The PAX Aus Indie Showcase has been announced for 2014, with six locally-developed games sharing the spotlight at October’s event. Nearly 100 games – all created in Australia and New Zealand – were submitted, but they can’t all be winners. This half a dozen are, according to the panel, the best of the bunch.
In alphabetical order, we have:
Captured from its undersea home by a mechanical alien race, the player – a ‘Grimpoteuthis abyssicola’ (Dumbo Octopus) must journey through a strange and disorienting environment where gravity follows the contours of the land and blobs of water float suspended in the air. There’s no fighting in Airscape – you’ll have to run, jump, and dodge your way past torpedoes, rockets, lasers, seekers, and more.
Assault Android Cactus is a manic twin stick shooter with one to four player local co-op, combining arcade style gameplay with masses of enemies, transforming environments and a colourful cast of synthetic heroines. Using a battery timer mechanic in place of lives, Assault Android Cactus is built around high speed gameplay and skillful chaining of enemy kills. Set across five decks of a massive spaceship, robot opponents slash, shoot, launch missiles from their backs, fire screen sweeping lasers and create smaller enemies to attack, while the giant enemy bosses fight with everything they’ve got across multiple phases.
Developed by Chris Johnson and Chris Larkin
Expand is a single player video game in which players explore a circular labyrinth constructed as an abstract black and white geometric landscape. Players must avoid getting squashed as the labyrinth twists, stretches and reveals itself, always responding to the players actions and movements.
Gunscape provides a toolbox of iconic weapons, monsters and level elements as the foundation for players to build co-op and single-player levels or multiplayer arenas in the most intuitive way possible. It does this by offering a series of easy-to-use tools based on a block-placement interface most gamers are accustomed to. And unlike similar tools currently available on the market, Gunscape aims to empower its authors to enjoy the process of abstract level design by imposing the same kind of refreshing constraints that the still-enduring user map communities of the earliest FPS games such as Doom™ enjoyed; rather than building a game, players build a level within a game that features robust action gameplay and a vast array of weapons, enemies and level components specifically designed to complement one another.
Developed by Thomas Janson
Wave Wave is a savage arcade game that challenges players to shift up and down precisely as a sharp wave, desperately dodging a never-ending onslaught of geometric doom. Players are hooked into a blitzing world of constant deaths and instant restarts.
PAX Australia is taking place at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre this year from October 31-November 2. If you haven’t grabbed your tickets yet, you should really get onto that, they’re selling super-quick! Friday, Saturday and 3 Day International tickets are still available in limited quantities – head to www.paxaustralia.com.au/registration if you want to grab yours.