There were a ton of games on the expo floor at PAX East. Even if you attend for all four days, it’s nigh impossible to see them all. Here’s a few you may have walked by, tucked between the bigger and flashier publishers.
Bishop Games‘ Light Fall is a fun indie platformer with a similar visual style to Ori and the Blind Forest in its use of deep blacks and pure whites on vibrant palettes. The ambience it sets mixes with the playstyle to allow for a slower pace of gameplay where you think more about your approach to the platforming puzzles it presents. Light Fall is set to be released this month on Steam for Windows and Mac as well as Switch.
This card game is a lot like a far more inclusive version of Cards Against Humanity where the objective is to serve up a retort that provides just the right amount of shade. This may be creator MaryMartha Ford-Dieng’s first game but you’ve never be able to tell with its easy to pick up mechanics, clean design sense, and witty writing. If you want something you can play with friends on a night in but you’re tired of the sometimes very off-color writing of other similar card games, pick up this and the upcoming Sometimes You Gotta Cuss expansion. The game can be purchased now on their website.
Secluded islands. Hard decisions. Internal politics and strife. An ancient slumbering god that must be appeased before its awakening. You, as the high priest for the local populace, need to balance a lot to ensure their continued survival in The Shrouded Isle from Kitfox Games. The two tone palette and pixel art style are incredibly distinctive and do a lot to set a mood that may remind you of The Witch or Crimson Peak. With many branching endings and secrets to uncover, the replayability on this is high. Available now on Steam for Windows and Mac.
If you loved DOOM, Wolfenstein, and similar arcade-style shooters of the 90s but the playstyle of their remakes has left you wanting, Ion Maiden from 3D Realms may be just what you’re looking for. Using the classic Build engine of the originals you love, it aims to stoke the fires of your nostalgia with over the top action and bombastic characters. It does leave behind some of the less savory aspects of the 90s aesthetic, such as striving to distinguish its main character Shelly “Bombshell” Harrison from a Frazetta or Vallejo painting, but it keeps its heart. Release is set for Q3 2018 on Steam and their site for Windows, Mac, and Linux but buying into Early Access now through their website grants access to a preview campaign.
If a laugh is what you’re looking forward to in your platformer, then Super Daryl Deluxe from Dan and Gary Games is a pretty safe bet. Set in a high school locked down by something otherworldly, you run through themed classroom after themed classroom level to save the school and get the girl. This extremely narrative-driven Metroidvania hopes to get you to crack at least a few smiles by the time you’re done with its humor and visual style. Available April 10th on Switch, PS4, and Steam.
If you prefer for your laughs to be a bit more ironic and maybe followed up with a heavy sigh of relatability, YIIK (read Y2K) from Ackk Studios and Ysbryd Games may be more your thing. You play as Alex, a recent liberal arts grad who really isn’t ready for the Real World (neither the show nor the concept) yet. So he immerses himself in conspiracy theory forums. When things around him start turning especially weird and someone he knows disappears from an elevator before his eyes, he sets out to find her in this surrealist and dream-like RPG that will remind you of Final Fantasy mixed with Twin Peaks. This dream-fueled experience is slated to be released in Winter 2018 for Linux, Mac, Windows, PS4, PS Vita, and Switch.
Farming, tower defense, and 3D brawling don’t seem like that should come together to make an interesting game but Cede from BareHand manages it and more. With every level to suit to an individual player’s style of gameplay and any randomization that may fall their way, it’s fairly removed from what a player expects. Push back the encroaching miasma, plant seeds and grasses with the help of your Little Bois, protect what you’ve made from monsters, and bring beauty and light to a literally torn landscape. Cede doesn’t have a release date yet but you can check out the pre-alpha demo here.
You may, like me, have a very deep love of all things cute, ergonomic, and anthropomorphized. It’s hard not to love friendly little bleeping robots that help with mundane tasks. That’s the role you take on in Robot House‘s Rumu, guided by your house AI companion and together caring for a family that rarely seems to be around. This game deeply explores the feelings and relationship between protective motherly AI and curious cleaning robot as both do their best to fulfill their logical parameters. Available now on Steam for Mac and Windows.
Whether you were in attendance at PAX East but missed these, you couldn’t make it, or you just couldn’t recall with the slew of games and input coming from every direction, these are a few you should absolutely add to your list to play.