The Weird and Wacky Planet of Indie Games


PAX, or Penny Arcade Expo, is a single of the biggest video game trade shows open to the public.  There are quite a few about the globe, but it originated in Seattle and is now referred to as PAX West.  Due to the fact I wasn’t capable to get into E3 this year (which tends to make no sense due to the fact I was capable to final year), I went to PAX West final weekend as an alternative.  So right here are a couple of articles about it.  The initial a single we’ll concentrate on indie games.  PAX is recognized as a showcase for indie games, from time to time even a lot more than E3!  And I played some weird ones this time, so we’ll go more than a lot of the kooky games I played at this year’s PAX West!


But just before we do, I believed I’d get started by displaying a booth from a single of my favourite video game firms: Capcom.  Their booth had a Massive ice dragon showcasing their new Monster Hunter: Iceborne.  I do not get into Monster Hunter games but can you envision what it took to place that dragon collectively for this booth?

On the backside of their booth they had been displaying off a newly announced game: the Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection!  I’m not as significant into these, but I’ll in all probability get it anyway just to have.

Inti Creates

And speaking of Mega Man Zero, a single of my meetings I set up was with Inti Creates.  They’re the ones who created the Mega Man Zero games for Capcom!  I didn’t know that!  Inti Creates tends to make a lot of other neat two-D action games, as well.  Their flagship title is Azure Striker Gunvolt, which type of reminds me of a Mega Man X game except a bit a lot more anime-ish.  Gunvolt is a bit As well anime-ish for my tastes, and it is also quite challenging (however nonetheless entertaining).  But I’ve nonetheless played each Gunvolt games and the eight-bit Mighty Gunvolt.  Anyway at PAX they had been displaying off a new spinoff Gunvolt game starring a single of the female characters.  It is referred to as Luminous Avenger iX.  In Gunvolt, you would shoot a tag bomb at an enemy and then you could usually shoot at it when tagged.  But in this a single, you have to dash into the enemy to tag them.  It seemed a small a lot more intuitive that way to me.  I do not know how challenging the game will be, but I had entertaining playing the demo!


And though we’re nonetheless type of on the topic of Capcom, I also met with GungHo.  They have a mobile game out now that is a card game with Capcom characters.  You can count on a evaluation of it from me subsequent week.  The game is referred to as Teppen and at the booth, they had men and women dressed up as Capcom characters featured in the game, so right here are some pics of them.

So technically, Mega Man is not in the game, but Mega Man X is, but I’ll let that slide this a single time.

Here’s a different a single.  Appears like the Ryu and Jill Valentine cosplayers ate their spinach!

Speaking of Teppen, I just believed of a joke.  You know that werewolf that is in Capcom’s DarkStalkers games?  If he was in Teppen, you know what he’d be referred to as?  Teppenwolf!  Ha ha, I’m so funny!  Nicely, not genuinely.

I played a handful of other games from GungHo.  One particular was referred to as Volta-X.  In this a single, you command a group of cute animals as they pilot a giant mech and battle other big robots.  You can send members of the group to rooms in the mech to operate weapons and repair the robot.  This component type of reminded me of the tank sections in Rocket Slime.   You can customize your robot from weapons to colors, and construct rooms for your animal pilots to reside in.  I also played Contact of Guardians, a mobile MOBA style game that was so uncomplicated to get into, even I could figure it out.  Oh yeah, and you try to remember Puzzle &amp Dragons?  Nicely it is coming to the Switch!

Indie Deluge

Ok, now for type of a sizzle reel of other indie games I played and met with at PAX!

Creature in the Nicely is a dungeon crawler but you fight battles by reflecting projectiles all about, so it is like a cross involving pinball and BreakOut.  And speaking of dungeon crawlers that are like other games, RoundGuard mixes that with Peggle-like gameplay!

What takes place when a caveman finds a jet pack left behind by an ancient alien?  Nicely you get Jet Kave Adventure.  It is a two-D platformer exactly where you are a caveman with a jet pack strapped to your back so you can do dashes and greater jumps and glides.  It has some quite responsive play manage and will be out quickly.

Deleveled is a one of a kind minimalist puzzle platformer.  You manage two squares on opposite ends of a line, but you can not jump.  But if you can make a single square fall and land on the other square, the other a single will jump.  So you need to retain that rule in thoughts when solving puzzles and objectives.  It is a single of these games that you will quickly comprehend as soon as you see it.

No Straight Roads stars a female guitar player and a male drummer as they tromp about three-D space fighting undesirable guys with their music.  You can do a quick ranged charged attack and gather notes to fire at lengthy distance enemies.  The music primarily based story and gameplay reminds me of games you could play on the Dreamcast like Jet Grind Radio and Space Channel five.

Whitehorn Digital

They had 3 games shown at PAX.  My evaluation of Exactly where the Bees Make Honey will go up subsequent week, so I will not speak about it right here.  Newt One particular is a three-D platformer exactly where you are a music note and every single time you land on one thing, you add colour and music to it, so it is like a three-D coloring book.  I’m going to evaluation it quickly, so be on the appear out for that.  Ultimately in Calico you run a café for cats, but it will not be out till subsequent year.

Blowfish Studios

They had a lot of games, but I played two.  Initially was Whipseey.  You are a cute pink critter who can whip enemies with a factor on his head.  The game functions colorful eight-bit styled graphics and levels that get progressively super challenging.  Kung Fu Kickball is a two-D sports game exactly where you play as martial arts characters and use kicks and punches to attempt and make the ball ring your opponent’s bell.  It has entertaining cartoony graphics and reminds me of some of the mini-games you could play in BattleBlock Theater.

