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PAX East: Day One – ‘DrNanoX’, ‘Galactic Keep: Dice Battles’, and ‘iDuel Online’

PAX East started this afternoon, and after crowd surfing my way inside the convention center, I met a bunch of cool people and saw a few neat iPhone games. The craziest thing about PAX, compared to the conventions we usually go to, is that this is a convention for gamers by gamers. GDC, WWDC, and the other events we go to are all a great time, but unless you’re a developer, there’s not much reason to go. Anyone who likes games of any kind will feel at home at PAX.

So because this isn’t specifically a “show off your iPhone game" event, my meetings today were mostly brief, and resulted in making some great contacts and waiting for everyone to get back to their hotels (or back home in some cases) to send over some preview versions, screenshots, or gameplay video.

Two games to look forward to finding more about are DrNanoX and Galactic Keep: Dice Battles. Mission Critical Studios’ DrNanoX is a third person shooter with some puzzle elements set inside of the human body. The setting of the game reminded me a lot of the 1987 sci-fi comedy “Innerspace", as the game focuses on being shrunk down and solving medical problems from the inside of the body. Levels range from wandering around arteries to saving a patient’s brain.

The developers are putting the final touches on a new gameplay trailer, which I’ll post as part of a PAX East followup. The game is still in development, but it sounds like they’re on the home stretch and it should be available on the App Store soon.

If you’re a regular reader of the TouchArcade forums, you will likely already be aware of Galactic Keep: Dice Battles. We’ve mention the game numerous times on the front page, and there’s a massive thread in our forums with the developers keeping everyone updated on the game’s status. I saw Galactic Keep in motion today, and while the screenshots of the game look cool themselves, it’s even better in motion.

We should have more details on Galactic Keep: Dice Battles early next week, and maybe even a gameplay trailer or actual hands-on footage. From what I saw today, the game is turning out to be even more than I was hoping for, and likely will be a required purchase for anyone interested in old school dice-powered RPG’s.

Finally, I met with Namazu Studios and they showed me their recently launched iDuel Online [Free]. The game seemed similar to games like Epic Pet Wars, My Brute and other online battle games that have become so popular, but iDuel Online seems to have much more interactivity to it as you battle against players in real time. The game even was able to work via the absolutely abysmal 3G connection I had at the convention center.

There’s all kinds of character customization, online leaderboards, items to equip your dude with, and everything else you’d expect out of a game like this. iDuel Online is free to play, and is supported by in-game advertisements and entirely optional micropayments to buy in-game items for a slight edge over your opponents– Although the developers assured me players who don’t buy these premium items will still remain competitive with those who do.

It was nice meeting everyone today, and I’m really looking forward to the next two days of PAX. I still have room in my meeting schedule, so if you’re in the Boston area (either for PAX or not) and want to show off your iPhone game, don’t hesitate to contact us. Send an email to tips@toucharcade.com or shoot me an IM on AIM if you want to meet up.