Community Review: PAX Australia 2018

Community Review: PAX Australia 2018
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Now that you’ve had a coffee or two and a little time to recover, tell us: how was your PAX weekend?

Personally, it was a fun weekend although not quite as jampacked as previous years. I wanted to make sure I spent more time in the tabletop section, having missed it almost entirely the last few years previously.

I spent some time on the Friday and Saturday with some TAYbies playing some classics, including the very good Sagrada. We couldn’t find a copy of Azul: it was comfortably one of the hottest games on the show floor, and every time I went to see if there was a copy to borrow, someone was in the line waiting to borrow it themselves. That’s what happens when you win the biggest award in board games, however.

PAX panels were fun as always, particularly the Bad Dating Sims session featuring Hayley and Amanda (with me running tech). The entirety of the sims isn’t in the highlight below, which helps because it gets a little NSFW towards the end, but you can enjoy the hilarity of the first 33 minutes below.

I’ll write more about what I experienced on the show floor, but this is for all of you: how was your PAX this year? How did you find the crowds, the lines and the games compared to years previous?


  • I had fun at PAX this year. Played Resident Evil 2 remake, King Hearts 3, Devil May Cry 4, Hitman 2, Starlink with Star Fox.

    Spent most of my time hanging around the console tournament as usual, playing in all Halo: Reach tournaments. Even won one tournament and got a medal. Every other I always end up in the finals.

    Was a bit annoyed with how they handled the lines during Saturday morning though.

    Thinking about signing up as an organizer for the console tournaments next year.

  • There was a point on Saturday afternoon where we started playing The Mind. A few hours later we took a brief break to walk to the pub, grab a meal and start playing The Mind again.

    That game is dangerous and every time I came back to our group, someone else had bought a copy.

    • Seems to be at a pretty solid price point. Cheap enough to be worth the risk, high enough to reward the makers. Sounds interesting as well, I can see it being a great game to have sitting around when friends come over, and just getting more fun as the drinks go down.

      • The game is simply trying to play cards in the correct order without communicating. That’s it. Yet the urge to keep going and going, to try again and see if this time you can do better, is very strong.

        It fills a similar niche to Hanabi but feels completely different.

        • Yeah, had a quick read up on it and liked what I saw. Most of my regular group of friends wouldn’t go for something like this unfortunately, but I can see the potential in it.

    • I bought a copy.

      The “foreign” ones were exactly the same cards as the “English” ones, just with a multilingual box and instruction sheet insert.

  • My best mate came for the first time since my first Pax so I think I got a bit too distracted from the plan of mostly playing board games.

    Did get to do a bit of everything in the end but it ended up feeling pretty jam packed.

    If I come next year I really think I’ll just park myself I. The tabletop area for 90% of the time.

  • Personally, there was a serious lack of decent panels this year.

    Was great to see the “C team” doesn’t, that was a lot of fun. Tabletop area was a treat as always. Indies were the bomb.

    Booking for the Days Gone Demo was hell and when I finally did (on Sunday Arvo @ 4:20) my group was told that because some guy earlier chucked a hissy fit, he got in and meant that one person from each subsequent group was pushed out into the next one. I ended up forgoing my spot because I would have felt bad for the very last person who would have missed out because of some adult chucking a tantrum.

    EB brought absolutely nothing. Waste.

    As always South Wharf delivered the good. Every year we go to the Munich Brauhaus, this year we also went to the Meat Market.. both very good!

    • Oh man, EB was a useless! Not only was a lot of the stuff still the same price, or bundled with crap games, but one of the workers told me it was pretty much clearance stuff they were trying to get rid of. I then noticed stuff that I had bought from Zing, about 3 months earlier, for the same price. I just wanted out.

    • EB realised their expo was losing money so this was the alternative. Anyone who has ever shopped at an EB would know that what they would bring would be nothing you can’t already get everywhere else.

    • I found there was a ton of panels compared to last year

      I went to alot of D&D\RPG panels, even tho I dont play (yet) it was alot of fun

      I found the expo hall a bit of a let down this year

  • Hung out with a Destiny clanmate all day and had a blast. Worst thing was the queues, best thing was the people (and the games, of course). Highlights of my day? playing Spyro and completing one of the puzzles in Idol Springs first try with the least amount of moves, finally playing Necrobarista and adoring it, and the realization mum got to the front of the KH queue without me (sorry mum!) and I mean… just generally hanging out with my buddy, it was the first time meeting him IRL and it just makes everything 100% better to have someone to chat to while you hang around PAX. Hopefully gonna aim to meet more people next year <3

  • Such a good PAX. I didn’t do as many panels as last year.

    As well as Rhianna Pratchett’s keynote (awesome) and general PAX insanity, my best moment was beating the Swarm mode in the Days Gone demo. 3 quick deaths while I was getting my bearings and understanding the mechanics and then I just went for it, using cars for gaining a bit of a lead on the Swarm and then shooting petrol tankers and barrels to knock out as many zombies (freakers) as possible at a time. Good times. Was only the 6th person to beat it on Friday (followed about a minute later by another player in the same session).

    • I didn’t do any panels. None really appealed to me, with the exception of the dog rating one, but I was finally able to get around the indie area, so I wanted to finish that.
      If anyone saw it, what were the rankings?

