PAX East 2024 – Gylee Games Brings the RA RA BOOM

Image Credit: Midwest Games.

As someone from the Midwest, I know developers and artists have been under-represented for far too long. I changed my major in college because there were no jobs anywhere close to me in Ohio.

Midwest Games has had one goal in mind: fix that problem. They had a booth at PAX East showing off several games. One of those games comes from my home city of Cincinnati, Ohio: RA RA BOOM, from the team over at Gylee Games.

RA RA BOOM is the new evolution of old-school beat ’em ups. Midwest even had a custom arcade cabinet setup for the game. As expected, the four-player co-op on the arcade cabinet felt great.

Fast-Paced Combat And A Deep Story Makes The Game Stand Out

If you have played games like Streets of Rage, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or X-Men, RA RA BOOM will be right up your alley. The story is about humans using AI to solve the climate crisis. AI determines the best way is to go full Skynet and eliminate all humans.

As a result, humans leave the planet and sustain the human race by living on spaceships. Four ninja cheerleaders born post-Earth must try to defeat the robots after facing a devastating loss. It’s a heavier story than the genre is used to, given everything happening in the world around us. 

ra ra boom pax east
Image Credit: Midwest Games.

RA RA BOOM finally fixed one of the biggest issues beat ’em ups can have with the lane systems. You don’t have to whiff any more punches or kicks. No more guessing if you aligned with enemies because of the lanes in the game. There’s no more second-guessing yourself. Combat flows well, making it easy to strategize properly.

 When playing by yourself, you can switch characters on the fly. With four players, there was an impressive amount of banter between the team. It also throws some run and gun elements that add a Contra or Metal Slug feel to the action-packed beat ’em up.

Gylee Is Creating The Next Evolution of the Beat ‘Em Up Genre

Best of all, RA RA BOOM’s presentation and UI are spotless. The UI is very minimal, leaving a lot of the screen open to see the beautiful hand-drawn levels and sprites in motion. With fully voiced characters and flashy moves, the game is a true work of art. The music had my head bobbing and foot tapping. The high frame rate and animation felt and looked spectacular.

It is safe to say this is the next big thing in the beat ’em up world. It felt like playing a Saturday morning cartoon. I think Gylee Games will launch themselves into a superstar indie studio when RA RA BOOM finally launches later this year. 

Written by Mikey Yaden

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