PAX Rising - The indie games of PAX AUS 2017

PAX Rising - The indie games of PAX AUS 2017

Feature

Another PAX AUS, and another great showing for the local developers. William gives us a round-up.

Projection – Shadowplay Studios
At first look, Projection had the feel of a Limbo-clone, but first looks can be deceiving. Projection has gamers taking on the role of a stick puppet in a platform game where light and shadows become obstacles or aids in moving through the 2D levels. Players move the light source to their advantage in levels that represent popular shadow puppet tales from China, Indonesia, Turkey and England. The game has a simple concept, but one that works so well in many aspects.

For more info, visit the Projection website.


Cast – Humble Sage Games
Imagine playing a game as a wizard where you started out with no knowledge of any spells. Cast is that game. Inspired by Harry Potter, gamers take the role of a new wizard and learn how to perform twelve component spells in a VR environment, using hand gestures to perform different techniques. Simple techniques can be combined together to create more powerful spells. It is a game that leans towards learning the spells rather than being an all-powerful wizard ready to take on Voldemort.

For more info, visit the Cast website.


Party Golf / Party Crashers – Giant Margarita
We saw Party Golf at PAX Aus a couple of years back, but this 4-player wacky golf game with its procedurally generated courses has been refined. It has a fast paced nature not usually associated with golf and scores players based on their speed to the hole (or closeness to it at the end of the allotted time period).

Party Crashers uses a similar format but with racing. Players race on a single screen and players that fall too far behind or fall of the track are eliminated. Like Party Golf, the customisation is endless, with heaps of vehicles and weapons to choose from. Both games combine fast paced play with loads of colour and crazy power-ups and customisations.

Visit Party Golf for more info, or on Steam.
For more info on Party Crashers, visit the Steam Store.


The Gardens Between – The Voxel Agents
In development for four years, The Gardens Between is narrative driven story where two friends are interlinked with their shared experiences and memories. Each aesthetically pleasing level of this surreal puzzle game is wonderfully animated and relates to a particular memory of the two characters, with puzzles being solved by fast-forwarding and rewinding time around them. Come for the puzzles, stay for relaxing soundtrack and narrative driven story of friendship.

For more info, visit The Gardens Between website.


Paperbark – Paper House (iOS)
Kangaroos, koalas and emus are not the only fauna that Australia have, but other animals are not as widely known. Paperbark tries to change that, by setting players within the Australian bushland and playing as a wombat, allowing them to explore the locations at their own pace. The wonderfully illustrated landscapes are made to look like a children’s book and the audio – which is full of the sounds of the Australian bush – help to bring the game to life.

For more info, visit the Paperbark website.


Shooty Skies – Mighty Games
After the massive success of their mobile games, Crossy Road and Shooty Skies (amongst others), the team at Mighty Games are branching out to other platforms as an opportunity to reach more people. They are starting with bringing their aeronautic adventure Shooty Skies to PC. Full of colour and requiring some quick reflexes, this old-school arcade style game is played in short bursts, but is highly addictive with its host of wacky power-ups, enemies and backgrounds. The pixel visuals and sound effects add to the retro experience with a modern touch.

For more info visit the Mighty Games website.


Veil of Crows – Kerry Fawdray, Humble Sage Games
It’s a time of great chaos is this medieval game. In this real-time strategy game that reminded me of Mount and Blade, gamers take part in massive campaigns to find weak points in enemy castles and then exploit those weaknesses. A sandbox style campaign mode lets games dabble in diplomacy, trade and siege tactics in a persistent world that will remain even after your character dies. Upon death, the world remains, but you must rise to the top again from humble beginnings.

For more info, visit Veil of Crows, or try it on Steam Early Access.


Kana Quest – Theodor Kipen (Mobile)
Learning another language is tough, especially one such as Japanese where you need to learn the symbols and their sounds as well. Kana Quest is a fun way to learn both sets of Japanese characters - Hiragana and Katakana – whilst playing this swipe-tile game. The game is animated in a retro Japanese style with cute characters and even cuter voices.

For more info, visit the Kana Quest website.


Note: All games are available (or will be available) on PC unless stated.