Earlier this month our team had the pleasure of spending four exhausting but glorious game-filled days in beautiful downtown Seattle for PAX West 2019, and naturally found ourselves at SIX (Seattle Indies Expo) while in town as well. We played so many fantastic indie games and met with such amazing, talented, and passionate developers that it really kicked off our excitement for the upcoming gaming year, as well as our future plans for Tri-North Studios. We decided to share with you, in no particular order, a few of our favourites from the weekend.
Hot Shot Burn
This couch and online co-op action brawler allows up to four players to have a friendly (or not so friendly) battle with a focus on getting those kill shots! We started out playing with some kids who were at the booth at Pax, and while we were unfortunately destroyed by the two of them, we also had a blast trying to find a way to match their skills. Recently we had the honour of streaming this game and it was absolute mayhem. Rumour has it the character of Umad is a bit 'OP', but we never told you that. 😉
The developers have created an amazing sandbox style game where you make the ultimate decisions as you role-play with your character. Mixed with the ability to influence both the environment and surrounding NPCs, this game takes everything we like about D&D style game play and cranks it up to 3000. This is definitely one to watch when it comes out in 2020. Wishlist it now on Steam, and definitely check out more from the Montreal-based developers, Spearhead Games.
Mixing an amazing world full of quests and some farming thrown in there as well, this game has you hopping from island to island to survive and solve the mysteries contained within the islands. We walked past this one several times before we had a chance to sit down and play it, and it grabbed our attention every time! Crafting recipes, solving puzzles, farming, fishing, and a beautiful setting has us sold. Releases later this year on Steam, and get more info from Merge Games
Lost Words: Beyond the Page
The beautiful artwork of this game drew us in immediately, but the unique and fun puzzle-solving game play kept us there long enough that we had to force ourselves to pull away because we could've stayed there all day! Running along the words in the journal, manipulating them to create platforms, open doodles and secrets was a wonderfully refreshing way to unlock new pages and scenes. Eventually the game also opens up to a beautiful platformer world as well.
The game is beautiful, relaxing, and challenging enough to be engaging. I couldn’t stop thinking about it the entire weekend. It made me want to redesign my own personal journal to some sort of game style, but I definitely can’t draw like that. Lost Words is already generating buzz and winning awards, and I’ll definitely be scooping it up when it’s released, hopefully later this year, eventually on PS4, Xbox, Switch, and Steam.
Again, the stunning artwork brought us into this initially, but who can actually resist a game where you’re tasked with rebuilding a cat café... AND you can ride on the cats like horses!? Decorate cakes? Pet doggies? Say no more. We're sold. Unfortunately we'll have to wait until 2020 for Calico, but something tells us this magical world is worth it. Definitely check out more games from Whitethorn Digital in the meantime.
Garden Story is an adorable looking RPG where you play as what can only be described as a grape, since you're a cute purple character named Concord. Visually reminiscent of Stardew Valley and Forager, this adorable game emphasizes helping your community to save the Grove. We unfortunately didn’t get a chance to get our hands on it directly because while it was featured at SIX, the station was used up the entire time we were there, which is a great sign. Expected release is Spring 2020, but you can wishlist Garden Story on Steam and get more info at www.gardenstory.com.
Wildfire is admittedly a game that we honestly didn’t think we would have as much with as we did. A puzzle game, with a unique old school style that has you saving houses from the spreading fire. Your goal is to put space between the homes and the fire by moving the tiles around and avoiding the traps. Move your house from the fire or the fire from your house. Whatever works! Adding in things like quick spreading grass, or wind to the equation just made it that much more interesting. Check this game out at wildfire.fun for a sneak peek!
Epic Tavern mixes a combination of running a tavern, and convincing the patrons to take part in quests. You basically run everything from your tavern and help your adventures with unique upgrades, plus you reward them with beer. Is this real life? No, unfortunately, but this is definitely a cool change from the dice rolling formula and adds a unique spin on tradition adventure games! Check it out right now with early access on Steam.
Jet Kave Adventure
Lastly, but far from last on our list comes Jet Kave Adventure, a side scrolling adventure that mixes cavemen, dinosaurs and unique alien abilities. After playing a pile of side scrolling indie games, I kept coming back to this one for its unique take on its world and the tight controls. Jet Kave Adventure JUST released in the eShop on September 17th, so go out and get it right meow!
And there you have it, your first look at our hottest picks from Pax West 2019. Be sure to like our video above, and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more videos from Tri-North Studios. We'd love to hear what your favourite games are from the list!
All media, aside from some Wildfire gameplay, was supplied by the developers and/or publishers of the games. No copyright infringement is intended. Music ©Tri-North Studios 2019.