The 10 most exciting indie games of PAX East 2022
PAX East 2022 is now firmly in the books, but there were plenty of indie games featured that are so exciting they left an impression on viewers. People have lined up for over three or four hours just to try out some of these gems, and they’ve been rewarded with some of the best experiences indie studios have to offer.
Every game shown at PAX represents the hard work, dedication, hopes and dreams of the developers. In this regard, each game deserves our attention and support, but some have stood out above the rest.
So many hours were wasted on the original McPixel Game. It was a parody of Saturday Night Liveit is MacGruberitself a parody of the hit series MacGyver. It featured a pixelated guy who had to use tools from his surroundings and unconventional techniques to get out of goofy situations.
McPixel 3 takes over and puts McPixel in even more difficult situations. Players get achievements whether or not they reach the goal, and the fast-paced nature of the game keeps it fresh and exciting. It’s a point-and-click adventure game that can sit proudly next to any WarioWare title, and will have players laughing hysterically from start to finish. McPixel 3 is developed by Sos Sosowski and published by Devolver Digital. It’s coming in 2022 exclusively on Steam.
Everyone loves a good board game, and it just so happens that SpiderHeck is a great board game. Two to four players each control a spider, with the ability to crawl along the game’s 2D surfaces, jump, web-sling, and wield weapons. The objective is to use the stage’s arsenal to eliminate the other spiders.
There are bombs, lightsabers, guns, guns that fire lightsabers, and dozens more. The neon aesthetic and bass-rich club music grab players’ attention, and the varied level design makes for exciting matches. This game is a must for fans of TourChuteand even Super Smash Bros. fans will find something to like here. SpiderHeck is developed by Neverjam and published by tinyBuild. It’s coming soon to Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and Windows.
Evil West takes cowboys and crushes them against undead monsters seeking to eradicate humanity. Members of a top-secret vampire-hunting agency strive to keep the forces of darkness at bay in this third-person action game. Players can upgrade their character with abilities and perks, and they can even play with a friend in couch co-op mode. It’s a bloody, lore-filled quest to save the United States of America that fans of Red Dead Redemption and the walking dead should appreciate.
bad west is developed by Flying Wild Hog and published by Focus Entertainment. It’s coming in 2022 to PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and Windows.
Key locker was one of the most exciting games at PAX Rising this year, a showcase of projects selected by Kickstarter to be showcased at PAX East. It is a Japanese-style RPG with a top-down 2D isometric view. It boasts its neon cyberpunk visuals and dark storyline while being absolutely hilarious. Players take on the role of BOBO, a musician trying to reform Saturn’s authoritarian regime through the power of music. Rhythm is hugely important to gameplay, with timed attacks inspired by the mario and louis series of games. There is also a field control aspect to combat strategy, such as an improved version of the system in the trigger of a stopwatch.
Key locker is developed and published by Moonana. It’s scheduled to release in August 2023 for Switch, PS4, PS5, Windows, Mac, and Linux.
The boys is an incredibly popular show for Amazon, and Superfuse seeks to play in that same space, with corporate-sponsored superheroes, morally ambiguous decisions, and a gritty comic book style applied to everything. It’s a world where the wealthy have given themselves superpowers and immortality, and use their enforcers to keep the peace in the solar system. Players take on the role of said performers and can customize their abilities by merging them. This procedural generation Diablo-The inspired game is sure to capture the attention of anyone who loved comic books in the 90s and 00s.
Superfuser is developed by Stitch Heads Entertainment and published by Raw Fury. It has an early access demo coming later this year, with a full release in 2023 exclusively for Windows.
the big jerk
When loan sharks go after a local video store, the owner’s brave teenage daughter, Ali, decides to raise the money to bail out her mother. Instead of taking a summer job, however, Ali learns to pickpocket, race against and become a master of disguise. the big jerk pays homage to 90s animation in its environments, music, scribble line visual style, and stunning theme song. Fans of 90s cartoons, especially Nicktoons like Doug and Rocko’s modern lifewill love the aesthetics of this game.
the big jerk is developed by Mighty Yell Studios and published by Skybound Games. It’s already available on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and Steam, with new content and a Switch version coming Summer 2022.
The last hero of Nostalgaia
When the video game world begins to lose its loyalty, it stumbles upon a pixelated stick-like protagonist to save the day. The last hero of Nostalgaia satirizes and celebrates Souls-like games, and gives fans of games like Ring of Elden something a little lighter to cleanse their palate between games. Rich in lore and combat mechanics, players loved how hilarious and inventive the game was. The sarcastic narrator only helps the whole experience, giving a whole Bastion kind of atmosphere.
The last hero of Nostalgaia is developed by Over the Moon Games and published by Coatsink. It’s coming in 2022 and will be released on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and Windows.
Gamers of a certain age will remember the huge amount of licensed wrestling games, especially from the WWF/WWE, back in the days of the SNES and the N64. Fight Quest takes those memories of smackdown on friends and adds a decidedly “mathematical” new twist to the formula. This is a professional wrestling RPG, complete with experience points, deep story, lore and equipable moves. The nostalgia is strong here, using a 16-bit style to portray toy-like characters. The writing is clever, the story is entertaining, and fans of RPGs and wrestling games will find something to like here.
Fight Quest is developed by Mega Cat Studios and published by Skybound Games. It’s coming soon to Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and Windows.
Worship of the Lamb was Devolver Digital’s first showcase at PAX East this year – taking a massive screen to the center of their booth – and for good reason. Players take control of a lamb that is saved from execution by a demonic entity that demands a powerful cult be included in the trade. From there, the lamb builds its flock by indoctrinating other woodland creatures. The gameplay is divided between fights in randomly generated rooms in segments that look a lot like Enter the dungeon, and to ensure that the disciples worship properly at home and are not deceived by false prophets. There’s an adorable aesthetic reminiscent of the board game Rootwith elements of strategy and urban construction that would make ActRaiser proud.
Worship of the Lamb is developed by Massive Monster and published by Devolver Digital. It’s coming in 2022 to Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and Windows.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge
TMNT never goes out of style, it seems, but The Shredder’s Revenge takes the love for turtles to a new high. This arcade-style beat-’em-up is a love letter to 80s cartoon and all its ties. It’s a high-energy experience, with satisfying combos, hilarious set pieces, countless references, and the ability to play as April O’Neil and Master Splinter. They even brought back the original voice actors, including Cam Clarke and Rob Paulsen.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge is developed by Tribute Games and published by DotEmu. Summer 2022 is coming to Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and Windows.
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