HANDS ON: PAX Australia Indie Showcase – Part 1

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PAX-AUS

Every year at every PAX event, they choose a small number of indie developers to be featured as part of their Indie Showcase. At this year’s PAX Australia, a panel of gaming industry peers had to choose six of the best out of the nearly 100 submissions – and Ashton Bernard and Adrian Cajili have written their quick thoughts on them.

Screen Cheat (Samurai Punk)

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Melbourne developers Samurai Punk’s newest creation Screen Cheat has been receiving a lot of attention at this years PAX Australia. Turning what was once a LAN gaming cardinal sin into a fun and innovative title. All players are invisible and are forced to ‘screen cheat’ to find and kill enemy players, with a wacky variety of weaponry.

The game was turning heads in the Indie Pavilion and Xbox booths, not only because of its gameplay, but the colourful design. Screencheat was a challenging mix of staring at your own screen and that of your three opponents. Whilst some of us certainly struggled at times to find our bearings others were more adept at screencheating, probably from years of practice right Adrian! The creative inspiration for the game was derived from classic LAN console shooters such as Halo: Combat Evolved and the original Golden-eye. Screencheat is currently available on PC and is available at GOG, Humble store and of course Steam.

Gunscape (Blowfish Studios)

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The second indie showcase title we had a look at today was Gunscape, a game that mixes the creativity of Minecraft with the first-person shooter mechanics of OG shooters like Wolfenstein and Doom. Gunscape is a throwback to these older generation of shooters with the majority of maps generated by users. Speaking with the devs, we discovered that re-creating the entire Wolfenstein campaign is a real possibility, with a vast array of different textures to help create truly unique maps.

The creative map mode feels very much like Minecraft with four players being able to simultaneously sculpt out their perfect map. Gunscape feels akin to these primordial shooters in both its shooting mechanics and its stylistic version.

Airscape: The Fall of Gravity (Cross-Product)

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Airscape follows the adventures of a cute, but courageous little octopus in an effort to save fellow sea creatures lost amidst the obscure gravity of the planet. The platforming utilises multiple changes in gravity and water suspended in order to help traverse the increasingly difficult levels throughout the story.

Whilst we only managed to play a few rounds, Airscape definitely felt polished, from crisp jumping mechanisms, smooth transitions between changing gravitational pulls and even little things like the menu and UI usability.

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