PAX AUS 2014 Indie Game Special

PAX AUS 2014 Indie Game Special


The Indie Game scene is booming in Australia, based purely on the number of games on display at PAX AUS 2014. We take a look at our favourites.

Gunscape – Blowfish Studios (PC)
Imagine designing and building your own levels for a FPS. Imagine then being able to share those maps with players from around the world. Imagine the building process to be as simple as a Minecraft editor, with a similar look and feel. That is Gunscape. Gamers can design and build maps that are as large or small as they feel necessary. The developers had included 4 maps in the open beta, but that has increased to over 100 thanks to their online community, many of which have been themed on their favourite retro titles. The FPS side is fairly basic at present with only one class that has access to each of the 12 weapons to choose from, although those are decided by the map designer. The single class does mean that everyone is balanced at the start of each match. Standard multiplayer modes such as Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag and Survival are present in the somewhat Minecraft-looking maps. There is heaps of fun to be had in both designing and playing.

For more info, visit the Gunscape website.

Airscape: The Fall of Gravity – Cross Product (PC)
We did get the chance to see this just prior to PAX, and Airscape is a fun, colourful single-player game in the mould of Super Mario Galaxy. In it, you control a cute Octopus character as he traverses a strange and dangerous world, dodging all manner of obstacles including bombs, turrets, torpedoes and robotic creatures. Gravitational physics plays a big part of the game as our hero moves about the 55 levels currently completed (60 in the full game when complete), making the game more than your standard platformer. The controls are simple, but deaths can occur quite frequently. Luckily, the respawn points are also frequently placed, meaning that you won’t need to travel half the level if you die.

For more info, visit the Airscape website.

Assault Android Cactus – Witch Beam (PC)
Assault Android Cactus is a furious action twin-stick shooter with up to 4 player co-op. This action packed game comes complete with 25 levels and has 5 hugs boss battles. You take the role of Cactus, a Junior Constable (assault class android) who is left stranded on a crippled space freighter filled with crazed robot workers intent on ending her life. Partnered with three other characters, Cactus must clear out the levels of all the enemy units and work her way to the brain of the ship. The game itself is absolutely hectic, as Cactus and her comrades skitter about the screen disposing of enemies with their laser weapons in a dynamic environment with dangers of its own. The mostly top-down visuals work great and provide plenty of colour and explosions. Assault Android Cactus is currently in Early Access on Steam.

For more info, visit the Assault Android Cactus website.

Dead End Alley – Stirfire Studios (currently on iOS/Android/WinPhone8)
Currently only available on mobile platforms, Dead End Alley was pulling some big crowds at its display due to the unique aspect of the promotion. Although the mobile version could be considered a zombie version of Fruit Ninja where you simply swipe to kill the oncoming zombie hordes, the version on show had gamers hooked up to an Oculus VR device and a miniature plastic chainsaw. Players simply swung the chainsaw to chop up the ever increasing horde of zombies. The current version of the game includes two weapons – a chainsaw and a nail gun – and three types of zombie attackers, but more are in development as are additional platforms.

For more info, visit Cry Havoc Games or check out Stirfire Studios.

Screencheat - Samurai Punk (PC)
I had actually seen Screencheat in action some time ago, but the team at Samurai Punk have been busy adding new game modes and weapons to this fun old-school four-player split screen FPS, with a difference. The difference being that gamers can't actually see their opponents, but instead need to view their opponent's screen (hence the title) to ascertain their position. With 8 crazy weapons, 5 brightly colourful maps and some cool game modes (Murder Mystery is my favourite), Screencheat is a heap of fun.

For more info, visit the Screencheat website.