The Adult Swim Games booth was tucked into the far corner of the Indie Megabooth at PAX East 2015, but that didn’t stop their high profile presence at the show. For two years now, Adult Swim has been putting out a parade of indie hits, and they had a full lineup at the booth outlining the rest of their year. Always excited to see more from the people that brought me Super Puzzle Platformer Deluxe and Jazzpunk, I hit them up on Day 1 and played them all. Here is a preview of what’s in store.
As I was heading over to the booth, I was aware of most of the game I would be playing. However, the most intriguing member of their booth was one I hadn’t heard of before. Rain World, which was described by its developer as a “Survival Platformer”, played to me like a souped up version of Feeding Frenzy. You play as a white ferret-type creature known as a slugcat. You have to use your wits and speed to outrun a large array of vicious predators and sneak through tight corridors. You can pick up spears and rocks to throw at your foes, but your best bet it to just outrun everything while you feed on as many bats as you can before the rains force you back to shelter. The graphics and animations were charming, and the foe’s unpredictable nature lead to a demo that was hard to put down. Rain World comes out in the summer.
Traverser is a top-down puzzle game with stealth elements. It has the typical Portal “test chamber” set-up along with some cubes and a gravity gun, so you know a bit of what to expect if you add in a focus on sneaking. The game’s character all have that distinctive style that reminds me of vinyl figures brought to life, although the cut-scenes are animated in a minimalistic 2D style which mixes with the gameplay pretty well. It was impossible to hear the game on the show floor, and there was quite a bit of dialogue going on in the portion I played, so it’s best to look forward to the full experience when the game comes out in May on Steam.
Ghost Song was one of several games heavily influenced by Metroid that were shown at this year’s show. You crash land on what appears to be an alien world and now you have only your limited blaster and a sense of exploration to fight the lonely atmosphere around you. The graphics aren’t going for an SNES style here though, it looks like a modern experience, recalling the same strange place players explored in The Swapper. So for those looking for a Metroidvania with a modern edge, Ghost Song will be heading to PC, Mac and Linux in the Fall.
Another big inspiration among indie developers at this year’s show was Dark Souls, and Death’s Gambit might skew closer to the source material than anything else on the floor. It is so linked to its inspiration that the text when you die and pick up the in-game equivalent of “souls” is basically ripped straight out of the original games. As for the gameplay, it is what you’d expect, just squashed onto a 2D plane. There is dodge rolling, very deliberate attacks, and giant boss-type characters to bang your head against. The game is still very early on, so lots could change, but this game might be something to pick up to keep your sun praising skills from getting rusty.
One game from the booth is one that you might have already demoed yourself. A limited version of Westerado: Double Barreled, an open world cowboy RPG, was included in a recent Humble Bundle, and the main game is looking like an excellent expansion on that demo. It’s a game focused equally on NPC dialogue interactions and gunplay, and you can choose to shoot whoever you choose and face the story consequences. Each scenario can therefore play out in numerous ways and the entire game lends itself well to experimentation. You won’t have long to wait for this release, as the game looks to release next month.
Rounding out the booth was Duck Game, a frantic local multiplayer game with shotgun wielding ducks, and Rise and Shine, which is a puzzle platformer with beautiful graphics, complex mechanics, and a bunch of winks and nods at gaming culture. It was a very varied lineup, and the games will be coming out in rapid succession up to early next year. It’s an impressive field, and it served as a great start to a show full of weird and wonderful independent titles.
What do you think of the latest from Adult Swim Games? Tell us in the comments below and look out for more PAX East 2015 previews all this week!