PAX East 2024 – The Played Games — KutieKatelyn Wrap Up Part 1

PAX East 2024 was a wild ride with a ton of ups and downs, but those ups were something special. I got the honor to demo quite a few upcoming and currently available games from developers passionate about what they’re making. I played quite a bit and will include links to their socials and store pages. None of this was paid for, I’m just covering what I thought really hit the mark at PAX East and it’s stuff you should keep your eyes on. These aren’t in any particular order so don’t think of this as a ranking. There will also be some videos uploaded so you can see some gameplay! If you’re interested in demoing or wishlisting any of these, just check them out on Steam, the only fully confirmed platform for every game.


Fraymakers was a wild one to encounter and might be one of the games I demoed the most at PAX. Fraymakers is a platform fighter with indie game reps to fill in its roster. The twist? It has an assist character roster separate from the playable roster. The game is currently in Early Access on Steam so the roster isn’t complete yet but what is here is impressive. Playable characters for this build at PAX included 6 playable characters and about 20 assist characters.

Playable reps included Commander Video from BitTrip, Orcane from Rivals of Aether, and Ultra Fishbunjin 3000 from SlapCity, all wildly different from one another. While the assist characters were way more overwhelming in scope, it was a sight to behold. The image above includes everyone in the PAX build of the game, playable or not. The Kid from I Wanna Be The Guy, the Newgrounds tank, Nico from OneShot, and even up-and-comers like the knight Aine from Renaine, another game I’ll mention soon.

The controls were fluid and I never felt like my inputs were lost in the chaos of combat, something I’ve had an issue with in similar games. The speed and fluidity of combat don’t ask for anything too strenuous. I felt like as a casual enjoyer of platform fighters I was able to jump right in and learn a character. I knew the core control scheme so applying that and learning the moves felt fun. If I had to complain about something, moving down through platforms felt a little awkward.

The most exciting thing I learned about while demoing the game – the custom content. I spoke briefly with the developers and I was told they have over hundreds, if not more, of characters, stages, assists, all made by fans. Though they did want to mention they can’t really promise that certain characters won’t have to get pulled for obvious reasons, but the absolute wealth of content is wild. The game will come with the 10 planned characters and 50 planned Assists but the custom content is going to be untouchable. We’ll have some footage of a 1-v-1 match and a 4-player match going up soon, so keep it locked to GamingTrend because we’ll have more to say about Fraymakers when it launches sometime this year (as of now).

Quest Master

Quest Master was another creation focused game. Quest Maker was one of the first games I played at PAX and it was a delight. The demo at PAX had three dev-made levels along with a builder mode to create my own dungeon. The inspiration may be a bit on the nose but seeing a game still doing its own thing like an expansive maker mode as an additional mode is wild. With an artstyle reminiscent of the GameBoy Advance era, this was exactly what I was hoping for from the Kickstarter game Midora, but what happened there is a story for a different article. Having such smooth sprite animation with the amount of foliage and enemy sprites with no performance issues was great.

With the unique mechanic of swapping items around reminiscent of Four Swords Adventures or Goof Troop, it felt like gamifying the 3D Zelda trope of “item is a glorified key” while not feeling like a chore. I felt like *everything* was a puzzle that required me to be smart about my item choice. I only played the dungeon labeled with Easy and I felt challenged but it wasn’t overly difficult. I’m not particularly good at top-down adventure games so it seems like more hardcore fans will get something to sink their teeth into. If you want to demo it, check it out on Steam!

Ra Ra Boom

Ra Ra Boom was one of the first games I got to demo as press. This is important because Ra Ra Boom was playable at the booth on a four-player arcade cabinet to the public but I got to play directly on a laptop with a controller, alone. I bring this up because the arcade cabinet was not an ideal experience in PAX. When you’re on the loud, crowded show floor, an arcade cabinet can get cramped. Add to this that the first and fourth players were at angles, it made it harder to play on the sides.

With that context added, my base thoughts up front are that I enjoyed the game when I was able to take my time learning how it works without being caught up in the rush of playing on an arcade machine in a crowd. Ra Ra Boom is a stylish beat ‘em up that utilizes 4 bespoke “lanes” that you and the enemies are on. You tap up and down on the control stick or d-pad to move between the lanes. It’s a beat em up so you also have two attack buttons, a special attack, a gun button, jump, and dodge. As one lacking in arcade cabinet experience, not knowing what buttons were what without looking down was a bit overwhelming but I was still able to pull off some cool stuff by mashing a bit.

However, none of the issues I’ve described applied to the laptop session I had. Playing with an Xbox styled controller on the PC felt so much nicer. This is all to say that I enjoyed the game a lot, being able to play on a more familiar format helped me pull off more fun combos. Clearing out enemies efficiently while being able to appreciate the slamming music and fun dialogue. I think this game will be a ton of fun when it comes out, but it’s definitely more fun when you can appreciate the mechanics, visuals, and sound.


Renaine was an adorable little platformer. Taking stylish action and putting it into a platformer with an artstyle like this is a delight. Add in the fun dialogue and you got yourself something you should definitely keep your eye on. The highlight of my demo time was the boss fight. It was like a wrestling match with an octopus, tricking him into slamming into the platforms and spikes below. It was an absolute gem with funny dialogue. There’s a demo on Steam so please give that a shot if you can.

