For many, the indie showcase is a highlight of PAX, and it’s been heartening watching it get bigger every year. If this year’s offerings are any gauge, the local indie community is thriving.
We had intended to offer a summary of every game within the indie showcase area. We then realised that this numbers some 90-plus games. Hmm, time for a rethink.
OK then, what about just those made in Melbourne, the host city of this particular PAX? Uh, one, two, three… 30. OK then, we’ll give them shout-outs at least…
22: Racing Series World Championship, Armed with Wings: Rearmed, Aura of Worlds, Blockpocalypse, Chroma Shift, Chromalocity, Dawnblade, Dead Static Drive (pictured below), Drone Legion, Eatvolve, Fiend Legion, Heist, Hunt ‘n Sneak, Hyper Jam, Intergalactic Space Princess, Joko’s World: Pocket Planet, Kana Quest, Odd Gods, Paperbark, Paperville Panic, Path of the Forgotten, Pico Tanks, Primordials: Fireborn, Putty Pals, Regular Human Basketball, Spryke, The American Dream, The Gardens Between (pictured above), Ticket to Earth, Virtually Impossible.
Just looking at some of the titles gives you an idea of the breadth of game styles in development – or recently released. Looking past the obvious fantasy titles, it’s the weird stuff that grabs our attention. How could we not check out the likes of Intergalactic Space Princess (“a hyperactive comedic adventure game about mistaken identity and roaming across the galaxy”) or Regular Human Basketball (“the multiplayer party-starter that has your team wrestling to control your giant mechanical death machine in a post-apocalyptic basketball showdown”)?
What’s most heartening for us about local development is seeing some of the small indies going beyond the bosom of Steam or smartphone apps and taking on the world of consoles. One such example is Harmonious Games’ Putty Pals – a squishy couch co-op puzzler – which is already out on Switch and garnering good reviews from all around the world (cue Daft Punk).
Some are aiming really big, too. GOATi Entertainment’s long-in-development 22 promises “an eSport online racing series with an environmental conscience” for PS4 and Xbox One. The same console formats will hopefully be hosting a car game of an entirely different nature, in Dead Static Drive, a horror road trip with a very appealing visual style.
We look forward to the indie showcase taking over even more PAX floor space in 2018.