PAX RISING: THE INDIE GAMES OF PAX AUS Online 2021

PAX RISING: THE INDIE GAMES OF PAX AUS Online 2021

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Sadly, PAX AUS was cancelled as a live event again in 2021 due to the ongoing COVID situation. Luckily though, with everything learned from last year’s event, the show went back to an online version. Although it is not the same as meeting up with friends to play some of the latest games, PAX AUS Online still gave us the opportunity to chat virtually with some of the Indie developers who have been putting their blood, sweat and tears into their wonderful creations. And despite it being an online event, for the first time at PAX AUS, tabletop games were included into the Indie showcase, as so we thought we’d check out both the PC titles and tabletop titles


Blueberry (PC) – Mellow Games
PAX RISING: THE INDIE GAMES OF PAX AUS Online 2021

Blueberry is an emotional platform puzzle game that follows the journey of a woman’s life from birth through to death. The platforming sections have players climbing a tower from bottom to top, with the tower representing four life phases of Blueberry. Within the levels are doors that represent Blueberry’s memories – which can be uncovered by completing the puzzles within. Completing each puzzle will provide the player with puzzle pieces. Memory links can also be found which will enable Blueberry to revisit her memories and open up new areas (or previously repressed memories).
Each of the life phases is beautifully symbolized with use of different colours and backing music. For example, when Blueberry is in her brooding teenage phase, the colours become darker and the music is more angsty and grungy.
Blueberry has taken inspiration from movie Memento and video games To the Moon, Night in the Woods, and Florence, but has been developed with personal experiences. Even in this stage of its development, Blueberry is looking lovely, and the deep narrative will make for an emotional experience for gamers.

Check out and Wishlist Blueberry on Steam

Vault of the Void (PC) – Spidernest Games
PAX RISING: THE INDIE GAMES OF PAX AUS Online 2021

Vault of the Void is a single player roguelite deck building game that has players collecting cards as they progress towards the Void, swapping them out depending on the task at hand. Before entering each combat scenario, players know their foes and can select their deck accordingly, essentially giving more control to the player. The game (currently in Steam Early Access) has four classes with which players can play, with in excess of 300 cards that players can collect and use. The game allows for multiple strategies, as each card has unique upgrades and can be infused with Void Stones which give them a new set of abilities.
Vault of the Void has a strong Magic: The Gathering vibe with the keywords, and although it is a single-player game with set encounters, the strategy comes with choosing the correct cards for each encounter. The developers have focused on limiting randomness through the maps, allowing players to enter each battle with the knowledge of what is to come. With some lovely Blizzard-style visuals, some cool animations and the promise of further classes being added, Vault of the Void has all the hallmarks of a deck-building classic. We’ll be keeping an eye on the game through its Early Access phase.

Check out Vault of the Void in Steam Early Access

Floating Floors (Tabletop) – Guf Studios
PAX RISING: THE INDIE GAMES OF PAX AUS Online 2021

Floating Floors is a tactile game inspired by the novel Across the Nightingale Floor, which detailed the use of the moving Nightingale Floors in feudal Japan. These were thought to be used as an ancient security system to ward off enemy ninja.
In the game, players must traverse a 2x3 grid (or 3x3 for three or four players) in a bid to collect all your opponent’s Bansen seals. But players must travel over the grid using a series of floating floorboards that can be tilted, causing players to fall. Players will use special pieces – known as Jutsu – to build platforms for the floorboards, or to use as counterweights for your Ninja to safely navigate across. All this while keeping their Ninja camouflaged on their coloured tiles (players are either light ninja or shadow ninja) or Jutsu. Floating Floors is a simple strategic game, but one that can be played with children as young as eight, but requires some balancing dexterity – not to the same degree as Jenga though.

Visit Guf Studios, or check out the virtual version via the Tabletop Simulator on Steam


Innchanted (PC) – DragonBear Studios
PAX RISING: THE INDIE GAMES OF PAX AUS Online 2021

We’ve had a chance to look at Innchanted previously, but the team at DragonBear Studios have been hard at work adding to the game that has players running a magical inn. Similar to team focused games such as Overcooked, Innchanted has teams of players (up to four) completing the various tasks for the inn’s magical clientele. Players mix and serve potions, cook food, collect tips, and prevent the wizard’s henchmen from stealing the inn’s hard-earned gold.
The developers have also been feverishly improving the companion AI so that the single-player game provides for a better experience, as well as adding an online multiplayer co-op option. With lockdowns, the local couch co-op might have been difficult, so each of these two new features will make the game more playable when you’re home alone.
But of course, it still retains the fun local co-op experience that can be enjoyed with friends or family in this colourful and cute family friend game. The game features delightfully cheerful characters with an Australian flavour that will bring families together during lockdowns. With the game adding advanced potion making, more monsters and more of the wizard’s shenanigans as well as a host of minor, but improved UI adjustments, Innchanted is definitely one we're keeping a close eye on.

Wishlist Innchanted on Steam and check out a trailer below