Whether movies, tv, or video games, I've always been a champion of the underdog. I love going to PAX and while yes, I do check out the AAA offerings, I am far more intrigued by what is being shown in and around the Indie Megabooth.
Indie doesn't always automatically make something better, it's just that these days, plenty of indie games are presenting something different or putting a unique spin on a certain genre.
These days, there are so many games that it's impossible to cover them all, but I wanted to bring some attention to a few that majorly piqued my interests - games that shined just a little brighter than the others and definitely need to not be overlooked.
Here's part three of our PAX East Binging Indie special!
Creeping Terror - Sushi Typhoon
While playing the demo for this, I immediately felt a Clock Tower vibe. Turns out that was intentional. The game was inspired by the old side scrolling horror games and has been updated with some new game aesthetics.
I played the game with headphones on, and even though I was on the overcrowded PAX floor, I still managed to be sufficiently creeped out.
You play a foreign exchange student named Arisa, who goes with her friends to check out a building that is supposed to be haunted or the home of some sort of monster. After part of the building collapses, she is separated from her friends and has to find her way back. While doing so, she runs into plenty of different things that are trying to kill her. As is with this genre, you have to survive long enough to solve the mystery of the house and make it out alive.
It's currently available on the Japanese Nintendo 3DS shop, and even though the game is also in English, it's not for sale outside of Japan. I hope that changes soon because I definitely want play more of this.
Forged of Blood - Critical Forge
Inspired by the pen and paper RPG Pathfinder system, Forged of Blood is a fantasy tactics style RPG with a lot going for it.
Like many other hardcore tactics games, perma-death of your characters makes for some very tough choices. Being too aggressive with one of your favorite characters could lead to losing them forever.
One of the unique things about the game is there aren't any specific classes. You can mix and match to your own playstyle. You can develop fighters who can also wield healing and offensive magic. Speaking of which, another thing is you can make your own spells. Within the game is a skill tree where you can mold different spells for your party to use. It's a cool way to help further make the game customizable to the way you play.
The game is currently still in development, and they have a Kickstarter up in the hopes of getting more funds to help polish the finished product.
Forged of Blood is set to release sometime in 2018.
Conarium - Zoetrope
Conarium is a first person horror game inspired by HP Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness. You play Frank Gilman, a researcher at an antarctic base that has been overtaken by something otherworldly.
The game seems to have also taken inspiration from games like Amnesia and Outlast, where you have to solve puzzles and avoid enemies at all costs. It's focusing more on atmosphere and building tension instead of combat.
The game was built with the Unreal 4 engine, and from what I've seen, it looks outstanding.
Conarium will be out later this year on PC.
Phantom Brigade - Tetragon Works
You play the resistance trying to take back your homeland after it has been conquered by a ruthless overlord. You start by using mechs left over from the war, and eventually as you win battles, you can take the enemies tech and use it to improve your own weapons.
The way you play will affect the way the enemy reacts in future skirmishes. If you kill your enemies instead of letting them retreat, the next wave will come back looking for revenge. It also has fully destructible environments, so you can blast your way through a building to get to an enemy if you so desire.
You can customize many different elements of your mechs from the loadout down to the paintjob.
The game is currently in closed beta and should be out later in the year.
Space Wars - ToHeroes Game Studios
A turn based tactical online strategy MMO set in space...quite a mouthful.
Normally, I steer clear of free-to-play games because more often than not, they are pay-to-win. That's not the case here. The team is playing it smart and only charging for things like re-specs.
You pick between one of four different races and begin your rise up the ladder. You start off with a basic ship and as time progresses, you add crew and enhance their abilities via skill trees that unlock as you win battles.
As you get XP, you gain access to bigger and more powerful ships. The ships are incredibly detailed and each different type is unique. They are all based on various real ships, like the Yamato and the Leningrad.
If you lose a battle and your ship is destroyed, you keep your captain, but any crew you've accumulated on the ship is gone. It's an interesting and surely frustrating event, which will place a greater sense of gravity on losing battles.
The game is currently in beta and will launch on Steam later this year.