PAX West is a competitive space for publishers and developers. There is so much to do and see, it just isn't possible for players to make it around to every single game. There are heavy hitters like Nintendo and Square Enix that always have capped lines at the show, and dozens, even hundreds more that are trying to get any attention that they can.
Last year, Resident Evil 2 stole the show with it's replica of Raccoon City Police Department, dimly lit and foreboding, the booth was the perfect setting to demo the best horror game of the year.
Here were the 5 most interesting and unique booths at PAX West 2019.
Let Players Lay In A Coffin
Graveyard Keeper, a new game from TinyBuild and Lazy Bear Games, had by far the most eye catching booth at PAX West this year. Right in the middle of the show floor, row and rows of coffins were spread out where players can relax with a demo of the game. Graveyard Keeper is a building and city management Sim with RPG elements that tasks players with overseeing a medievil graveyard. Not only is it nice to get off your feet for a bit during the hustle and bustle of PAX, but the coffins offer a comfy reassurance that maybe the hereafter isn't so bad after all, especially if you can bring your Switch.
Demo The Same Game 9 Years In A Row
Ok, maybe not the MOST attention grabby of booths, but you've got to give it up for SpyParty, at this point they are a PAX West institution. SpyParty has been demoing at PAX for a decade now, bringing each new iteration of the game to the show floor. If you haven't heard of SpyParty, it is a competitive espionage game in which players attempt to blend in with NPCs at a fancy party while a sniper tries to identify who the player characters are. It's been in early access since 2009 and has demo'd at PAX every single year. It's sort of like visiting an old friend now, and it's comforting to know they will always be there for you.
Give Dinosaur Rides
Prehistoric Kingdom is an upcoming Zoo Tycoon-inspired Sim game that looks strikingly like last years Jurassic World Evolution. Their booth turned a lot of heads by offering dinosaur rides on an animatronic dino, something visitors of your dinosaur theme park will get to do in the game. The dino gnashed his teeth and moved his head while unleashing terrifying roars, but made no fuss about being ridden by thousands of convention attendees.
Prehistoric kingdom does not have a release date yet, but a demo is available now on Steam.
Bring A Full Size Dragon
The show stopper this year was a full size replica of Velkhana, the featured new monster from the upcoming Monster Hunter expansion Iceborne. Players were actually able to battle against Velkhana in groups of four right beneath this towering behemoth. Velkhana is an original Elder Dragon created for Iceborne, and naturally uses ice powers to slow and damage hunters. Pictures really don't do justice to this incredible display. The Valkana statue was the biggest installation in the entire show and certainly the most impressive.
Players that demo'd the new expansion received a pin of Velkhana's symbol. There was also an option to hunt Banbaro in the new zone coming to Iceborne next week.
Be The Only Capcom Game Besides Iceborne
It was a light year for Capcom, and for PAX overall. Headliners like Borderlands 3, Pokemon Sword and Shield, and Final Fantasy VII Remake got the crowds plenty excited, but there's no doubt this was a transitional year for gaming as development for current gen slows and anticipation for the next generation steadily grows.
Capcom blew us away with the Velkhana statue, but aside from that, only ports of Mega Man and Resident Evil were on display. This made PAX West this year the absolute perfect chance for Teppen to take center stage, and the mobile real-time card game did exactly that.
The booth for Teppen was massive and the line ran all the way around it all four days because of an incredible prize they were offering: win a game of Teppen and get a shirt, lose and get a pin of your choice. There was a livestream going on in the booth all weekend and many players were getting their first taste of the new card game, which released only just last month. The shirt is sweet (I won one of course), the game is pretty fun, and players seemed to be enjoying it. Let's hope Teppen finally gets the attention it deserves.