PAX Australia is over for another year — and what a PAX it was. As always, there was plenty of spectacle, from fantastic cosplay to the latest and greatest upcoming game titles. Amongst all the noise and excitement of the show floor, it was easy to overlook the quietest and most intriguing part of the show, PAX Rising. It’s here that indie games had their time to shine, with a range of fantastic titles on display. For those that may have missed out, here are the indie games that I thought shined brightest on the PAX show floor.
Pictured above, The Rewinder is point and click puzzle game inspired by Chinese folklore, and it looks absolutely gorgeous. Developed by MistyMountainStudio, the game features time travel mechanics, delicate pixel art and a beautiful aesthetic inspired by traditional Chinese art. As a sucker for point and click games, The Rewinder caught my attention immediately, and despite its clear inspirations (Monkey Island, The Last Door and many other great point-and-click games), the game has a clear vision, aesthetic and mythology. It’s currently scheduled for a 2020 release.
Dead Static Drive
Dead Static Drive has appeared at PAX in the past, but every appearance continues to stun. Its beige-y purple aesthetic gives the game a spooky good glow and the footage I saw at PAX got me even more excited for its eventual release. Developed by Melbourne’s Team Fanclub, Dead Static Drive is currently undated, but the progress made on the title looks stunning. One thing is clear — travelling across the wide desert roads with a shotgun and a dozen monsters on your tail has never looked better.
This Starry Void
PAX Australia was the first time I encountered This Starry Void, a first person dungeon crawler with a dope cel-shaded and colourful aesthetic. Developed by Melbourne’s Chironex Studios, it’s definitely intriguing. It brings to mind recent hit, Void Bastards (another Aussie game), but feels different enough to be exciting. The locked perspective is a joy, because it means strategy and careful planning is needed to traverse the game’s monster filled dungeons safely. This is definitely a title to keep an eye on.
The Black Widow
We’ve written about The Black Widow before.
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It’s a game developed by Flux, and tells the tale of Australia’s first female serial killer. True crime is all the rage now, and The Black Widow has come at the perfect time. While it was showing at PAX this year, it actually came out in August this year — so if you’re interested in gripping and well-told stories, paired with unique gameplay, head on over to Steam.
Hey, another game we’ve previously given the spotlight to.
Broken Roads is a game that’s a glorious mish-mash of Mad Max and the original, isometric Fallout games, and I’m not sure I could be any more keen for it. It’s got a killer, post-apocalyptic aesthetic, a range of game-changing choices for the keen adventurer and looked extremely polished on the show floor. Developers Drop Bear Bytes will have a hard time trying to differentiate the game from other post-apoc franchises, but with the talent on show at PAX, I’m sure they can pull it off.
This is Affable Games’ second go-round at PAX Australia, and even still, Speaking Simulator was just as hilarious. In this game, you control an alien trying to fit into human society by emulating their speech patterns and attempting to control its strange human meatsuit.
The main difference I noticed this time around was that the game had added a face tracking gimmick, so not only was the gameplay ridiculous, side-splitting joy, the Speaking Simulator PAX booth was filled with people making the silliest faces you can imagine into a camera. Good times all around with this game, and when it comes out, I can only imagine it’ll be some silly good fun.
Heavenly Bodies, developed by 2pt Interactive, looks simply magical. In this puzzle game, players must guide astronauts in space as they complete missions, while attempting to keep them safe and out of danger by forming a human daisy chain. Contact must be maintained at all times, otherwise you risk losing your mate to the ravages of space. It’s a unique concept, and one that definitely excites me. The gameplay, dreaming aesthetic and co-op potential are all fantastic here. With a release date of ‘some time after 2020’ we may be waiting a while, but when it finally arrives, it’s sure to spark joy.
Did you catch any great game on the PAX Australia show floor? Tell us about your favourites in the comments.