Adam's PAX AUS 2022 Indie Picks
After a three-year hiatus due to the real-life version of the board game ‘Pandemic’, PAX AUS finally opened its doors once again to welcome us all home. Like in previous years, I scheduled a good portion of time to go and check out the PAX Rising section for all our Indie game goodness. PAX AUS 2022 was no exception and I’ve compiled a list of some of the titles that caught my attention, enjoy!
1. Knight Crawlers
Knight Crawlers is an addictive little gem that stood out really early for me. The game is a 1v1 battle, where you and your opponent are dropped into an arena with some hazards scattered around the place. Between you and your enemy is a wall you can’t penetrate, over the course of two minutes, weak CPU enemies drop in and your goal is to kill them and level up your character. Each level you have a choice of three buffs but the counter doesn’t stop and give you time to consider each one, that just wastes much-needed time to level up more and obtain new abilities and better stats! Once the two-minute timer is up, the barrier comes down and you and your opponent battle it out.
This competitive title was already showing quite a bit of depth with how you strategize and build your character. Because that will essentially dictate how you fight in the final battle and how the other guy will. More importantly, it was fun! During the weekend there was a mini-tournament being run and the final battles would get very intense at times! A funny story for my first play was that the Dev himself stepped up to the plate with me and right before the barrier came down, I ran out of health fighting a CPU enemy … which I then found out resets all my buffs and stats to starting level. My death was short and sweet. The Dev said it best himself, “Oh yeah this is going to hurt sorry” … and it did. It really, really did. Despite this, I’m really looking forward to checking out more of what this game has to offer, go check out the trailer here:
2. Dark Light
Some mega Dead Cells vibes coming from this one, but with a very cool and unique look that instantly caught my attention. Set in an apocalyptic world, Dark Light is a platformer that classifies itself as a MetroidVania style of game (think Ori and the Blind Forrest). The short play-through had me dodging and attacking enemies with some actual thought instead of just button-mashing my way to victory. Obviously killing more enemies boosts your abilities, and stats, making you stronger in this game’s world.
As much as the Dead cells reference holds true, Dark Light stands out on its own and has a very different feel, even after a short play-through. Gameplay can go from 0 to 100 very quickly and I had to keep myself focused and vigilant during my playthrough. Anyone after an intrinsically rewarding single-player experience might want to keep an eye on this one, check out the trailer here:
3. Repella Fella
Yes, I know, I’m not the first person at Player2 to mention this one, but my God what a standout this one was. Straight up, it’s a point-and-click adventure game … no big deal so far. What made this game an instant stand out for me was the humour, voice acting and evolving storyline in the brief time I spent with it.
Clearly heavily influenced by a bunch of Aussie humour, this one had me laughing and smiling the entire time I spent with it! Not much else can be said about it, other than you should watch the trailer and add it to your wish list for a planned release by the end of this year!
4. Rooftop Renegade
Hey, you! Yeah, you! Do you like platformer/running games? Yeah, you do. What could be better than a game where you up your focus and reactions to their max levels and devour some gameplay that Sonic games wish they still were? Well, I can think of one thing better, playing and competing with friends as they try and slow you down in a hail of bullets and obstacles as you’re attempting to not get flattened by the ever-chasing wall of doom!
Basically, this is a party game where four players take turns in doing a specific level and completing it as fast as they can. The three players who aren’t currently running the course will use a variety of weapons that are designed to stop you from getting to your goal. It’s an exceptionally simple concept and it’s instant fun that people can just jump in and play with minimal introduction.
These games are always a winner at parties, check it out: