This year’s PAX East was a bit of a strange experience. The last time we attended the show, it was just a few weeks ago that the entire country started shutting down due to the pandemic. After a canceled show in 2021, the Boston Convention Center was once again filled with gaming fans this year, though now all of them were wearing masks (with stricter enforcement).
Many of the big-name publishers who were on previous PAX shows were missing this year, whether due to pandemic risks or slashing promotional travel budgets. This led to the usual mix of indie developers and publishers hanging out on their floor space – though not really expanding to fill in the gaps.
Even though the overall selection of games on offer seemed small, there were plenty of standout titles. Here are nine games we’ve been thinking about since leaving Boston.
Developer: half human games
Platform: Windows, Mac, Linux, Switch
Planned release date: 31 May 2022
More Information: Official Website | steam | demo
It’s almost cliche for many indie games nowadays to take two popular genres and break them together to create a new concept. For DwarveHowever, the combination of an action RPG and a tower defense game works to create something special.
While you can attack the various enemies you meet Dwarve Simply put, if you do this you will quickly become overwhelmed. Instead, each battle presents a new opportunity to run around while providing various automatic defenses to stop waves of enemies from flooding the countryside.
Positioning is key to maximizing each tower’s damage potential and trap that slows down your enemies and ideally leads them down a hellish road to death. But battles aren’t “set it and forget it” affairs—as swarms take out your defenses, you’ll have to hurry to replace them without simultaneously exposing yourself to damage.
The bog-standard young-boy-go-out-to-save-the-world story isn’t particularly noteworthy, but even that tiny bit of structure gives some of the seeming futility of most tower defense games. Helps provide shape. And while the on-site demo barely went past the tutorial stage, the appeal of the core gameplay loop was readily apparent.
Developer: those je ne sais koi
Platform: windows, switch
Planned release date: 2023
more info: Official Website | steam
On the PAX show floor, dominated by high-octane action games, dordogne Felt like a breath of fresh mountain air on a calm spring day. It’s a fitting sentiment for the game, which is about Mimi exploring the countryside of rural France as 32-year-old Mimi, who has just inherited her grandmother’s cottage.
The little piece of the game we played took place well before that legacy, however, was when Mimi discovered memories of a trip with her grandmother when she was 10. Wandering through those watercolor memories, Mimi records sound, takes pictures, and captures the stray words from her thoughts to collect them in a journal that the player keeps as a notebook at the end of each game day. keeps together.
The game’s hand-painted environments and thoughtful sound design create a childlike wonder, as Mimi runs around with her arms outstretched as if she were about to go in super mario world, But right beneath that delightful, carefree face are strong signs that Mimi is dealing with some painful changes in her life and emotions she’s hardly equipped to handle.
Even those who didn’t grow up in the French countryside can relate to the painful process of growing up in this fascinating sport.