Day 2 of PAX West 2022 is in the books, and I was busy pretty much all day enjoying tons of amazing indie titles! Take a look below at 6 in particular that deserve your attention:
Arcadian Atlas [Serenity Forge]
Are you a sucker for tactical RPGs? Have you sunk hundreds of hours into games like Disgaea and Final Fantasy Tactics? Well, Arcadian Atlas from Serenity Forge might be just the thing you need to scratch that tactical RPG itch!
With a very familiar aesthetic, and an interest in presenting a compelling narrative that’s not quite as simple as “good” vs “evil”, Arcadian Atlas Is sure to please tactical RPG fans. There are 4 major classes: Apothecary [Healer], Warcaster [Mage], Cavalier [Fighter] and Ranger [Archer], which each have 2 sub-classes for a total of 12 unique options by the time you reach the end of the game. With a variety of unique status effects to juggle and elemental alignments, there will be plenty to enjoy by the time it releases next year. In the meantime, make sure to Wishlist it on Steam!
Below the Stone [Apogee Games]
I had previously raved about Below the Stone during our PAX East coverage a few months ago, so I will spare you all the details here. It was good catching up with Mike again, and he shared that there were a number of improvements made to the demo since PAX East. “We took all the comments from the show and just got to work improving the overall experience.”
Among those improvements: a more refined focus on combat, increased number of biomes/levels, promising “glints” of treasure in darkness as you explore, and other tweaks among vendors etc.
Below the Stone remains one of my most anticipated releases. The combination of exploration/digging with combat and a roguelike experience has a distinct draw for me, and I trust that many other gamers will get addicted once Below the Stone arrives. Until then – adding it to your Steam Wishlist will be a good choice!
Cookie Cutter [Rogue Games Inc.]
When an android named Cherry has her creator stolen from her by a deranged evil scientist, she sets out on a rage-driven mission for revenge! Armed with chainsaws, lethal guitars and more, Cherry delivers some serious pain with her skillful kicks and enhanced cyborg body.
The gameplay in Cookie Cutter Is super fast paced and clean – there’s a counter option that you can trigger with the left bumper, which allows you to set up devastating deathblow counter attacks. It also features a killer soundtrack and excellent gameplay loop. An 8+ hour Metroidvania style game, Cookie Cutter Is sure to please when it arrives next year! If awesome 2D action is your thing, head over to Steam to Wishlist it!
Death Roads: Tournament [The Knights of Unity]
As I mentioned in my first impressions piece, digital deckbuilders traditionally haven’t been my thing. However, I found myself playing not one, but two deckbuilders that really caught my eye: Beneath Osera and Death Roads: Tournament.
In Death Roads, you are traveling across the desolated remains of America in a fierce racing competition to attempt to reach the East Coast first and claim a massive prize.
Using your deck, you will maneuver your vehicle, changing lanes, speeding up/slowing down, and putting enemy cars in your line of fire for a variety of machine gun and missile action.
With a great sense of movement and energy and solid balance, I’d say if you’re a fan of deckbuilders in general, you can’t go wrong with Death Roads. Wishlist it here!
Kaiju Wars [Foolish Mortals Games]
Do you love cheesy 80s movie dialogue? Are you a fan of Advance Wars style strategy turn-based games? Do Kaiju movies make your heart sing? If you’re nodding your head enthusiastically – have I got a game for you! Kaiju Wars delivers on all this with a fun strategy title that delivers an awesome classic aesthetic and fun, kaiju-based combat.
In Kaiju Wars you build army bases and defenses to defend the scientists as they create a serum to address the issue properly. Of course, the Kaiju will have a field day in the process, destroying countless billions in military technology while you sort things out.
I enjoyed my time with Kaiju Wars, and unlike many of the other games I’ve talked about so far – you don’t have to just Wishlist this title, you can buy it now on Steam for just $20! Check it out here.
Salt and Sacrifice [Ska Studios]
The successor to the incredibly popular Salt and Sanctuary, Salt and Sacrifice has you take up the role of an Inquisitor, tasked with hunting down Mages who have dabbled in the taboo and arcane for too long.
Given the popularity of the first title, you would expect Salt and Sacrifice would have arrived to much fanfare, but its limited release on the Epic Games Store has meant a bit more of a reserved reception. Still, one of the most interesting things on display at PAX West so far this year is the multiplayer “Arena” functionality that Ska Studios built out. 4 players duke it out with pre-built fighters and items, and the game mode has been extremely popular. Here’s hoping for a broader release and Arena DLC in the coming weeks and months!
Got a handful of other games to check out tomorrow, but I’d say PAX West 2022 has been a resounding success so far! Thanks to all the devs for spending some time with me and showcasing their game!