PAX as a convention has historically been dominated by AAA game studios and publishers like Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo, but with the global pandemic, many of these larger companies have instead resorted to smaller streamed events.
As a result, many indie developers have had the opportunity to fill the void and grab the center spotlight with their enticing, unique and very niche titles. Honestly, upon attending PAX West back in 2019, I had the same feeling, and though the show floor was full of Square Enix and EA titles, I spent the majority of my time hanging out in the indie section of the convention.
With that being said, a load of awesome indie games were shown off during the 2022 PAX West event, and I didn’t want them to get swallowed up by all of the Nintendo Direct and Sony State of Play news. Seriously, Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe was just announced, and it’s literally dominating twitter right now! Luckily, Ubisoft is supporting indie games by adding them to its subscription service in rotation each six months, so there’s that.
Anyway, one of my favorite games shown off at PAX West was Planet of Lana – a hand-painted adventure game framed by an epic sci-fi saga that stretches across centuries and galaxies. My other top pick is Mina the Hollower, which was developed by Yacht Club Games (of Shovel Knight fame, of course) and was created in the style of 8-bit Game Boy Color games! Check it out below, as well as the other titles. Happy gaming!
Mina the Hollower
Mina the Hollower is a bone-chilling action-adventure game featuring classic gameplay and an 8-bit aesthetic in the style of Game Boy Color, refined for the modern era. Quick and deliberate 60fps action combat, captivating world design, and top-down adventuring combine in a nostalgic blend. Whip foes, burrow through the ground, and explore a pixel-perfect world in Mina the Hollower, a brand new game from the developers who brought you Shovel Knight!YouTube
Dungeons of Aether
Delve into Dungeons of Aether, a turn-based dungeon crawler set in the Rivals of Aether universe. Control four new heroes as they uncover the mysteries of the Julesvale Caverns in Story Mode or test your mettle in the grueling Challenge Dungeons.Steam Store
Enter the Gungeon: House of the Gundead
Enter the Gungeon: House of the Gundead is an all new arcade lightgun dungeon crawl developed by Griffin Aerotech in collaboration with Devolver Digital and Dodge Roll. Explore and explode your way through an ever-evolving series of floors protected by the dangerously adorable Cult of the Gundead. Use your wits to discover uniquely fantastic weapons, insane power ups and hidden secrets to gain an edge against the Gundead horde.GriffinAeroTech.com
Planet of Lana
A young girl and her loyal friend embark on a rescue mission through a colorful world full of cold machines and unfamiliar creatures. Planet of Lana is a cinematic puzzle adventure framed by an epic sci-fi saga that stretches across centuries and galaxies.Steam Store
Beneath Oresa, a fighting roguelike deckbuilder, takes you deep within the city to confront your foes. As a strategist, choose your cards, upgrades, and artifacts wisely, but as a fighter, turn their positioning to your advantage.Steam Store
Rift of the Necrodancer
The NecroDancer’s back in a brand new rhythm game spinoff! Help Cadence navigate the modern world while repairing the rifts that have torn her life apart. Do rhythmic battle via rift mode, minigames, and boss battles! All to the beat of a brand new soundtrack from Danny Baranowsky & friends.Steam Store
Wanted: Dead is a new hybrid slasher/shooter from the makers of Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive. The game follows a week in life of the Zombie Unit, an elite Hong Kong police squad on a mission to uncover a major corporate conspiracy.Steam Store