PAX East: The SRRN Booth and What I Found There
While at the recent PAX East 2011, I had a chance to check out a couple of applications from SRRN Games. SRRN has an interesting view of games as an artform, a point that most gamers would agree upon.
The first application I got my hands on was Penny Arcade’s The Hawk and the Hare, an interactive storybook featuring “The Cardboard Tube Samurai”, a character in the comic by Penny Arcade of the same name. The Hawk and the Hare is actually the second interactive storybook based on a Penny Arcade comic, the first of which was Penny Arcade’s The Last Christmas. The Last Christmas was made especially for the Child’s Play charity event in 2010. While H&H (Hawk and the Hare) was not a Child’s Play project, SRRN is very supportive of the charity itself.
The story book itself is fairly short, and when asked why it was based on “The Hawk and the Hare” and not the entire Cardboard Tube Samurai series, they replied that it was because they wanted it ready for PAX East and that “The Hawk and the Hare seemed like the best standalone story for that.” It was a very entertaining take on the comic but I hope to see more Penny Arcade comics in this format. SRRN had said it is up to the fan’s reception of H&H that will ultimately decide if they will make another one.
The Hawk and the Hare is an interactive storybook, which is exactly what it sounds like. Flipping through the pages is done by hand and the comic will actually react to you through various motions. Shaking or tilting your device during certain panels may cause things to happen in the comic, or nothing may happen at all. It is truly a matter of discovery, although I thought it was a little short. Luckily, it is currently a free book for iOS which makes it worth to get. One hopes that they continue making Penny Arcade comics in this form, and perhaps those of which that are a little longer.
The second application I was able to try out was the RPG (role playing game) Ash that they had on display. This full-length RPG has actually already been out for a little while but it was the first time I actually had a chance to try it out. The game itself was extremely impressive as it is actually very reminiscent of classic RPGs. I was reminded specifically of older Dragon Warrior or Final Fantasy games. This is a turn based game, and although the controls were tough to get the hang of they were relatively easy to use.
The only thing that bothered me were the arrow controls to move around, as with the touch screen controlling the characters felt awkward to use and a little stiff. The visual style was impressive as it was based on older RPGs and will be fairly nostalgic to fans of those games. I would definitely recommend picking up Ash soon as it was well worth it and is on sale for a limited time at 99 cents. Personally, I think the game is worth much more in regards to how much content you are getting.