PAX East 2014: Little gems like Brawlhalla make PAX special

One of my favorite things about PAX, beside the schwag, is finding little games I've never heard of that end up being insanely fun. Last year, I discovered Secret Ponchos, which is coming soon to the PlayStation 4. This year, that little gem just might be Brawlhalla — a game coming soon to Steam Early Access and about to enter Beta.

Brawlhalla is a 2D platform fighter — similar to Super Smash Bros. — developed by Blue Mammoth Games. The fights support up to four players or bots, where the fighter takes on a certain fighting style by picking up a weapon, which are constantly popping up on the map. There's a huge hammer, a sword, a power drill, laser guns, mines, bombs and more.

While every character is just a skin with a blank slate waiting to have its attack set filled by whatever weapon they pick up, the developers are still deciding what they want to do with characters. We are playing a very basic mode with very basic heavy and light attacks associated with the weapon. But the devs are trying to figure out what they want a character to be. They know that there will be talents that a player can choose to change the gameplay style with a character, but as far as specific abilities, that's not confirmed yet.

What I can tell you is that the controls (we played on an Xbox 360 controller) are great, the art style is awesome, and the characters range from a cowboy to a viking. It's only coming to Steam for now, but the developers said that it could come to other platforms. It harkens back to those days when my friends and I would sit around a small television and play Super Smash Bros. for hours. It's that kind of fun. While we played the local four-player free-for-all, there is also and online free-for-all that are ranked, and four-player local team mode where you face off against four bots, and online team mode where two teams of five face off against each other.

Keep a look out for Brawlhalla on Steam Early Access.

You can follow Senior Editor Lance Liebl on Twitter @Lance_GZ. He likes talking sports, video games, movies, and the stupidity of celebrities. Email at [email protected]