The Coolest Games of PAX East

The Boston-based fan event plays host to one of the most impressive lineups of indie games in the world

Behold Studios

Galaxy of Pen and Paper

There are huge, imposing booths run by industry titans like Bethesda and Square Enix, there are signed, sealed, and delivered “indie” games like LawBreakers and Divinity: Original Sin II. And then there’s stuff like Galaxy of Pen and Paper, where two dudes with two laptops use a tiny corner of the IndieMegaBooth to demo a game they made in a tiny little office somewhere in Brasilia. As the name implies, Galaxy of Pen and Paper is about role-playing. You play as the game master of a sci-fi Dungeons of Dragons knockoff, and escort a party through a self-consciously 4th-wall-breaking campaign. The pixel art is beautifully rendered, the combat is filtered through a simple, satisfying turn-based system, and the writing is genuinely funny. There’s an interesting system where you can self-design missions for your own party, because as a GM, why wouldn’t you be able to do that? It’s far from the most inventive thing I saw at PAX, but it does manage to capture the magical kinship of geekdom. At every moment you’re reminded that this game was built by people with a deep affection for the tabletop RPG, and I love how that shines through.

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