3 Indie Games From PAX East You Need to Know About

May 2, 2014 8:30 am  |  Comments: 0  | Views: 4246
3 Indie Games From PAX East You Need to Know About

Gods Will Be Watching

Games inherently require decision making, but unlike most, Gods Will Be Watching forces you to make difficult choices during dire situations. Imagine that you’re the leader of a small team that’s stranded in the middle of a toxic landscape. You could potentially survive on your own accord, but you’re ultimately responsible for the well-being of the entire group. You’ll have to figure out ways to provide necessities including warmth, protection, and food, but you also have to maintain morale to ensure that your crew can assist you with said tasks. If you fail to feed them often enough, they may die. If you allow your medic to suffer from anxiety, he may run into the woods to never be seen again, thus ruining your ability to create an antidote for the virus that permeates the atmosphere, ultimately jeopardizing the entire crew. When there’s only time for five actions per day, it’s difficult to recognize what should and shouldn’t be a priority, making it seemingly impossible to keep everyone sane and alive. In situations like this, it’s troubling when your best intentions come up short and people suffer as a result. But, that’s sort of the point to Gods Will Be Watching; morality may seem black and white, but in most situations, the path to righteousness is rarely clear. — Peter Brown


Over the past few years, there’s been a renaissance of sorts in the gaming world. Hard games are back. And not just hard, but difficult, punishing, tough-as-nails games that revel in killing you over and over again. But games likeDark Souls and Spelunky aren’t just tough for the sake of being tough; they employ death as a tool for teaching you new things, letting you learn from your mistakes and become a better player for it. Below is very much a part of this wave of games. It’s a roguelike with randomly generated environments that you explore as you descend deeper and deeper into its vast underground world. No words appear on the screen, no explanations are given–it’s up to you to figure out how to make it past increasingly deadly enemies. But what makes Below really stand out is its gorgeous aesthetic. Each environment is dark and atmospheric, but somehow serene and beautiful. The ambient soundtrack builds on that art design with its sparse, moving accompaniment. In that regard, the presentation is a lot like developer Capy’s previous work on Sword & Sworcery, but applied to a far larger and more ambitious concept. — Shaun McInnis

Hyper Light Drifter

There are many good reasons why Hyper Light Drifter was one of the most popular indie games at PAX East. Sure, its neon color palette and stylish sprites may be the first thing that a lot of people notice, but there’s more to Hyper Light Drifter than just an attractive presentation. Once you get into the game, you’re treated to a world that inspires wonder, which is heightened by a haunting soundtrack and the lack of any text or dialogue. As you explore this world, you face dozens of unusually dangerous enemies. Fortunately, they’re easily killed, but unfortunately, so are you. By default, you’re stuck with a short sword as your primary means of defense. Secondary skills allow you to keep your distance, but they pull from a unified resource meter that drains quickly, so, you’re better off honing your skills in close-quarters combat as soon as possible. Hyper Light Drifter isn’t a walk in the park, but that makes it all the more satisfying when you can overcome its challenges and delve deeper into its captivating world. — Peter Brown

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