Community Review: PAX Australia 2017

Community Review: PAX Australia 2017
To sign up for our daily newsletter covering the latest news, features and reviews, head HERE. For a running feed of all our stories, follow us on Twitter HERE. Or you can bookmark the Kotaku Australia homepage to visit whenever you need a news fix.

Image: Alex Walker/Kotaku

So, PAX is done and dusted for another year. But how did you find it?

Something that I’ve found interesting is that there seemed to be more space between booths on the expo hall this year. I wasn’t there on the Friday – typically the quieter of the three days – but it wasn’t as nightmarish trying to get around on the Saturday and Sunday as I remember in past years.

Hell, I still remember trying to get past the block of League observers watching the OPL finals in that first year.

From the gaming side, there was an impressive bunch of indies mixed within a bunch of games that have toured PAX for a couple of years now. We’ll have a larger writeup from the team later this week, as well as something else we’d like to do, but something that really took me by surprise was Grapity.

I hadn’t had any experience of the game until, well, walking on stage for a panel. But damn if Grapity isn’t a good party game.

Beyond that, the facilities handled PAX as well as they usually do: the food and drink was your typical convention prices, Boatbuilders and General Assembly were packed as always, and there were smiles on faces everywhere you looked.

How did you find PAX this year?


  • So Good!

    This PAX was my second and I think this one cemented for me how great the event is. Hung out with people I met last time a lot more, played more new tabletop games and just enjoyed the atmosphere.

    Did anyone else catch the insanity that was Regular Human Basketball? That was amazing

    • Regular Human Basketball was a riot! Big ups to the devs for making up those basketball-style cards they were dishing out too – I love a bit of silly marketing. Sadly, might be one of those games that is never as fun as when played at a con – simply due to the everyday logistics of six-player local multiplayer.

      • I know what you mean, I downloaded it on almost a year ago but still haven’t found the right situation to play it with anyone

        • Ugh I begged the devs to bring it to switch but they were pretty set on steam, which yea is unfortunate because my steam link is just too dodgy – abandoned it last year

  • It was a pretty good year. They really improved the spacing issue, I feel like there may have been 5%-10% less stalls this year, and it made getting around really easy. I liked the amount of games on offer, including a few that were tucked away in different areas (YIIK and Hello Neighbour could have been easily missed).

    I didn’t see any “wow, that blew me away” panels this year, like I normally do. But that could have been more to do with me missing the good ones.

    One observation I did notice, looks like the shine is wearing away at Joust. It had a pretty good run since it’s been there since the first one, but I think it could disappear next year, and you wouldn’t hear too many complaints.

  • I am so tired. It takes forever to get through all the indies.
    Still annoyed that the “pitch your game ida” was a joke panel. I wound myself up so much that I had panic attacks. Needn’t have bothered.

    • Yeah, I feel like the game pitch thing needs to be entirely rethought. It’s a concept with a lot of potential, but it wound up being pretty flat. The panel didn’t even really add much in the way of humour, much less games development insight.

  • I didn’t feel that it was very different to last year. Same seminars, same events. Most of the floor was just different varieties of retailer/manufacturer running PUBG. The most fun i had was watching people play Star Trek VR and have everything go to shit.

  • I think on the whole it was better than last year. Tonnes of cosplay on the Saturday, not so much on the Sunday. Plenty of room to move on the friday.

    Definitely an explosion in the tabletop space, both tables and retailers.

    Got to play PUBG for the first time, still undecided.

    I also got to play Origins and FC5, both of which seemed impressive.

    Great to see the growth in the number of indie games, though I don’t think anything for me was particularly notable.

    Highlight for me was watching the RLCS, Pale horse vs Scilla, it was a pretty epic match.

    Merch was drastically overpriced and there seemed to be a lot left over. Got a load of free stuff to keep the kids happy, fidget spinners, capes, raver gloves, pins, posters.

  • I thought it was a notable improvement over last year. Far more playable games than just trailers. Feels like they listened to our feedback with the vendors and spacing issues.

    Highly was Detroit: Become Human, i thought the demo was really well done and i am looking forward to it coming out. My wife loved Skryim VR on PSVR, didnt cause her to have motion sickness which is great.

    The indie section was fantastic and it had a great variety of games, few same faces but overall a lot of new ones. We picked up 2 of the indie games there, Blockpocalypse and Adventure Pals.

    Tabletop area was great as well, we spent most of Friday night and Saturday night there trying out all sorts of games and picking up a few. Sparkle Kitty and Bears Vs. Babies were the favourites in our group.

  • I usually go every 2nd year and I think it was better 2 years ago, but still had a good time. Managed to win a badge in the Monster Hunter X tourney which I was wrapped with and got a photo with Nickboy and Hex. I thought the lights were too dark in the table top area. Wish there was better food stalls as well. Will be back thou as its a good event.

  • Though I agree the crowds were much better (or better managed by enforcers) I still felt it was a bit lacklustre this year… most of the games to play as demos were just released; barely any great sales; no talks sounded that interesting. But the biggest fail was all this pubg everywhere, it’s really crap to watch lol nothing happens for ages then a couple of shots and the player is out, boring!

  • This was my first day going two days instead of one (Sat & Sun) and it was wonderful to be able to pace myself and chillax a bit more. (Usually PAX is just one mad dash before going home)

    As always, I loved watching the Penny Arcade strip get drawn, even if poor Gabe had to go home (hope he’s doing better) and the great debate (playing games vs. watching games) was hilarious! Loved it!

    All up, it was a similar experience to previous years, but I felt more relaxed which is good. I think I’ll go 2 days again next year.

  • Second time going to PAX, I had even more fun this year than last. It was absolutely incredible. I ended up buying Inflatality, Hand of Fate 2 & 1 and a new gaming chair :O

    My favourite panels were the live Dungeon Crawl (Improv comedic D&D) which had me in tears a few times, and then on Saturday, the Pub Crawl Assassin’s Creed IV was hilarious and amazing with all the sea shanties.

    I’ll definitely be going back again next year!

    If anyone is interested, here’s most of the photos I took over the weekend. (If this isn’t allowed let me know and I’ll take it off)

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!