Misc. Photographs

I took a bunch of photographs at the show, so right here are a handful of that I believed had been cool, but didn’t know exactly where to place them.

Borderlands three was significant at PAX West.  They had this statue at their booth.  I’m assuming it is characters from the game.  I do not genuinely know, never ever got into the series myself.

I’m not positive if this is a Borderlands character or not either, but it was at a different booth featuring Borderlands stuff.  I just believed it looked cool.

Here’s a dinosaur you could ride.  The statue was animatronic and would even move its head!

TinyBuild had a bunch of games, and a single of them was referred to as Graveyard Keeper.  To play the game at the show, you had to lie in these coffins!  In a way it was type of in poor taste, but I can not aid but laugh at it anyway.  Hope that does not make me a undesirable individual.

My brother Jeff loved playing Kerbal Space Plan a lengthy time ago when it initial came out, so I took a image of the booth displaying the sequel.

And lastly is this neat spaceship factor I saw.

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Techniques

We’ll conclude this component with 4 of my favourite points I saw at PAX West.  Initially is The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Techniques.  I’m not a significant fan of tactic games, but I’ll verify out something Jim Henson associated, as he was a significant component of my childhood.  I nonetheless want to watch the Netflix show this is primarily based on, hopefully can do that quickly.  Anyway, this game plays a lot like other grid primarily based comparable games such as Final Fantasy Techniques, Project X Zone, and so on.  But the developers have added a lot of points to make this game their personal.  Like specific status ailment spells can be employed in mixture with hits for even a lot more highly effective attack combos.  And they studied the movements of the puppets from the show and film and implemented them into the game’s character animations, as well!  Half of the game follows the show’s story, and the other half is new side story stuff.  And there are many difficulty levels, such as an uncomplicated a single if you are not into techniques games like I am and just want to love the story.  The only factor I’m worried about is that the game will be out later this year.  I know they want to take their time and make this a fantastic techniques game, as well, but I’m worried if the show will nonetheless be relevant by then.  But the finest factor about the game is that it is getting created by BonusXP, who is primarily based close to exactly where I reside about the Dallas location!  And quite a few of the people there also worked at other Dallas primarily based firms producing games like Age of Empires, so they genuinely know their stuff!  Possibly I’ll get a opportunity to take a look at them someday!

Psychonauts two

Oh man I really like Psychonauts.  It was my Game of the Year in 2005, so I’m glad I was capable to set up a meeting with Double Fine to verify out the sequel.  It was just a hands off demo, but I’m OK with that.  You play as Raz once more and now he’s a member of the Psychonauts.  In the initial level, you need to go inside the thoughts of an evil medical doctor and uncover out who he operates for.  The level begins in an workplace setting but mixes with a dental inside the mouth tooth setting, so it gets incredibly weird, like the Meat Circus level from the initial game.  They do all sorts of crazy points in this level like make a hallway stretch out and turn points on its side so you are climbing on workplace cubicles like platforms.  I’m assuming this is the introductory level as you relearn all the moves you had in the initial game, but they do not add any new ones however so it is all a lot more of the exact same.  But I’m OK with that.  New enemies include things like doubts and regrets, which is inventive.  I only want I could’ve played the VR side game Rhombus of Ruin, as this sequel tends to make reference to it.  As a goodie, they gave out Psychonauts toothbrushes, which is as weird as the game but at least it keeps the theme.  But the coolest factor is that I was worried that Psychonauts two would be an Xbox One particular exclusive, due to the fact Microsoft just purchased Double Fine.  But they are nonetheless releasing it on PS4 as properly so I’ll be capable to play it when it comes out subsequent year!  Yes!

Untitled Goose Game

My brother Jeff initial showed me this game and now it is coming to Switch in September, so I can not wait.  You play as a goose and get a list of objectives, most of which involve bugging the crap out of men and women.  You need to do points like sneak about and steal a gardener’s keys, lure him to a sprinkler and turn it on and get him wet, and other points.  There’s even a button for honking!  Just appears like weird, silly entertaining.


And lastly, I played a single brand new console at PAX.  No it wasn’t the Google Stadia, but one thing a lot weirder.  It is a handheld with black and white graphics and a crank on the side!  So supposedly when you purchase this, you will get a single new surprise game a month (bet you a single of these will be a fishing game).  I really like this factor but I do not know if it’ll be worth 150 bucks.  Even so I signed up for their newsletter so we’ll see.  Anyway, I played a game on it at PAX, and it was created by the exact same guy who did Katamari Damacy!  The game is referred to as Time Travel Adventure, and you are a small caterpillar man and you need to run from left to correct to your girlfriend so you will not be late for your date.  You do this by turning the crank to make time go forward.  Turn it the other way to make him run backwards.  Along the way, he may well do points like bend down to smell a flower.  Specific obstacles are not impacted by time and you need to stay clear of hitting them.  So if a butterfly goes by you, you need to rewind time to when you bent down to smell the flower, efficiently ‘ducking’ below the butterfly till it passes.  And it gets a lot more hectic from there.

And that is all for now.  So you all know I like weird games, but you also know I like classic games, so I bet you can guess what my component two PAX short article will be about.  Remain tuned!  –Cary


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