Indiescovery Episode 7: the best indies we played at PAX East 2023
The best of the best from Boston
It's episode seven of Indiescovery and this week, wow, the gang is tired. With a busy four days in Boston for PAX East, mine and Liam's brains were basically mush last week, so Rebecca - an absolute angel - graciously said she could host a special PAX East episode where she chats with Liam and me about the indies we saw on the show floor and try desperately to string together a coherent sentence. She also made bulletpoints of our entire chat so writing up the shownotes would be easier; we do not deserve her.
Saying that, our exhaustion doesn't stop us from kicking up a riot over the BAFTA Game Awards at the start of the episode. We then delve into our PAX East indie round up and, as always, we end with our current hyperfixations.
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It was the BAFTA Game Show the night before we recorded this episode, so we start off chatting about what we thought of the winners and a general natter about the nominations. The three of us were very happy that Vampire Survivors won big, snatching the awards for both Game Design and Best Game, but we also thought that some other games were snubbed. Rebecca's particular beef was that cat sim Stray didn't take home any awards (a sentiment that Liam had some spicy words about), and I felt particularly attacked over the fact that Citizen Sleeper missed out on Game Beyond Entertainment. We all agreed with Tunic and Rollerdrome winnng an award or two though - we love to see it.
Onto the PAX chat! Rebecca is keen to know more about Demonschool and Goodbye Volcano High, so I jump into why both games are pretty great. In one, you fisticuff with a slew of demons that have entered our plane from an open gate to the depths of hell, and the other is a sweet coming-of-age tale about teen dinosaurs who want to make it big as an indie band. I'll let you figure out which is which.
Liam then chats about Pacific Drive, a survival roguelite roadtrip where you need to navigate an area in the Pacific Norwest called the Olympic Exclusion Zone, scavenging for resources to keep your station wagon running while dealing with the zone's strange anomalies. It sounds SO GOOD and I cannot not hide how gutted I am that I missed out on this demo. Decieved. Bamboozled. Swindled.
We then jump into Wrestle Story (and, by association, WrestleQuest and Wrestling With Emotions), after which I bring up the chaotic junk food-swiping sim Pizza Possum, an arcade-style hide-and-seek game about being a ravenous possum.
The penultimate game on our list is Cobalt Core, a cool-looking sci-fi roguelike with cute animals and fun deckbuilding that Liam played. Continuing on with the themes of animals and roguelikes, we finish with both Liam and I saying how much we enjoyed Animal Well, our bestest best indie pick of the entire show.
For our hyperfixations, Liam chats about how PowerWash Simulator has taken up his evenings, which leads to us all chatting about the game's DLC and then onto some incredibly feral conversation about a Life Is Strange DLC which I'll leave for you to listen to without spoiling. Rebecca's hyperfixation is Life Is Strange: Steph's Story, a LiS novel written by Rosiee Thor (if you're an RPS supporter you can Rebecca's good words about Steph's Story in last week's supporter post). I finish the pod by banging on about how much I love pins. I blame PAX's pinny arcade and Fangamer for making such nice pins.