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PAX South 2018: A Duel Hand Disaster Trackher

You’ve probably seen my coverage of this game here, some of my tweets about it (#arcadeisnotdead), and one time we did an on-the-floor podcast here. What I’m trying to get across is that I’ve had some time on this game, and getting to see how much more polished it is from the last time I saw it demoed at PAX West last year.

A Duel Hand Disaster: Trackher is, as Jaycee (the man behind the game) would say it’s a “twin-stick risk’em’ up” in which you control two ships on either half of the screen, and everything that happens on one side totally affects the other. Another way to look at it is playing Pac-Man and Galaga at the same time. It’s a hard concept to explain in text but hopefully the video below will help you out.

So now that you’ve watched that, you’ve got an idea of what the game is throwing your way. It reacts to the way you play it. If you want to take risks and fly by the seat of your pants, you’ll probably score some nutso bonuses that get your score super high. Or you can play the safe(ish) way and take a little more time and be a little more deliberate in your actions so that you slowly bring your score up without totally toasting yourself. Oh, and if you die, you don’t get any points.

The ultimate goal is to extract each level (holding two buttons for a few seconds) once you have the materials and parts necessary to leave the level. You HAVE TO LEAVE THE LEVEL TO KEEP YOUR SCORE, so if you’re at 8 billion points and you get smoked by a fireball, say goodnight to that score. (By the way, THIS HAPPENED AT PAX SOUTH THIS WEEKEND)

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Each tear (no its not a typo) gets significantly harder, but you also get increased scores and bonuses. As you bring your score through them you have options to wager your score and try to get an even bigger bonus on top of that for hitting whatever that wager is. It’s another dimensional layer of the game that makes it so good. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to throw the controller because I made a dumb risky move and lost all my points, but I still want to try again to see if I can’t do better the next time around. The game is addicting.

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(This is an older screen shot of a previous build but it gives you a good idea about how hectic it can get)

The exciting update out of PAX South, which was announced previously is that the game is coming to Nintendo Switch. There were two stations on hand (one connected to a TV, the other playing the switch directly) so you got to experience both ways of playing the game on the Switch. Turns out the Switch just might be my console because I managed to do way better on the smaller screen than I ever did playing on my PC or other times I’ve demoed the game. Your mileage may vary.

Short version: Check it out on Steam Early Access, or keep your eyes peeled to the Ask an Enemy Studios twitter to see about Nintendo Switch updates. 

Written by Andrew(@SoAfterISaid)