PAX South: Indie Game Excitement

As a final send off bit of writing to PAX South, I wanted to take some time to highlight a lot of the indie games that caught my eye on the show floor.

Death Squared

I’ve had my eye on Death Squared since PAX East last year. An incredible smart and simple cooperative multiplayer puzzle game. Each player takes control of a cube trying to escape a Portal-like testing facility filled with puzzles that’ll destroy you. With the simple instruction to work together, each puzzle presents different challenges that will require trial and error and communication with other players.

The game comes out March 14 on PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One and online multiplayer will be available on PlayStation 4 through the use of the system’s Share Play feature so I am going to have to find somebody to play with but they don’t have to live near me. Yay!

Need more of a selling point, check out this Let’s Play Preview from my friend Brittney aka Blondenerd.

Orwell

A very fitting game given the current political climate, Orwell is a game about a nameless Nation state where a new security program can analyze a person’s online presence. As the player, you work with the Orwell program to review profiles and determine who might be an enemy of the state.

Some gameplay caught my eye on the show floor and the trailer sold me on the premise. Now I’m just debating whether or not to buy it on Steam or hope for an eventual console release.

Think of the Children

Think of the Children is a new title that puts you in a variety of scenarios where your main task is pretty simple: keep the children alive. Except the kids seem intent on dying. With every level featuring a number of death traps, you and up to three other players will be manically trying to keep the children alive while performing additional tasks. For example, on a beach level, you’ll have to keep the children from drowning or getting zapped by jellyfish, while also keeping grandpa properly lotioned up so he doesn’t get sunburnt and catch fire.

Think of the Children looks like fast-paced, stress-inducing co-op fun and I look forward to seeing more from this game!

Antihero

Billed as “a fast-paced strategy game with an (Oliver) Twist,” Antihero caught my eye with it’s visually striking art design. Reminiscent of the art from Don’t Starve, I didn’t even really look at any gameplay on the PAX South floor but I still noted that this was a game I wanted to check out.

Having since watched a trailer for the game it seems in line with a time-based mobile strategy game. You control a thieve’s guild and collect a mix of characters to steal everything you can from the citizens of London. You’ll use the coin you steal to upgrade your guild and recruit more members.

The game is in early access now through itchio and I’ll keep an eye on it when it comes to PC, Mac, and mobile. The full release is set to feature a story-driven singleplayer campaign and asynchronous multiplayer.

Mr. Shifty

Mr. Shifty is immediately recognizable as a bit of a Hotline Miami clone. A fast-paced top-down action game. What sets the game apart is that your character has the ability to teleport (or “shift”) around the map and confuse your opponents. This looks like it’ll make for a slightly more forgiving game than Hotline Miami and its sequel.

It’s expected to come to Steam in 2017 and it wouldn’t surprise me if it ends up on the consoles as well.

Hacknet

Hacknet has you following the instructions laid out by a recently deceased hacker in a mystery to unravel what really happened to him and prevent the Hacknet OS from falling into the wrong hands. Tackling topics like personal privacy and corporate greed, Hacknet’s gameplay effectively walks you through “a true hacking simulation, while offering a support system that allows total beginners get a grasp of the real-world applications and commands found throughout the game.” Like Orwell above, the themes of this game (which released in 2015) and its upcoming expansion Hacknet Labyrinths jumped out at me and might be a good fit to explore my new PC when I finally have the time to get it all set up.

So there you go. A handful of indie games from the PAX South Expo Hall floor that piqued my interest and have me excited to start exploring and expanding my meager Steam library.