If you like indie games, chances are you’ve run into PLAYISM at some point. With a huge catolog containing simulators, small Japanese titles, and plenty of pixel games, and titles from big to small, PLAYISM is a publisher that has something for everyone, and at PAX West they made sure to highlight the diversity of their catalog. To be clear here, I plan to give a very brief look at three games showed at PLAYISM this year, and then give some attention to what I felt was the darling of their booth – Outrider Mako.
If you want the tl;dr, Playism’s site is 100% worth a visit. They have an amazing selection of games and you’re sure to find something there you enjoy. Interested in what’s coming? I’ve put some extra attention into my favourite demo below. But first… let’s look at the rest.
Feeling silly? Deer Simulator (sorry, DEEEER Simulator) lets you run around and spend your days as a deer… but not just any deer. A deer with a super-stretchy neck and great potential for chaos. While I didn’t try out this title, the person next to me was playing it and happy with it. Honestly… the screenshots should say it all.
You can also find Pixel Game Maker MV – a great pixel-game making program that will let you create your 2D game without the need to stress about coding. Anyone can make a game! Pixel game makers are behind a lot of surprisingly good pixel games – if you’ve got a dream to make your own someday, it’s probably worth checking out what Playism has to offer!
Personally, I checked out Orangeblood and Outrider Mako, with mixed feelings.
Orangeblood takes the player to New Koza – a man-made island filled wih gangsters and crime. The game features some cute girls ready to take down anyone. Here, you’ll find a surprising mix of adorable and brutal, as your pixelated cuties open fire on their enemies. The music is pretty great, and I wanted to like the edgy style and feel, but I really didn’t love Orangeblood.
Part of this may have been that the demo really needed some cleaning up – dialogue would suddenly break into full paragraphs of Japanese, for example. But also the edgy, “we’re so tough – listen to us swear and shoot people!” was laid on a little thick for me. I think for the right player, this will probably be a fun fit. I also really enjoyed the soundtrack and the overworld graphics. But it’s not anything I was very moved by, and I finished the demo early as a result.
Outrider Mako, on the other hand, stole my heart a little with its pixelated world and fast-paced action.
In Outrider Mako, the player is tasked with obtaining materials for clients. Easy, right? Not so much… The world is filled with all sorts of malevolent spirits and creatures which complicate your adventures more than slightly. Fortunately, you’re outfitted with plenty of attacks and some slime to glue them in place!
As requests get increasingly difficult, you’ll adventure to further portions of the world and uncover more and more of the areas around you. I loved this mix of fighting, exploration, and fetch quest. It’s simple, but it’s also rather cathartic and fun to embrace the chaos and get your jobs done.
Mako’s colourful graphics and quick gameplay are a match made in heaven. It’s a surprisingly lovely and detailed world, with all its quirkiness, and one I can’t wait to revisit.
Hopefully at least one of these titles caught your eye, but even if they don’t, I definitely recommend checking out Playism‘s titles – the range of titles is incredible, and I’ve found more than a few games there that are absolutely wonderful. They honestly do have something appropriate for anyone, but they’re especially a wonderful publisher to start with if you’re looking for some pixelated adventure.