A handful of games made by Australian indie developers will be displayed at PAX Australia in July, and the organisers have just announced which six have made the cut for the Aus Indie Showcase.
Visitors to the event will be able to get their hands on the following titles, which best represent the wide range of styles and talents of the local games industry.
Developed by one-man-band Alexander Bruce of Melbourne, Antichamber already has tonnes of awards pouring out of its non-Euclidean ears. It’s a first-person puzzle game, in which the laws of physics are constantly changing, and space means almost nothing. It will break your brain, in the nicest possible way.
From Man Fight Dragon, a small indie studio in country Victoria, Black Annex is an isometric action-strategy game focusing on the seedier side of the business world. Players engage in corporate espionage through stealth and deception, or “Shoot First, Ask Questions Never” action.
Until now, Kumobius, the creators of Bean’s Quest and Time Surfer, have been quiet about their latest project, Duet. A rather flowery description says, “Your survival is dependent on protecting two vessels - they are devices in sync, a dance and song between two entities tethered together in symbiosis.” The team have said it will play similar to their previous games, with a high score-chasing, “Just One More Go” hook.
Nintendo are trying to build up their indie scene, and Melbourne studio Endgame are developing an interesting title for the 3DS. Fractured Soul is a Mega-Man-esque platformer/shooter, which plays out across both screens simultaneously. The two views are almost identical, except for a few key differences that require the player to regularly switch between them to progress. For example, the top screen may invert gravity, or the layout of platforms may vary.
This exploration-centred puzzle game from Impromptu Games casts the player as a metal sphere that has wound up on a strange island. Dotted around are mysterious glasshouses that you must traverse and solve. It features an interesting mix of natural and abstract environments, and hints that the ultimate goal is to discover the purpose of the glasshouses, and yourself.
This self-described “Werewolf Comedy Puzzle Adventure” may just be the best Werewolf Comedy Puzzle Adventure game you play this (or any other) year. After a bungled museum heist ties Lucas MacGuffin to an ancient amulet, he finds himself with the power to transform into a werewolf at will. Puzzles are solved by using in tandem the agility of Human Lucas and the strength of Wolf Lucas.
PAX Australia hits Melbourne from July 19-21 this year, and tickets have well and truly sold out. More details will be announced in the next couple of months - keep an eye out!
A gamer since the days of Lemmings and Wolfenstein, and a writer since Scamper the mouse in Grade Three, my two passions only met after a freak accident left them surgically inseparable. Follow @MikeIrvo.