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We are just finishing up all of our many interviews from PAX Aus and what with the recent successes of Australian indies like Hollow Knight and Untitled Goose Game, I can easily say that there are some great games in the pipeline. So here are 13 games from PAX Aus that we can confidently say should be on your radar…

Best Friend Forever

Developer Starcolt
Publisher Alliance
Release Date February 14, 2020

If you’ve ever thought about combining pet management and dating sim games in one, apparently you weren’t the only one. Starcolt are making a game that is just that and when our co-writer Rachelle started playing, we had trouble pulling her away. The charm, the humour and the cute little doggos with those smooshy little faces… ahem, well it’s safe to say I know what I’ll be doing next Valentine’s Day.

Brief Battles

Developer Juicy Cupcake
Release Date Late 2019 / Early 2020

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is great and all, but can you throw your underpants at enemies and embrace the power of the butt in it? Brief Battles is a 1-4 player multiplayer party game that will have you battling it out across 50 arenas, all of which will test your abilities. In addition to its charm, the gameplay is tight and the ludicrous concept had us smiling from ear-to-ear.

Broken Roads

Developer Drop Bear Bytes
Release Date 2021

Set in the beautiful outback of Australia, Broken Roads is a post-apocalyptic isometric RPG in the same vein as the original Fallout and Baldur’s Gate games. With XCOM-style strategy combat that utilises the depth of its surroundings, Broken Roads has gone that extra mile to make every detail feel alive. On top of all that, Broken Roads features a deep morality system that takes the form of the Moral Compass, meaning that your decisions and actions will have an overarching effect on the paths you take. Broken Roads is shaping up to be one of those games that simply cannot be ignored.

Camped Out

Developer INCA Studios
Release Date Mid 2020

Camped Out is a cooperative multiplayer game about setting up camp before nightfall. Build a tent, start a campfire, catch fish, chop up some wood and do so whilst communicating with those around you. We had a lot of fun playing Camped Out and we were instantly drawn in to communicate with one another, whether that be cooperating or bossing each other around. Camped Out may just reveal the true side of your loved ones… you have been warned.

Chaos Tavern

Developed by Dragonbear Studios
Release Date 2020 Q4

If you like cooperative party games, then we’ve got yet another one for you. Chaos Tavern has you and your friends serving food and drinks to adventures in a tavern that’s set in a unique Australian fantasy world. Monsters will arrive to disrupt your work and you can choose to either fight or feed them, but the developers wouldn’t say what either choice does… mysterious! All-in-all, Chaos Tavern has certainly caught our attention.

The Drifter

Developed by Powerhoof
Release Date TBA

The Drifter is a “pulp thriller” point and click adventure game set in a fictional Melbourne, Victorian city. The protagonist is an ex-physics teacher who is down on his luck and revisiting the town he grew up in. With a gruff Australian accent, the voice acting immediately stands out to where the flow of the first chapter that was shown off at PAX left me wanting more. Lastly, Powerhoof have been working on an ingenious method of control interaction to make The Drifter work seamlessly in TV Mode – check out our interview to learn more.

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Grabimals

Developed by Sad & Son
Release Date TBA

Grabimals is a 1-4 player physics puzzle game that has you and your friends controlling tetromino-like characters with dangly connecting arms in order to complete objectives. The puzzles start off simple enough so that players can get an understanding of the gameplay, but they soon become very creative to the point where we found ourselves taken aback by the creativity. That and the graphics are so colourful, making the game feel right at home on Switch.

Hollow Knight: Silksong

Developed by Team Cherry
Release Date 2020

We got to go hands on with Hollow Knight: Silksong and let me just say, the game is incredible. It’s no secret that the original Hollow Knight is very well received by us from Switchaboo, being the only game to have a review score of 100% and is featured #1 on our top indie list. In this sequel, you play as Hornet, a character who frequently appeared in the first instalment. The game feels just as smooth as the original and from the trailer above, you can see just how beautiful the game’s presentation is. So excited!

Infliction

Developed by Caustic Reality
Published by Blowfish Studios
Release Date Early 2020

Infliction is an atmospheric horror game that by the end of the demo, had my heart racing and goosebumps up and down my arms. The game begins with a horrible tragedy and you learn about the events leading up to it ten years prior. Whilst exploring an eery house, you are not alone. What was described to us as a “horrible AI” continues to hunt you down and once she spots you, it’s usually too late. I was also surprised by the game’s level of detail, meaning that a lot of love has clearly gone into this one.

Kung Fu Kickball

Developed by WhaleFood Games
Published by Blowfish Studios
Release Date 2020 Q1

Sometimes, all you want is to invite some friends over and play some kickball with some badass martial arts moves. But instead of breaking a window, Kung Fu Kickball lets you play 1v1 or 2v2 games where you score a goal by kicking the ball into your bell. The concept is simple, but the mayhem had us laughing and smiling for the entire two three minute games that we played.

The Rewinder

Developed by Misty Mountain Studio
Release Date TBA

The Rewinder is a point and click puzzle game that is inspired by Chinese mythology and folklore. With beautiful pixel art animations and whimsical landscapes, I found myself just wanting to stop for a second to take it all in. In The Rewinder, you’ll play as a special agent who helps the spirits of death be reborn to the living world. What had me intrigued was the use of time as you can travel back and forth and the consequences that then has on puzzles. For example, if you were to plant a seed in the past, it will grow into a tree in the future. I’m excited to see what else Misty Mountain Studio has in store for The Rewinder.

Rooftop Renegade

Developed by Melonhead Games
Release Date Mid 2020

In Rooftop Renegade, you can either play as the runner or the gunner authorities. Only one player can be the runner and they’re tasked with making it to the end as quickly as possible in order to get the highest score. The other players play as authority gunners who are tasked with shooting down objects and platforms in order to slow the runner down. It’s a creative party game that ran silky smooth at 60fps where it never skipped a beat.

Squidgies Takeover

Developed by Giant Margarita
Release Date November 2019

Squidgies Takeover is a physics puzzle game that requires you to use various power-ups to get the cute little guys to safety, but often at the risk of sacrificing another. The game is exclusive to the Nintendo Switch and utilises the Switch’s hardware by allowing you to play it either in handheld mode with the touchscreen or with the Joy-Cons’ gyro accelerometer in the same way that you’d use a Wii Remote. It’s an easy game to pickup and play but very difficult to master, so it’s perfect for players of all ages!

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Posted by Alex Harding

Lover of chocolate and admirer of video games, Alex is the chief writer/editor of Switchaboo.