PAX Keepers – These Indie Games From Penny Arcade’s Expo Are Not To Be Missed

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This Indie Game Lineup PAX a Punch

pax prime logoThe indie presence at this year’s Penny Arcade Expo outdid itself yet again with more than 88 games on display at the Indie Megabooth and Indie Minibooth. Here are a few of the efforts that really caught our attention:

Ironclad Tactics

by Zachtronics (PC, Mac, Linux)

When we first interviewed Zachtronics about Ironclad Tactics at PAX Prime 2012, the game was in alpha. Now a year later the game seems ready for prime time. This card-based tactics strategy seeks to provide a satisfying answer to the age old question: “How would the Civil War turned out if it was fought with steam-powered robots?” Play through the campaign or team up with friends in the co-op trek and and unlock additional cards.

Defeat would-be online usurpers and unlock even more cards! Customize your deck to suit your ultimate battle strategies. Did we mention that it comes with a companion graphic novel, detailing the events of the game? Because it totally does.

Check out our original interview with Zachtronics Industries from PAX Prime 2012:

Preorder Ironclad Tactics From the Official Website

Death Road to Canada

by Rocketcat Games (PC, Mac, Linux)

Fact: Zombies hate icebergs. To Canada! Assemble a team of survivors each with their own randomized perks, flaws, looks and handles – and head to the Great White North. Live through brutal action sequences while you scavenge for supplies. Make difficult choices for your team, but beware: you’ll face death at every turn…and yep…it’s the permanent kind. Featuring randomly generated levels and emergent emotional biases among the survivors this shmup adds many new layers and considerations to the genre.

Learn more at Death Road to Canada – Official Site

Death Road to Canada on Steam Greenlight

Hate Plus

by Christine Love (PC, Mac, Linux)

We Love us some Hate. So when Christine Love announced the planned release of Hate Plus, the sequel to Analogue: A Hate Story (link to our review), our collective heart was all a-flutter. A new hate story will have you investigating another catastrophic event involving a ship whose failed mission was to colonize space.

Like its predecessor, Hate Plus promises a dark look at some of humanity’s greatest strengths and darker historic periods from the distance of science fiction abstraction, ultimately revealing how they can gradually bring us down.

Get Hate Plus on Steam

That Dragon, Cancer

by Ryan Green and Josh Larson (Ouya)

This interactive adventure game retells the ongoing tale of Ryan and Amy Green’s journey. Their son Joel is now in year three of treatment for Atypical Teratoid Rhaboid Tumor, a rare and deadly form of cancer.

To learn more about That Dragon Cancer, visit the official website.

To follow Joel’s amazing progress and to offer support, visit


by Compulsion Games (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360)

Dawn who is Didi’s imaginary friend has the ability to cross from the the real world to the two dimensional other realm by becoming her own shadow. Bring light and shadow together to travel through this highly creative bizarre Vaudevillian noir fantasy adventure that plays with 3D into 2D space by way of some very clever mechanics.

Visit the offical website of Compulsion Games


by Metanet Software (PC, PS4)

Now with more pluses! One of the original new wave indie success stories is back with its latest batch of deadly run-and-jump minimalist design goodness. In addition to multiplayer modes, N++ offers over 2000(!) levels that come with the game, and a level editor that promises to provide countless hours of mopping up ninja parts. Be ready to scratch your eyes out as you give just one more try. People who hate wall-jumping need not apply.

Visit the official Metanet Software website.

Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number

by Dennaton Games (PC, Mac, Linux, PS4)

As violence is said to beget violence, it follows that the sequel to Hotline Miami is going to be a bloody mess (in the best way possible). Numerous playable characters add to the brutality, culminating in a freakishly distorted conclusion to the surreal, drug-addled fable constructed in the original game.

Visit the official Dennaton Games website


by 17-bit Games (PS4)

The creators of Skulls of the Shogun (link to our review) are taking the battle to space in this PlayStation 4 exclusive. Pilot spacecraft inspired by anime favorites from the 70’s and 80’s, and take on all challengers in an open galaxy. Newtonian physics and enemies powered by Cyntient AI ramp up the dog-fighting difficulty level. But don’t worry – in space, no one can hear you cuss as you chuck your controller. Your neighbors, on the other hand…

Visit the official 17-Bit Games website

Lifeless Planet

by Stage 2 Productions (PC, Mac)

Inspired by Ico, The Dig and Another World (Out of This World in North America), this sci-fi epic project – featuring lots of bloom effects on a beautifully rendered 3D adventure world – is the handiwork of David Board, the game’s sole developer. What begins as an exploration of a desolate planet leads to the discovery of an abandoned Russian base.

What other bizarre secrets await you on this desert world?

Visit the official Lifeless Planet website

Don’t Starve

by Klei Games (PC, Playstation 4)

I’m not a scientist, but I’d like to think that if I were, and I hit a creative block, I wouldn’t start taking cues from the evil voices coming from my transistor radio. Wilson doesn’t exhibit such restraint, and after creating a wicked device, he is pulled through a portal to a strange new land. He is without a lab, a roof over his head, and most importantly, food! Wilson will have to figure out a way to survive in this otherworldly destination if he is to prevent himself from starving to death.

We had a chance to see Don’t Starve last year at PAX 2012:

Don’t Starve continues to amaze us, as it has taken community input to heart, and is constantly updating the core content of the game. While it has been in release for several months, first on Google’s Play store and then on Steam, the sizable amount of content that has been added since we first encountered it at PAX Prime 2012 makes this a whole new entity.


by Nyamyam (iPad)

Tengami’s rich storytelling experience takes place within a lovingly crafted Japanese pop-up book. Turn pages and pull tabs to reveal the gorgeous secrets this snow and sakura blossom-blanketed realm have to offer.

We had a chance to speak with the developers of Tengami at IndieCade 2012:

Visit the official Nyamyam website

The Moonlighters

by Rad Dragon Games

Lost count after Ocean’s 13? Start over with the Moonlighters. This lawless band of 1950’s crooners is out to make those no good Rock n’ Rollers pay…literally. Plan your heist carefully, and then spring into action.

Visit the official Rad Dragon website

The above are of course just a sampling of the many excellent future indie stars on display. We would be remiss not to mention Escape Goat 2, The Stanley Parable, Hot Tin and others…but hey:

Check out the rest of the 88+ games featured at Indie Mega Booth site