PAX 08: GarageGames
GarageGames had a lot on display at PAX this year, all related to their site instantaction.com. Their goal with instantaction is to make cross platform games (in the personal computer market at least) free and enjoyable for everyone. To do this, they develop web based games, but not your average web games. These are extremely high quality work, and according to the developers they can be played on almost anyone’s computer. With an already impressive lineup of seven games, they’re looking to expand, starting with a couple games they showcased at the booth.
Blur, currently in closed beta, is a racer reminiscent of the Rush series. Like almost all of their games, Blur is instant action, just jump right in and play. The gameplay is a bit unrealistic, but in a good way, somewhat like Trackmania. All the hassle of the download and setup has been removed, however. It can be played anywhere, from the office to school. In their own words, they’re out to “destroy productivity.”
Other planned releases shown at PAX included MetalDrift, out in early 2009, and Ace of Aces. MetalDrift is a tank based arena match game. Players can pick from a variety of futuristic tanks and weapons, with standard gametypes including deathmatch and capture the flag. Again, the most important part here is the lack of installation and the quality. For a game that downloads in a matter of moments, it’s graphically amazing. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see much of Ace of Aces, as the developer for that particular game was unavailable. We did get a synopsis though, and it sounds intriguing. Another deathmatch shooter type game, but based around World War One aerial combat.
Instantaction has a variety of other games currently up worthy of your attention, however, including the popular Legions. Already immensely popular, stations were full at almost all times at PAX as well, and it’s a good way to see exactly what GarageGames is capable of. Landscapes are vast, and matches host up to sixteen players on dedicated servers for truly epic browser based warfare. Galcon is a great time waster available on their site as well, something like a real-time translation of Risk set in space. If you’ve got free time (even fifteen or twenty minutes), take a look.