  • Only went the Friday this year, had some other commitments. Wasn’t really enough time to see or do much. Was in the first 100 or so people through the doors, so that was a bit different. I won an alienwear light up hoodie playing rocket league rumble doubles at the intel stand, had to mess with the GFX and control settings midgame because it was screwed framerate and control. PC freeplay had less games than previous years. BUt more if you used your own steam account. Spent most of my time checking out the indies, and giving feedback, a few promising ones in early access. Did a few VR experiences, didn’t realise the wingsuit VR setup was there otherwise that would have been the first stop minus a queue. watched some Omegathon, Went to the comedy, then went home. All in all not too bad 🙂

  • Bad dating Sims was one of my favs of the weekend but I do wish they had spent less time drawing and more time playing so we could have seen another of those fantastic sounding games 😛

  • Friday was Indie day for me…When I got in. Got most of the Indies done with one bathroom break and no food. I love the indies and it turns out that was the best plan.
    Saturday, I came in late because of the stupid line the day before. Unfortunately they were letting people in near the middle? This made it really hard for me to ever get to the Indies. Ended up playing board games until about 3pm, before heading back to finish them all.
    Sunday was board game day. I was after an SD card, or a wired Xbox controller. I couldn’t find one, so yeah, spent all the time in board games.
    Oh I also got to try Starlink to see if it made me motion sick. It didn’t. Now I am interested.

  • I didn’t get to many panels this year, but caught Mark Serrel’s “Video games, Ya Bawbag”, in which he described video games in full Scotsman and the rest of the panel had to decipher what he was shouting about.

    Best line – “Once again – being Scottish is not a super power”

    • The front row had a group of TAYbies. I was right in front of Serrels. Very very funny and silly, and the perfect way to wind down my PAX after the first two days’ madness and the inevitable day 3 hangover…

      My only disappointment – the snap Aussie accent round they didn’t change it to “It’s [game], ya drongo” or similar…

  • There were quite a few technical and organisational hiccups this year (don’t know if they happen every year but I’ve been fortunate enough to avoid them).

    Something about the way queues were managed changed this year and it wasn’t good. I was annoyed that by the time I got into the main auditorium Rhianna Pratchett’s talk was already well underway, the queue to get the wristband was hundreds long when I arrived at 10:30 and it was outside (?!), and some of the streaming had no audio (eg. 7-bit Hero’s concert).

    It’s still something I would never miss. The sign at the entrance that say’s Welcome Home couldn’t be more right.

  • PAX Aus 2018 was a great experience for me personally and professionally. Though there were a couple of issues on Sunday with a power tripping Enforcer denying entry to everyone except those he deemed worthy, and the early blocking of the queue room exit because, again, Enforcers decided they wanted to pack up early and blocked off the main exit and creating a bottle neck at door 4 (which was used as the only Entry/Exit at 3pm till close).

    On the good side of things. I finally got to be face to face with Mr Scottish himself Mark Serrels. I made a lot more connection with PR people, had an AMAZING relaxing get away in the secret Alienware Chill Out Room… And oh yeah… I GOT ENGAGED TO MY GIRLFRIEND!!

    Any of you who were around the Bethesda ESO Summerset photo op area at about 12pm on Saturday got to see me ask my girlfriend to marry me. She said yes!

  • For me this year wasnt as good as other years. I agree with other peoples statements eb offered nothing to the pax experience. I lost my ticket badge in the line an enforcer helped me get another one without any hassle which was really good. I didnt understand why the handheld area was so far away from the main hall. I found this really annoying as its a great place to rest and hangout when you need a break.

    • I think it was because at the very end of the Exhibition Centre they were running the Travel Expo at the same time so i think they had to move the handheld lounge from where they usually place it.

  • Felt like I didn’t do anywhere near as much this year, and spent far too long hanging around in the tournament area (and in the line for that stupid Diablo sticker), but otherwise it was great seeing a whole bunch of people I haven’t seen in a long long time, especially after giving PAX a miss last year.

    • 10 things I know about PAX 2018**
      1. It’s really dark in here.
      2. Secret Hitler is everywhere.
      3. Take the Dragonball Z card game and dump the massive showbag by the bin.
      4. Crop tops and Wigs.
      5. It’s really hard to eat in this costume.
      6. Fallout masks are back!
      7. I don’t think there were enough Funko Pops..
      8. Do the Floss, get a Fornite Pickaxe.
      9. Everyone I met had made Legend in Hearthstone.
      10. Gaming is the most inclusive hobby and I love it.
      The best part of PAX 2018 for me so far was seeing everyone, no matter their age, ability, disability, gender, background, race – elf, human, orc etc – come together in one space and share this great hobby. Soppy, I know, but it’s true. K xx

      **Taken from Spieledeluxe’s FB Page.

      • Secret Hitler WAS everywhere. I had no interest in it, so I am the worst.
        For me, Pax is all about the Indies. Love chatting to people who are super passionate about their project and love feedback.
        I broke a few games, which the indies developers quickly jotted down.

        Another thing, I have NO social anxiety at pax. I talk to everyone like I’ve known them for ages. No idea what it is, everyone is just nice.

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