Top Three Indie Games At PAX Australia

Last weekend I was privileged enough to attend PAX Melbourne and experience some incredible indie games in the Indie Pavilion. There were a huge number of indie developers showing off their new games, with enough variety to please every indie game lover. I played through many, but I found these three games were the most memorable and enjoyable indie games I experienced.

Framed –

Now Framed is a game by Loveshack Entertainment which I never expected too enjoy on a personal level. Tablet games have never provided much enjoyment for me, so I tend to stick away from them. At PAX I got my hands on a couple of levels after hearing Joshua Boggs (the creator of Framed) talk about it at a panel about writing video game stories. There is something unique about this game in its design and style that immediately captured my attention. It is essentially a narrative-puzzle game set within a noir comic book world. Framed operates within a certain amount of tiles which each depict a sequence for your character to attempt to escape through.

Each tile will contain a certain obstacle or enemy to get through, whether it is guards blocking off an entrance or a spotlight shining on an area you need to pass. You have to manipulate the tiles so your character can run through without being killed or spotted. It is much more challenging than I had originally anticipated, and I witnessed many players struggle to advance through certain levels without the help of some fellow gamers watching with curiosity. Each level is different to the previous, with some offering a challenging escape through heavily guarded areas, to more simple levels with no enemies but still requiring a level of thought to pass.

Players can change the order of events through the tiles and in turn, change the narrative. The visual design is pleasing on the eye with its comic book style which is combined with a good sound design. This is definitely a game you want to keep your eye on, it looks very promising. You can check out more details on their official website here.

Submerged –

I will admit, I wasn’t sure I would enjoy Submerged when I watched people play simply because it didn’t offer too much in terms of gameplay. My perspective changed when I began to play through the demo though, simply because its barebones gameplay is key to what Uppercut Games set to achieve with this game. I spoke to the founder of Uppercut Games, Ed Orman, while playing the game and his intention was clear about Submerged – this is a game simply about relaxation, exploration and thrives on curiosity.

Once you pass through the opening sequence, it is completely up to you with how you spend your time. You can go through the story at your own pace to find out what happened to your little brother who fell to a mysterious illness and attempt to fix him, or you could simply sail around the world and admire its visual beauty. You are handed the reins to explore this beautifully crafted world which has its own unique visual design. I stopped three or four times to simply take in the world of Submerged, whether it was by simply using the telescope at the top of a building or watching a whale explode from the water as I sailed past it.

You are alone in this ancient, half-submerged city and must survive by exploring and scavenging the world. It won’t be a game for everyone, but I can tell this will be a special game which will please many gamers. You can check out more details on their official website here.

Screencheat –

Admit it, you have screen cheated when playing Call of Duty or Halo or Goldeneye while playing with your friends. We never admitted it at the time, we always put it down to our epic skills when we went on a rampage and dominated our friends. Developed by Samurai Punk, Screencheat is the perfect game for those types of players, because screen cheating is its core element and without it, you won’t stand a chance. It is a game which was inspired by those classic multiplayer games which split up the screens and allowed people to see where the other is.

Each player is invisible and has to rely on taking note of where the other playeris by the use of uniquely coloured areas within the map. It is incredibly fast paced and will take a little while to master because there is so much going on when you have to watch four screens at the same time. When I got to try it out at PAX I had an insanely fun experience getting to play a game with Jack and Ray from RoosterTeeth (I reckon we can see this game on their channel soon enough). I didn’t expect it to be so difficult until I realised everyone was invisible and you had to learn every single detail of the map.

You can play it four-player online or go offline and split it four way with your buddies. It looks like the perfect game to play with your friends at home considering how crazy it can get. You get five different maps with each map possessing distinct landmarks and areas to navigate around. You also get eight different weapons to try and create even more havoc. This will be the ideal party game to enjoy with your friends, I really recommend you check it out. You can find out more details on their official website here.