PAX West 2018 Preview: A Duel Hand Disaster: Trackher

Not that you need to know how much more awesome this game has gotten since the last time I saw it (PAX South and PAX east), I’m going to tell you anyways.

If you haven’t seen it or played it yet, watch the video below. ADHD: Trackher is a twin-stick Risk’em-Up, where you control two separate ships on either side of your screen with one controller. In addition to that, both ships and their environment have a symbiotic relationship with the other. On the left hand side, you’re an invincible ship that’s trying to destroy enemy ships before they pass from the top to the bottom of the screen. If they pass by you, they end up on the right side of the screen, and can cause damage to the ship you control there. The ship on the right collects resources that you’ll need to earn points, as well as keep the ship on the left “alive.”

This video was made by Jaycee, the developer of the game and also a badass musician. It gives you a better overview of how the mechanics work. I will say that video is from a prior build and the current build demo’d at PAX West this past weekend was awesome! Everytime I get to experience the game it gets a little bit more awesome each time. Either visual improvements, new bonuses or specials, or overall tweaks make this game look more and more polished. It plays really well and is a ton of fun once you allow yourself to fail at it a few times, as you cannot play until you die. If you lose, you get no points. You can only earn points if you survive long enough to extract (which requires you to collect in-game materials/parts in order to do so) before you get caught up. It changes the dynamic of the game because it’s not just “see how long I can make it and how many points I can get,” because you need to understand that the risk involved is based on if you continue to stay in the game, will you make it out with the points you have or lose it all trying?

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It’s also always fun to watch new players jump into the game and experience it for the first time, because it’s a bit of a challenge to lock down controlling both ships simultaneously and not focusing too much on one side. I think that is probably one of the coolest parts about seeing this game demoed at shows because you get to see how other people interact with the game and what risks they take against their playstyle. I tend to play the long game and rack up as much material and parts as possible, and then once I feel comfortable kick it into high gear so that I can stack bonuses and earn a ton of points, and then immediately extract before getting demolished. Some people just start out going wild for points and bonuses and it’s totally up to you the player to decide.

I even bested my own high score (after someone beat it) while I was there too. I also recorded a small interview with Jaycee, talking about the game and how the development is coming along, as well as the experience at PAX West so far. That’s available here (sad update: the app I used to record this is no longer on the App Store so my recording is stuck in digital purgatory until I find another way to get it off my phone) or via our Podcast on iTunes. 

I really enjoy the game and can’t wait for it’s full release, but if you’re at all interested in jumping in now, it’s available on Steam Early Access right now. You should also follow the Ask an Enemy Twitter page to keep tabs on any news about the game too!

-Written by Andrew(@SoAfterISaid)