PAX South 2018: Trackher

Welcome to Ask An Enemy Studios’s single-player splitscreen arcade game, where you play Galaga with your left hand and run around a bullet hell landscape trying to recover resources. You need to find 12 resources that appear one at a time to beat the level, and you shoot down enemy ships on the left. Be careful, however, because every bullet fires weakens the link between the two ships, so make sure you’re not missing any shots. Resetting the link is easy enough, but it lowers your score. While you could completely ignore the left side, the name of the game is getting the highest possible score, which is impossible without shooting down ships.

While each ship shot down on its own gives you a paltry amount of points, the more risk the ship on the right is in, the greater the multiplier. If you’re at low health or being chased by missiles, that gives you more points. Once you get all 12 resources, you can escape the level and wager your score on the next one. You can bet 0, 50, or 100%, and that number is how much you’ll gain if you beat the level or lose if you extract. The entire game is risk vs. reward, and it’s important to know how much you can handle before dying.

Keith and I both played the game, and here are his thoughts:

That was (surprisingly) very fun. The game mechanics took me a solid round to get used to, but once you get into it, the left-hand screen is essentially Galaga, which makes it a bit easier to manage both of the games. It’s very fun and very challenging, and the art style would be nostalgic if I was old enough to remember anything before¬†SkiFree. I played it on both the big screen with the pro controller and the portable switch screen with the joy-cons, and it plays pretty well on both of them. The “if you die your score disappears” mechanic is entertaining, despite how challenging it is.

Trackher is currently on Steam Early Access, and will be releasing on the Switch in the near future.

Maxwell Broggi-Sumner

Max is a student at Rutgers who likes writing fantasy and playing video games such as Zelda, Mario, Undertale, Earthbound, and Stardew Valley.

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PAX South 2018