Saturday, 01 November 2014 18:19

PAXAUS 2014 – Amongst the AAA games indie gems shine


For those there to check out the electronic gaming side at PAXAus 2014 there are plenty of high profile wares to see.  And amongst the glitz of multi-million dollar projects there are plenty of independent or smaller team developed games to experience.

This year has seen a step up in quality and spotlighting on those in the independent developers hoping to hit a increasing crowded market.

As hopefully our interview with ID@Xbox program director Chris Charla showed, along with other big-player initiatives from Valve and Sony, the indie developer is getting a ton of support to help realise their labours of passion, and bring them to market.

At PAXAus 2014 some of the games gathered at the Australian Indie Showcase that caught our eye were.

Merchants & Mercenaries:  A traditional hex-based turn-based strategy game trapped in the framework of real-time game.  Gather resources; build an extensive castle or an unstoppable band of mercenaries before your opponents do the same.

Scraps:  In what was the second time one of my favourite games of the past, Interstate ’76 came up in conversation, it was at the Scraps booth.  Build the ultimate mobile death machine, whack on armour, make sure you have enough power to deliver destruction to your enemies and then take to the wasteland.  Right now the builder software is available to download, and at PAXAus the battle code is playable.

Exodus Wars: Fractured Empire:  Brings epic scale tabletop battles into the electronic gaming world.  Already an established miniature war-gaming system the rules from Exodus Wars have been faithfully reproduced onscreen.  A full campaign system and new units developed just for the video game (and then later realised by Steel Crown Productions for the real world game) are some of the features of this release currently on Steam.

Quickly, some other fun games we saw and suggest keeping an eye out for, Dungeon League bring competition underground, Lost Sea is a colourful romp through over 8 million possible procedurally generated islands in the Bermuda Triangle and one of the darlings of the show, Screencheat shows just how a simple idea can take off.

Screencheat features first person shooter competition straight from the retro days of couch play where you would sneak a look at your split-screen opponents view.  In Screencheat, this is a feature.  Great fun.


We will have more coverage on independent and other games featured at PAXAus in a separate installment.  In particular Hand of Fate and Never Alone deserver more time.


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Mike Bantick

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Having failed to grow up Bantick continues to pursue his childish passions for creative writing, interactive entertainment and showing-off through adulthood. In 1994 Bantick began doing radio at Melbourne’s 102.7 3RRRFM, in 1997 transferring to become a core member of the technology show Byte Into It. In 2003 he wrote briefly for the The Age newspaper’s Green Guide, providing video game reviews. In 2004 Bantick wrote the news section of PC GameZone magazine. Since 2006 Bantick has provided gaming and tech lifestyle stories for, including interviews and opinion in the RadioactivIT section.



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