Play-NYC 2018: Review and Recap!

Play-NYC 2018 was held over the weekend of August 11th-12th and I was fortunate enough to be able to attend. So, what did I think about it? Well, let’s start with the best aspects.

My favorite aspect of the show this year was running into friends. I’ve kept up relationships with some developers and media personalities and it was great to run into them. It was also a blast to run into fans of our site and our podcast. I didn’t run into every contest winner, but it made my day to run into those that I did. It was awesome to meet our listeners and I hope we get more opportunities in the future to do that! Here’s two of the winners I got to meet up with, David Rodriguez and Jared Krinsky!

There were a ton of developers there all eager to show you their latest projects. Some of these were proof of concepts and others were already released online. There were game for pretty much every major platform, Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC, and mobile and it was great to see so many unique game concepts come to life. While not every game will be everyone’s cup of tea, there was enough variety to go around.

Of the games I got to experience, here are just a few of my favorites. Not only were these games fun to play, but the people behind them are also awesome so hopefully you’ll see some future IndustryTalks with these great developers soon!

Starting off there’s Fabraz. They were there last year and showed off Slime-San. A game that’s now out for the Switch that also has a physical version on the way thanks to Limited Run. They were showing off their next title, Spirit Sphere DX which is a fun pong style game for the Switch that is very addicting. This is also available now!

Then there was Frost Lab who was showing off a unique take on puzzle platforming with their game Orbit Quest. I fell in love with this game which sadly isn’t coming to the Switch at the moment, but I sent them some info to hopefully get the ball rolling to get this game on the Switch. This is one not to be missed.

Then there was Petricore’s booth which had them showcasing their latest game DogFight. This brought back memories of playing StarFox 64 with friends. Since Nintendo won’t give us a new multiplayer StarFox, I’m turning to these guys. I can’t wait for this to come out and if my memory serves me correctly, this will be hitting the Switch so keep your eyes peeled for more on this game! You can click the logo below to learn more about the game!

Last year I ran into a man named Geoffrey Suthers who was showcasing his newest game on Steam, SuMer. A few friends of mine played it and the game was so close, he was cool enough to give us all steam keys. That was one of my highlights from last year’s show. I was very pleased to run into him again this year where he was showing off SuMer again, this time on the Switch where you can purchase it right now. This is a terrific game and a ton of fun, so I highly recommend you give it a try!

I spotted a Switch from across the room and when I went to go check out what game was being played, I was greeted by Wyatt Yeong who was showing off his latest, Red Hot Ricochet. This is a multiplayer tank game that made for some great competition. In fact, he wanted to show it off, so he handed my wife and I a joycon each and quickly showed us how to pick our tanks. Then he grabbed a joycon to join in and put himself on a team with my wife. Before I could look for a partner Geoffrey Suthers ran over to grab the fourth joycon to join my team. After a very close and heated match, our team lost but we had a blast and I can’t wait to experience this game more with friends in the future!

One game that caught my wife’s eye was from That Indie Studio. They were showing off The Last Hex which is a neat grid-based RPG where you have a deck of cards like Magic: The Gathering and use those cards to attack, protect yourself, heal, etc. as you journey towards the last hex on the board. It was sad to hear that the game is still in early development and we look forward to hearing more from them soon. We also got word that as of now, a Switch port is planned so that made us very excited!

Last year we met up with Saturnine Games with their excellent title Antipole DX that was slated to come to all platforms including the 3DS and Wii U. This year we got the bad news that due to unavoidable circumstances the 3DS and Wii U ports are dead, and no Switch version is planned. While it’s still coming to other platforms, this game needs to be on Switch so make some noise people and maybe Nintendo will reach out to make this a reality. If you enjoy Mega Man X titles, you need to turn your direction their way as this game is fantastic!

Early in the show we saw a fighting game that caught our attention. That game turned out to be Origin of Storms. Sadly, they only had one playable character available, but the future fighters seem promising. The game was early on in development and when playing the game, my wife discovered a nasty bug that allowed her to continuously attack me where there was nothing I could do to break her combo. Needless to say, I lost our match and the developers took note of the bug. We still had a great time and I look forward to this coming out. Hopefully this one lands on the Switch as well. They put out a video about their time at Play-NYC below and if you watch at 19 seconds in, you can see the very match we played where she cheaply kicked my butt!

There were other great games on hand that we got to see. The Deep End Games showed off Perception which is out now on the Switch along with their newest title _dark_web_. Horizon’s End showed off The Great Gaias which is PC only for the moment, but I think would do amazing if it came to the Switch. Nighthawk Interactive displayed Killer Queen Black which will be hitting the Switch later this year! Razbury Games had their latest, From Dust on display which is still a year out, but they are hoping to bring it to the Switch. OTA & Z04 showed off their title The Last Stop which was a neat adventure style game with plenty of fourth wall breaking that sadly seems like it will be PC only for the time being. Finally there’s Bacon Man which I’ll let the creator himself explain in the following interview!

The game that caught my eye the most though, would be Hero Soul. This game played like A Link to the Past with Diablo style look, card based magic, randomized dungeons, towns, and a whole world to explore. Sadly the game is still early in development but hopefully once it’s finished we’ll see a Switch port because this game has the potential to be huge! You can click below for more info on this very promising game!

One table that I was very happy to visit was the Able Gamers charity. These wonderful people created a controller that handicapped people can use to still enjoy games. We got to test out the controller with some Rocket League and it worked extremely well! It was an honor to meet them. I love seeing people think outside the box, so everyone can enjoy gaming!

There were more than just video games as well. Table top games as well as card games were present throughout the show floor and brought a nice change of pace. The Cohen Children’s Medical Center was there talking about their Extra Life program where people can play games to raise money for sick children. It’s a great cause and I hope more streamers do gaming sessions to help sick children. They did also bring a Switch to their booth and it was great seeing kids have fun racing in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Click the picture below to learn more!

This year’s venue, the Hammerstein Ballroom, was much bigger and better suited for a show like this then last year’s Terminal 5. That being said, it wasn’t without problems. The third floor went largely unused and the second floor could have benefited by sending half of the games up to the third floor so there was more space to move around.  The basement was also half empty, so they could have utilized some more of that space too. Especially with how packed the show became. Below you can see last year’s show vs this year’s show! The first two pictures are from 2017, the second two from 2018.

Last year we got free snacks and lemonade which was nice, but there was no food option. You had to leave the show to eat. This year we got free Mochi ice cream and free Red Bull and there was a food stand in the basement. The problem is that the food stand was quite expensive. $6 for water, $7 for a hot dog, etc. Needless to say, we wound up leaving and getting lunch in the city. That’s the good thing though, you aren’t locked into the facility and you can leave when you want.

Overall, I felt this show was certainly bigger and better than last years and I look forward to what Play-NYC 2019 has in store. Dan and his crew at Playcrafting did a fantastic job and I want to take this moment to just say thank you to all those that put this show together. I know it’s not easy, but you deserve all the credit! See you all next year!