I can’t really explain how charming this game was. It was so strange to see a simple artstyle be as stylish as something like your standard character action game. Even platforming was a delight as you link together dashes and enemy bounces while swinging your sword or throwing a bomb never got tiring. Speedruns are going to be impressive. That isn’t to say this game is too complex but the difficulty was comfortable and the ceiling is really high. I implore everyone reading this to give the demo a shot! I loved this game a lot despite not caring for many 2D games due to my inherent lack of skills in them.

A Corgi’s Cozy Hike

This was a gem. This game is the epitome of making something for the love of it. This game has some inspiration of Spyro and Banjo-Kazooie but the entire thing is pure sunshine. It certainly lives up to the name and truth be told – that won’t appeal to everyone. But you can feel the love put into this game. A simple collectathon but you get to be a funny little dog. Walk around, collect bones and corgi butt power to upgrade your climbing ability, yes, like Breath of the Wild.

Something that stuck out to me was how little explanation there was for anything. We had a controller map laid out on the table but unless I specifically talked to an NPC or read a sign, there were not any interruptions. It just felt like running around on the playground as a kid, stopping for next to nothing. That may be different in the publicly available demo and that may only apply to this PAX demo, but it was kind of nice. Minimum start up, time to dog.

From the actual, in-game dog park, to the curvy hilltop in the center area, the world has so many neat little landmarks to find and explore. Along the way you rescue other dogs, ground pounding switches, climbing statues all to unlock more Corgi Butt Power (Yes, that is the name. I love it.) and unlock new abilities. In another person’s demo they got a Knuckles-esque gliding power up and it looked so fun. This may have been my game of the show. I can’t wait to play the full release on Steam later this year. If you have a Steam Deck, this game runs on that! At the very least try out the demo and see if it appeals to you. A Corgi’s Cozy Hike lead to A Kutie Katelyn’s Hype.

Rugrats Adventures in Gameland

Rugrats Adventures in Gameland kind of came out of nowhere when it was announced. A totally unique 2D platformer styled after a GameBoy game but simultaneously given an “HD remaster” in that there is an 8-bit and hand drawn (HD) visuals and music. Going hands on with it gives a very Super Mario Bros 2 vibe with the amount of pick up blocks to make vertical progress in some levels.

The game was super charming and it was nice each baby played the same so sticking with your favorite rat is a-okay. However, if I’m being honest, the second level felt a bit aimless and went on for well over ten minutes. That’d be fine if there were cutscenes or spectacle to break up the flow a bit but it’s just pure, somewhat slow, platforming.

While not a bad game by any means, as there’s a lot of solid platforming, especially the first level. It comes in rather large chunks so it’s tough to feel like progress was being made when we’re in the third full length platforming section with its own background and music for one level. All of them from different locations that reference other games while still fitting in since the Rugrats games involve them going to wild locations like space stations or dark forests.

I wasn’t the only one who played it though. A friend of mine had a go at it while I recorded the footage on my phone. Overall in agreement the first level was solid but the overly long second level with minimal “combat” options made for a rather frustrating experience. Ideally this will all be cleaned up to some degree by launch as this was an overall decent game.

Shadows of the Damned: Remastered

This was one of the last things I tried at PAX. I even got to speak with Suda about it a bit. I’ve been a fan of the Grasshopper games that I’ve played thus far. No More Heroes is, of course, a classic, but we got a tease in Travis Strikes Again that Shadows of the Damned was back in Grasshopper’s hands after originally being published by EA. This new version is being done entirely by Grasshopper and their parent company NetEase. Suda himself said EA was accommodating and worked with them to get the sales rights for the game back to Grasshopper who now own both the sales rights and IP.

To get into the game proper – I played the demo on PCs using an Xbox styled controller. I played through about a level and a half. First a tutorial that teaches me about how each room is a puzzle or combat challenge. I’ve not played this game before and I’ve really been missing out. Luckily it seems that it includes all the content from the original as well as a New Game+ and more costumes that can be unlocked.

I always enjoy the kind of writing in these games and getting this game’s visuals in cleaner formats is nice. It recently just got confirmed to be coming to every modern platform, including the Switch. I asked Suda himself about that version’s technical features and was told it’d be targeting the same frame rates and resolutions as the other platforms. Max of 1080p 60fps. As a casual fan of the studio, this was an awesome experience and I can’t wait to try it out when it launches later in 2024.

That was all for the floor show demos I played at PAX! Be sure to check out the games and teams mentioned here because these were all super fun and deserve your attention. As for GamingTrend, be on the lookout for another pair of articles coming. One of those I’ll be showcasing the cosplayers and panels throughout the show!

Katelyn is a self-titled queen of excitement. Whether for RPGs, gaming history, or stylish action, she's here to get hype and put it all to words.

See below for our list of partners and affiliates:

Buy Now

Buy Now

Buy Now

Buy Now

Buy Now

Buy Now

Buy Now

Buy Now

Buy Now


To Top