The second day of PAX Australia has come and gone and with that brought heaps of new indie games that I got the chance to demo in the PAX Rising area. I’m always impressed with the enthusiasm that comes with the indie game scene. It’s one that can be quite challenging and at times demotivating, so conventions like these are always a great reminder of the talent the industry possesses.
Here’s a quick roundup of the coverage from day two!
Speaking Simulator is a comedic physics game from Brisbane based studio Affable Games. The game has the player control an android that is trying to blend in with and infiltrate human society.
The games’ core mechanics are mainly controlling the androids mouth and tongue to certain locations by moving and clicking the mouse. Depending on how well you accomplish this movement (as it is a little tricky) will determine how people react to you while conversing with them. If you’re unsuccessful in moving the android correctly it will start breaking apart and humans “suspicion level” will rise.
Something I mentioned to Jordan Comino, one of the developers on Speaking Simulator, that the concept of the game reminded me of how people with cognitive impairments, autism and speech impediments may feel like when communicating. I’m aware that wasn’t the intention behind the game but it turned out I wasn’t the first person to say that on the show floor.
One of the people who came by to demo it even worked in speech therapy, specifically with people with autism and he mentioned that he had a similar thought relating to the game. A great game I had a look at during PAX, that does purposely tackle the subject of autism and asperges syndrome was An Aspie Life, developed by Bradley Hennessey, which is one I’d highly recommend playing as well.
Speaking Simulator is set to release on Steam in early 2019.
Table of Tales
Table of Tales is a VR tabletop adventure game developed by Tin Man Games. The studio has released several mobile titles in the past as well as games on other platforms and this is their very first game in VR.
The game takes place on a magical table that is kept in an abandoned attic. When player’s first take a seat at the table they discover it is actually a living board game that is able to conjure up different worlds at will.
It plays out just like a tactical turn-based tabletop game would, except it’s all the more immersive in virtual reality. The player is able to physically pick up each character on their pirate ship and move them around and when they’ve made their move you can see the characters actually battle it out in combat. You’re also accompanied by a talking bird called Arbitrix who narrates the story and guides you through each stage.
I quite enjoyed my time with the game, I haven’t played very many VR titles so in my opinion I’d say this is a great one to start with! The controls are easy to grasp and it’s quite fun to play through, definitely a favourite of mine from the show floor.
Brinko is a multi layered side scrolling 2D platform developed by Zain ul Hassan.
Each level tasks the player with adding platforms and objects throughout the space that will help them reach their objectives and there are only a limited number of objects the player can place throughout a level. The game has more of a focus on the world rather than the protagonist, this is something that Zain mentioned he wasn’t a fan of with a lot of video games and he said he wanted to create a game where the player had more control over how the world around them is built.
I did find the game to be quite buggy during my play through though. A lot of the time the character would slide off of a platform when I wasn’t moving him and I didn’t like that the objects were generated at random rather than choosing a specific one. However the game is still under development so there’s plenty of time for bugs to be fixed.
Brinko will be released on Nintendo Switch in 2019 and is available now on Steam.
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