The highlight of my PAX adventures is always the time spent getting to explore the PAX Rising floor as well as getting to enjoy all the new and interesting home grown games. The fact we’re seeing more and more independent game developers coming into being means that Australia is ensuring its inclusion within the world-wide gaming community. I was lucky enough to sample several fun indie games at the Government of South Australia’s booth this year with one game in particular being my top pick – Conan Chop Chop.
Conan Chop Chop is a rogue-like, dungeon crawler adventure game that can be played either by yourself or in a group via local co-op, and online multiplayer. When talking to one of the developers they said “think of the game as a cross between The Binding of Isaac, and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past”, obviously my curiosity was piqued. After taking some time to discuss the interesting origins of Conan Chop Chop we got right into the gameplay.
The start of the game allowed you to choose between four barbarians, with Conan (of course) being among the four. From here we dropped into the middle of the main town and were encouraged to start exploring our surroundings before making our way into the wilderness. The controller handling and presentation felt very much like the old-school Zelda games with an overhead perspective and simplistic controls for movement and attack. Each of the four characters had their own respective weapons, each with their own strength and area of attack, so it was wise to pick a team that could work well in co-op.
While playing, I was able to obtain new weapons and amour thanks to the loot I obtained from both slain monsters and environmental obstacles (heaps of smashed pots), making me even more of a badass barbarian. As we played on I was fondly reminded of the classic Golden Axe games I used to on the Sega Mega Drive, my nostalgia levels were rising, and so was my enjoyment. After unsuccessfully attempting a raid of the first of four dungeons I was bummed that the game had ended but was excited to hear Conan Chop Chop was only a few months away from release.
Originally intended for release this year in August on Switch, PS4, Xbox One and Steam, Conan Chop Chop pushed back their release date to early next year (Q1 2020), so that they could implement an online multiplayer option. The game lends itself very well to couch co-op and will definitely be one of those games I grab online once it’s available. For anyone looking for their next party game, Conan Chop Chop is one I can’t recommend highly enough with its randomised world and dungeon creator, so each play through will be just as fun and unique as the one before it.