Top 8 Indie Games We're Excited About from PAX South 2019
Earlier this month, gaming nerds across the country gathered in San Antonio for PAX South, a gaming convention featuring demos, panels, competitions, concerts, and more from big names and indie developers alike. The video game and tabletop gaming expo gave fans one-on-one time with some major titles like Capcom’s “Resident Evil 2” and Playstation’s “Days Gone” as well as featuring big names in gaming tech culture like Discord and Mixer.
On the indie side, PAX South had hundreds of titles for gamers to demo to their hearts desires. Here are a few of our favorite indie games we played:
#1. Arcade Spirits
Arcade Spirits is a romantic visual novel where you’re hired to work at an arcade alongside potential coworker and customer dates. In the demo, we designed our own character (looks, pronouns, names, etc.) and role played our way to winning the hearts of our potential conquests (spoiler: Naomi is the perfect waifu and I’m going to marry her).
Nothing makes our hearts grow so fondly for a game then developers who are obviously passionate about their project. It doesn’t hurt that we’re already fans of dating sims and retro gaming. The music rocks and the art style looks extremely cute. We’re also fans of the Identity Identifier System, or IRIS, that lets you see how well you’re doing with each character.
Arcade Spirits, published by PQube Limited, and developed by Fiction Factory Games, is set to release February 12th on Steam – just in time for Valentines Day!
#2. Bee Simulator
Bee Simulator is a family friendly game that lets you, well, see the world through the eyes of a bee! The game takes place in a Central Park type location where you and fellow bees can collect pollen, learn about bee facts, and fuck up some asshole wasps.
We’re mega fans of the educational inspirations behind this game and the developer’s goal to spread awareness about bee related issues. The music is also extraordinarily calming, and we could see ourselves playing this game for hours exploring the stunning park. Also, we weren’t joking about the wasp thing. We fought two during the demo during PAX South and majorly won.
Bee Simulator is coming soon PC, Xbox One, PS4, and Nintendo Switch.
#3. World of Horrors
And now for a game that’s the complete opposite of Bee Simulator.
World of Horrors is a single-player, deck building, cosmic horror-style JRPG. You play a set of characters confronting the terror of a mysterious madness that threatens an upcoming apocalypse. They have their own stories and perspectives to unravel as well as puzzles and mysteries to battle along the way. The unnerving environment created a haunting dread that is only complimented by haunting chiptunes and a 1-bit art style. This isn’t a game for the faint of heart.
Listen, we were awful at this demo. Embarrassingly bad. The play style isn’t what we’re used to for horror games. That’s what makes it so appealing. We love horror games in general, but a horror game that does something unique and different will always catch our eye. Plus, the art style is so creepy, it’s good. And, if you’re not hooked by that, it’s a Junji Ito and HP Lovecraft inspired game. You can’t argue with a concept like that.
World of Horrors is coming soon to Steam.
PS: Shout out to the Ysbryd Games developer that gave me a free pin when I realized I had been standing in the wrong line for an entire hour.
While we were all walking around the expo hall, our eyes caught the Omensight booth more than one. The art style is absolutely mesmerizing enough for us to come around more than once. We learned that this game follows a warrior trying to stop the destruction of the world by nightfall. Over. And over. Again.
The story and gameplay of Omensight are just as appealing as its art. You’re able to manipulate time to witness specific outcomes from different perspectives. As a player, you have complete control. Will you save the world, or help destroy it? It’s a question that has us wondering all the way to our local game stores.
Omensight: Definitive Edition is available now for PC, PS4, and Nintendo Switch!
Horror games, especially those of a story-driven Lovecraftian nature, will 90% make our top gaming lists. In Stygian, a supernatural horror RPG, you navigate a world plunged into an alien dimension. You start by creating a character from scratch: customizing attributes, backstory, traits, etc. This makes the game very unique to you and your play style, something we majorly respect. Other than that, the game is a bit of a mystery to us. We know there is a haunted violin that can use to lure fiendish deities and convince others to join your party. The end game, unsure. Not go insane? To fix the world?. The mystery attracts us, and we can’t wait to hear more.
Stygian will be available in 2019.
#6. Boyfriend Dungeon
Hey, we did say we liked dating sims. However, Boyfriend Dungeon is not your typical dating sim, as your potential romances are the very weapons you dungeon crawl with. Here is more information according to their website:
Plunder the “dunj” and take your weapons on dates. Capture the hearts of cuties to level them up. Boyfriend Dungeon is the the playful shack-and-slash the world’s been waiting for!
Kitfox Games is developing Boyfriend Dungeon in coordination with dating-dungeon fans to find the most appealing characters to date.
The art is amazing. The characters are amazing to interact with. Even the dungeon crawling, one of my least favorite aspects in gaming, is fun to explore. Fighting is influenced by who you date, as each weapon plays differently. Also, the game has an inclusive approach to gender and sexuality. Checks off all the boxes for us!
Boyfriend Dungeon comes out later in 2019 on Steam.
#7. Hypnospace Outlaw
The weird style of this game makes it easy to overlook. The story and unique internet simulation gameplay have intrigued us enough to add this one to our list.
Hypnospace Outlaw follows an Enforcer, an online police officer of sorts, as they explore a wide variety of weird 90s websites trying to hunt down wrongdoers while avoiding viruses along the way. It’s incredibly nostalgic and reminds me heavily of the good old days of Geocities and Angelfire. You can customize your computer just as you would 20 years ago. Download weird desktop backgrounds and apps. Wiggle your mouse pointer to make the page load faster. Oh, and fight the dark web along the way.
This game is too unique not to add to this list. We’re excited about the aspect of a different style of game that 100% explores those terrible psychic tarot reader websites of 1998.
Hypnospace Outlaw is set to release early 2019.
Can you say AR familiars, anyone?
I enjoy the mobile gaming experience. I’ve worked in the mobile industry for the past four years, and my eye is always drawn to fun or unique mobile concepts. As someone who has puppy fever on the daily, Furiends caught my attention. It’s a new age Tamagotchi experience where you can walk and play with your dogs. You even get rewards like treats and outfits based on your step count. It’s a fun way to gamify working out without the commitment of a real dog. We hope they add other animals soon!
Furiends is out now on the app store.
PAX South is always a complete blast. It’s a fantastic opportunity to connect with other passionate gamers, which is what we’re all about here at Nerd Coven. This expo was a great start to the year, and we’re excited for what 2019 has in store.
Did you go to PAX South? What titles are you stoked for? Let us know in the comments below.