Once again, another PAX East has come and gone. I had the opportunity to dawn and epic cosplay outfit all while playing some really dope games. While there were a few good AAA titles, this year the indie titles really shined. Every year starting in 2015, the show floor has a massive section called the Indie Mega Booth. It is a section that grows larger by the year with smaller studios coming out to show their titles to a large audience in hopes of gaining traction. While there were hundreds of titles to choose from, four of them really stood out to me.
Dead Cells is a rogue-lite, Castlevania-inspired action-platformer, allowing you to explore a sprawling, ever-changing castle, assuming you’re able to fight your way past its keepers. For those who are unfamiliar with rouge-lites, Rogue was an early generation computer Role Playing Game that had you exploring randomly generated dungeons that were never the same, giving you a different playthrough each time. Rouge-lites are games that pay homage to this style of gameplay. One notable example of this today is a game called The Binding of Isaac. This game also features a permadeath feature, meaning once you die, that’s it. I found this game to be really punishing, yet super fun. It is out on Steam now, and will be out on consoles sometime this year.
Ultra Space Battle Brawl
Ultra Space Battle Brawl for the Nintendo Switch plays similarly the old Neo Geo Arcade classic, Windjammers, a pong like game that has you throwing a disc towards your opponent’s goal line for points. In this game, you throw a ball towards a gem, when this gem is struck, you take damage. The gem is guarded by little minions that that when hit a few times, they disappear. When these minions disappear, you’re vulnerable to various attacks. Each character has their own ultra-attack that increases the speed, and damage of the ball. Each character also has stats pertaining to power, and speed. I found this game to be highly addicting, and I hope to play more when it comes out on the Switch in 2-3 months. There is currently a demo out for the PC if anyone is interested in trying the game out.
Dance Kids is a game currently out on the Nintendo Switch that combines a rhythm game with button mechanics from the Tony Hawk games. This game has you pressing button combinations to the beat of which ever song you choose. Different moves can be used depending on your character’s position (standing, floor, and air) in addition to whichever button you press to the beat. I’m a rhythm game connoisseur, so obviously this was an instant win for me. I was so floored by the game that I downloaded it on to my Nintendo Switch the moment I got home.
A.N.N.E. is an exciting game blending platforming and a shoot’em up gameplay with a touch of RPG elements. A.N.N.E’s style is inspired by 8-bit and 16-bit era games; an anthology in pixels that will take you back to the early days of video games using current technologies running in glorious 720p and with a dash of physics gameplay. You are a robot named Number25, who has been accused of being in love with A.N.N.E. – another robot. Love amongst robots is forbidden and robots affected by the “love virus” are disassembled and disposed of, on a frozen world, far away. You have to find A.N.N.E. who was scattered on planet Gomi. There you will travel on foot or on board your ship to explore mysterious places, solve puzzles, collect crystals to upgrade or buy new equipment and face enemies in order to retrieve and reassemble A.N.N.E. This game instantly brought me back to the days of playing Super Metroid on my SNES. I just loved that feeling of getting lost in various environments, and using new found abilities to re-explore older environments in order to gain new equipment, and loot. This game doesn’t have it release date, but it will be out on every major platform by the end of the year.
Once again, it has been a blast. I hope to attend another PAX in the near future, and chronicle some awesome titles from not well known producers.
Flemmings Beaubrun is an avid gamer and lover of music. When not working, Flemmings likes to spend his time whipping up dank beats for the masses. He also spends his weekends thrift shopping for rare video games and obscure electronics. Other times he’s in front of a TV with a giant bowl of cereal enjoying shows from the 90s.