PAX Rising — The Indie Games of PAX AUS 2018
The indie game scene continues to grow in Australia (and New Zealand), thanks largely to the exposure they receive at PAX AUS. With the 2018 event, there were more indie titles on show than ever before, showcasing the local talent. Everything from platformers to puzzle games, from visual novels to co-op multiplayers were on show. There is literally something that will suit every gamer of every age and fans of every genre. There were so many great titles on show this year that it was hard to narrow down our favourites, but the eclectic bunch below will have something for every taste.
And if there is a game that interests you, support the developers by purchasing a copy.
The Dark Room — Stirfire Studios
Imagine a text-based adventure narrated by someone who has criticisms and witticisms for every mistake and choice you make along the way. That pretty much sums up this hugely funny game. Starring a digitized and motion-captured version of comedian John Robertson, this game — based on his comedy show — tasks gamers with finding their way out of the dark room. Robertson teases you along the way and screams that you’ve died (something that happens all too often), but it is all in good fun. And despite dying about 10 times in the 10 minutes I was playing the game, it was fun finding out ways to die, whilst having to use your own visual imagination like it was the 1980s again.
You can already try the game via Steam Early Access
Land of Hope and Gorey — Binary Space
Inspired by 1990s adventure games from the likes of Sierra and LucasArts, this point and click adventure is set in the UK after a zombie apocalypse. Gamers guide a young girl named Hope Andrews around the dreary streets of London as she attempts to return home after the zombie outbreak. Along the way, she is befriended by a newly formed zombie known as Dave and together they endeavour to work out what caused the outbreak and how to solve it. If you’re a fan of titles such as Monkey Island, you’ll want to keep an eye on this one.
For more info, visit the Binary Space website.
Quantum Suicide — Cotton Candy Cyanide
Despite the title, this Visual Novel has nothing to do with self-harm. It does however have everything to do with survival on a space ship. Gamers begin by selecting their choice of male or female characters and then navigating conversations to both survive on the doomed spacecraft and find a soul mate on board. The visuals and Japanese voice acting give Quantum Suicide an authentic anime feel. With a story that has 30 different endings depending on your choices (hence the title based on the Quantum Suicide theory), it can be played repeatedly.
To check out a demo, visit the Cotton Candy Cyanide website.
Brinko — Zain ul Hassan
Still in early development, Brinko has a cute visual style that would gather interest from young gamers but seems to have far more depth than first thought. In an event driven environment, the world around your character moves on, and it is up to you whether you want to complete certain story tasks or forego them altogether. Primarily a side scrolling platformer, Brinko brings depth into play as well with some platforms set further back in the distance. With full day and night cycles and AI characters who act differently during different times of the day, this seems to be a game that offers multiple playthroughs.
For further info, or to download a copy, visit Brinko on Steam
The Church in the Darkness — Fellow Traveller
The 1970s were a strange time. With wars and political upheaval, many people wanted a better life, one that they thought a cult of similar like-minded individuals could offer. But when Vic hasn’t heard from his nephew Alex for some time, he wants to find out why. This top-down isometric action adventure has the protagonist infiltrating the Collective Justice Mission in an effort to find Alex. The game allows for several play styles, but stealth is advised. With a story that is told via the use of propaganda PA system and some beautiful locations, The Church in the Darkness is worth keeping an eye on.
For more information, check out the Church in the Darkness Steam page, or visit the Fellow Traveller website where you can also take a look at some of the other games on display at PAX AUS including:
The Stillness of the Wind - a story driven farming game
Neo Cab - a narrative driven game about the last human taxi driver
Genesis Noir - an exploration game based around the Big Bang