at its core, though that’s all thrown out the window with the right items. A quick claw arm grab or in the way box can provide a huge advantage, turning a one sided match into anyone’s game in a matter of seconds.
Platforms: PC, Xbox One
Release date: Out now for early access, full game early 2015