Unique Drops all just got back from PAX West 2016, and have started to claw through the audio, contacts, and thoughts regarding everything we saw. Each of us will be sharing some words on games we played as well as sharing some interviews with some of the developers.
Most of PAX West was spent in the Indie Megabooth scouring the excellent selection of games. Here are some of my highlights:
Dog Sled Saga
I never thought the world would need a dog sled management game, but as a fan of the genre, I am delighted to be wrong. The game is wrapped in splendid art of each dog. The short demo I played hinted at a longer overall story and the game seemed challenging. Tossing doggy treats to my hound named Duchess made this old cynic smile.
For The King
About 18 months ago, I did an interview for another site with Gord Moran from IronOak Games about For The King. The game was in a very nascent stage. I only had concept art to look at, and I figured that For The King was a long ways off. Seeing it at PAX was superb. In motion, this co-op turn-based RPG with a procedurally generated map, looks fantastic graphically and gameplay-wise. The co-op and board game aspects have me thinking of extended couch sessions with friends.
Remarkably, this is one of the few games that really changed my preconceptions after playing the show floor demo. Bleed 2 looks like a multitude of other retro-styled action games, but the precise controls and swift pace changed by opinion quickly. I appreciate games that give the player leeway to play in a very open and nhaphazard style while still being challenging. I am downloading the original Bleed in anticipation to the sequel.
Children of Morta
Roguelike dungeon crawlers are a dime a dozen, but Children of Morta will absolutely floor you with its meticulous and beautiful art. The setup feels completely original. You play as several members of a singular family in a dark fantasy setting. There is an emphasis on story-telling and familial bonds that is largely absent in the genre. The power-ups and different characters will make Children of Morta one to watch.
Look, Flinthook is going to be great. With tight controls, a grappling hook, plus shades of the classic, Montezuma’s Revenge, Flinthook has all the earmarks of the next awesome platformer.
The Church in the Darkness
A overhead stealth game about religious cults is about as “indie” one could get. All kidding aside, The Church in the Darkness promises to be an interesting exploration of the seductiveness of cults, the pure honesty of its devout followers, and power that corrupts. If you are looking for a unique premise for a videogame, here it is. I have a great interview with Richard Rouse III, one of the creators of The Church in the Darkness, that I’ll share as soon as possible.
I saw this game last year at PAX, and was really intrigued. After playing the demo in 2016, I am firmly impressed. The portion that I played had a small snippet of story line that was emotional and shocking. I couldn’t help but imagine how wonderful the rest of the story must be. Masquerada is a hand crafted tactical action RPG with an awesome look. It has the potential to be truly great.
If you took everything great about something like Katamari or Parappa and put it into Gamemaker, Wandersong might be the result, but even then, I’d think you’d be selling the game short. Wandersong is funny, whimsical, and earnest. A game about a bard that sings to overcome obstacles and help people is something that everyone can play.
These weren’t the only games that caught my eye and we will have more for you in the coming days, including Battle Chef Brigade, Chasm, Astroneer, Crest, etc. PAX West was enormous.