Without a doubt, one of my favourite games at PAX Aus 2023 was Crash Course Builder by Wombat Brawler. This is an intense rhythm racer full of obstacles to dodge, pads that send you in the air and some wicked music to boot. The courses I played, although intense and fast, felt well designed and just a tonne of fun to get stuck into. It even features a course builder should you want to customise your own twists, turns and surprises!
Crash Course Builder reminds me of some old-school runner games from the C64 days. Although I would not necessarily call this one retro-influenced, it does feature the same sort of addictive fun that truly well-made but straightforward games aim for. Whilst the premise is simple, getting the design right and balancing the courses so they are both challenging and fun but not frustrating is an art form and Wombat Brawler has nailed it here.
I had the opportunity to catch up with the developers at the booth and they were explaining that creating courses that flowed was the ultimate goal. I had a go both on a big screen with a controller and also the Switch version, and both were a blast. They also had it ready to play on mobile devices as well. The amount of work that has been put into having this game running brilliantly across multiple platforms is admirable. All of the variants were a lot of fun and a game like this is perfect for a commute as well as the couch.
They also have the Crash Club, which is an online community for gamers to show off their courses, engage with other players and rate their creations. As pretty as they are, the screenshots just don’t do this game justice; you have to see it in motion and give it a play.
Crash Course Builder was one of my favourite experiences at PAX hands down. It is due for full release in 2024 on Xbox, PlayStation, Switch, Steam, iOS and Android! Keep an eye out for it.