For me, PAX West is like Christmas, because I get showered in news of indie games being released in the near future. A few days ago, I wrote about my most anticipated titles from the Indie Megabooth, so it felt appropriate to do another article covering the PAX Minibooth. Of course, even though I think I am endlessly entertaining, I don’t want you to have to read my work all day, so this will be a curated list of my top ten most anticipated games, ranked by how badly I want them in my hands right now. Let’s get started!
The 2D platforming genre is pretty crowded these days, so it’s difficult to find a game that looks unique enough that I’m interested. With that said, Backworlds from Logic Ember is striving to do something different. The general concept is that the world can be altered by painting over it to create an alternate dimension. This promises to have some pretty great mind-bending puzzles when it releases in early 2019.
My consumption of 3D platforming titles has gone up about tenfold since I played Super Mario Odyssey last year, and Lumote from Luminawesome Games and Lumote Digital Media looks like another game I’ll be playing. The art style uses contrast between dark backgrounds and bright objects and characters, which is really eye-catching, and the main character is just adorable. The game is releasing early next year, and I’m definitely ready for it.
I love that the games industry has evolved to the point where we can now tell more slice of life stories. Games like Florence hold a special place in my heart because I can relate to them, and A Memoir Blue from Cloisters appears poised to continue this trend of everyday storytelling. The graphics are visually stunning, and the dreamlike quality to the set-pieces has me very intrigued about where the story will take me when it is released in September of 2019.
There is no such thing as too many visual novels, and Burn Ban from Pride Interactive looks to be a great new addition to the genre. The game has social media mechanics in it, which sounds like a fun twist on a formula that can sometimes get repetitive. Burn Ban is already out on android, but it is coming to PC soon, which is likely when I will pick it up.
Some indie games look just creepy enough to get my attention, without going into full-blown horror, which is a genre I will never play. Stay from Appnormals Team and PQube Limited manage to successfully walk that tightrope. An adventure where the player is the only point of contact for a scared man who has been kidnapped, I am definitely ready to play this game, which is actually available now.
Eastshade from Eastshade Studios won me over with its trailer because of the atmosphere. The music is soothing, and the game’s use of warm tones just makes it feel like a cozy game to play while curled up with a cup of tea. There isn’t much known about the story, beyond that the player walks around for new things to paint, but I can’t wait for a release window to be announced.
Headliner: NoviNews from Unbound Creations is a game about controlling the media to control the population. I’m noticing a running theme amongst these games of determining what influence media and politics have over the general population, and I love that indies games are exploring these deeper topics. There is no release window yet, but I’m excited to see where this game goes.
The art style of Tales of the Neon Sea from Palm Pioneer and Zodiac Interactive is very unique and interesting. It has a cyberpunk setting, and I just love all of the neon lights and bright colors. Like many other indie titles these days, this game deals with the tension between robots and humans, and any political ramifications that come from this tension. There’s no release date announced yet, but I’m absolutely psyched for this game.
People who read my blog frequently may have picked this up by now, but I recently discovered that I love visual novels. Solace State by Vivid Foundry looks like a fantastic representation of the genre, featuring some beautiful environments, and a politically-motivated story about surveillance that is relevant to the world we live in today. When this game announces a release date, I will be more than ready to buy it.
I know I’ve said this for several games on this list by now, but it still remains true that I love the art style of Wytchwood by Alientrap. Additionally, I love crafting adventures, which is what Wytchwood describes itself as, and there’s some farming in the trailer, which is my favorite activity to do in any relaxing adventure game. In other words, this game checks off every box for me, so this is a day one purchase when it releases later this year.
All right, that wraps up my PAX West indie coverage. Of course, I highlighted twenty-five of the roughly eighty games playable, so there’s so many others still worth checking out. How on earth am I going to get the budget and time to play everything that’s releasing in the next year? Let me know in the comments what indies you’re excited to play from PAX West?