10 of our favorite games from this year’s show

Some of the coolest upcoming games we saw at the show

PAX East 2022 was a strange one. It was my first time attending the show since the pandemic shuttered in-person conventions. And it was nice, getting to see old friends, new faces, and plenty of interesting indie games in Boston again.

Throughout my four days, I wandered the show floor, checking out plenty of games along the way. And to be clear, I did not see everything. Despite best efforts and a slimmer-than-usual year, there was still plenty on the floor I never got a chance to check out.

But among the list of what I did see, a few in particular stood out. So without further ado, here are some games worth keeping an eye on from PAX East 2022.

Lucid

Take a little bit of every platformer you’ve dug into the past, mix it together, and you’re somewhere in the ballpark of Lucid. It’s got a little Celeste spirit Metroidplus some time-trial speedrunning influence, and a Hyper Light Drifter-adjacent style.

But comparisons do not really do justice to seeing it in motion. It ties this all together into a game that, even in a behind-closed-screens hands-off demo, looked tight and fast. This small indie project was one of my favorites of the weekend, and though I only saw a little slice, I’m incredibly interested in seeing what developer Eric Manahan has in store for the future.

Find it on Steam here.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge

What more do I need to say? TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge turned out exactly as I’d hoped it would. It’s energetic, upbeat, easy to pick up and a blast to master.

It’s full of charm, the way you’d want a Saturday morning brawler to play. The turtles, Splinter, and April all feel unique and worth swapping around the roster to check out. I’m glad this retro brawler is shaping up so well.

Find it on Steam here.

Cursed to Golf

Someone in the comments section of my preview asked why so many indies are tackling golf in particular. It’s been a few days since, and I feel like Cursed to Golf provides the answer.

Golf itself is a malleable sport. You have clubs, a ball, and a hole you have to whack the ball into. Everything in-between is completely up to the designer; the course can take whatever twists and turns it wants. Cursed to Golf does just that, turning a grand ol ‘game of golf into a platforming, puzzle-solving, route-planning roguelike full of challenge and fun characters. It’s a clever reinterpretation in the vein of Golf Story spirit What the Golfand worth keeping an eye on.

Find it on Steam, with a demo, here.

Signalis

The demo I tried out at PAX East 2022 was actually the same one I played last year, so I do not have much new to report on the Signalis front.

That is also an incredibly good thing, as I was more than happy to play that excellent demo again and still be just as excited for the full game. This lo-fi, sci-fi survival horror with classic Resident Evil vibes is high on my watchlist. If you like horror of the technologic, extraterrestrial variety, do not let Signalis slip by.

Find it on Steam here.

Cult of the Lamb

This was one of the big surprises for me. Not because I was not aware of Cult of the Lamb; I’d seen it pop up in showcases and trailers. But I did not think I was the target demographic for this one.

Behind the admittedly fun contrast of cute and grim, beyond the roguelite action, there’s a base-building management side that captured my attention. Building a cult means building, after all. And I’m very eager to build my own adorable animal following when Cult of the Lamb finally drops.

Find it on Steam here.

Lego Bricktales

Few games have captured my childhood like Lego Bricktales, a game about physics and Lego bricks in equal measure. It’s a fun adventure through a dioramic world that lets you problem-solve with batches of plastic bricks.

Snap them together, then send across the robot and see if it holds. It’s a surprisingly simple concept that works very, very well in the world of Lego. Keep an eye on Bricktales if you want more hands-on building in your virtual Lego experiences.

Find it on Steam here.

Rusted Moss

I managed to catch a spot on the Rusted Moss set-up in the PAX Rising area between appointments, which was a surprise in and of itself. It garnered quite the crowd there, and after playing some, it’s easy to see why.

Rusted Moss has elements of bullet hell, Metroid, Contraand even Bionic Commando. It looks great, feels great to play, and swinging across gaps with my barrel blazing down on enemies felt incredible. It ticks an incredible number of boxes and, even in a short demo, made a long-lasting impression.

Find it on Steam, with a demo, here.

Potionomics

The way Potionomics mixes multiple genres I really enjoy together into one cohesive brew is pretty astounding. Sell ​​potions to meet people, date those people, get their cards, and haggle better at the store. Build decks, seek rarer ingredients, and meet the needs of a town full of adventurers and mysteries.

Throw in a dash of quite excellent character design and animation, and Potionomics seems to be coming together quite well. I’m excited to mix, socialize, and sell later on this year.

Find it on Steam here.

Demon Throttle

The pitch for Demon Throttle is pretty different from your usual game. It’s a physical-only game, for the Nintendo Switch. And while I’m cautious on the approach, I do admit, it’s a pretty fun game to play.

Demon Throttle is a pretty tough top-down shooter for two (or one person with character switching). It’s got some RPG elements in the mix, and a lot of fun jokes. The pair of heroes seek revenge against a demon: the vampiress because it took her chalices, and the gunslinger because it slept with his wife. It’s funny, very retro, and very fun. My one worry is more folks will not be able to play it, as it’s currently sold out on the site. Hopefully manufacturing does not get in the way of a good time with Demon Throttle.

WrestleQuest

Wrestling and RPGs turn out to be an incredible mix in WrestleQuest. At first glance, it’s easy to get taken in by the pixel art and turn-based battles where several fighters are duking it out in the ring.

Show up for that, but stay for the surprisingly good storytelling and tackling of darker subject matter. The narrative in this isn’t pulling punches, and it’s got a star-studded lineup of wrestling legends to boot.

Find it on Steam here.

And one last note, special PAX East 2022 shoutouts to Match Pointa competitive four-player Pong-alike that’s already out and was extremely fun to play; spirit Tough Love Arena, a free-to-play browser-based fighting game. They’re both already released, but very much worth your time.

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