2.jpgPAX West was last weekend, and it had a hefty indie presence. Expect more coverage of the games I saw at PAX in the near future, but for now here's a glimpse of what the show had to offer.

Antihero
Windows, OSX, iOS, Android | $TBA | Release TBA (Soon)

This game is a touchscreen-friendly, turn-based strategy game about building a crime empire. Set in the streets of a town one might find in a Charles Dickens novel, it features a variety of units with different abilities. Some can be upgraded, but if an upgraded unit falls, the resources spent on those upgrades can't be recovered. Developer Tim Conkling has put quite a bit of depth into it.

Asura
Windows | $TBA | Release TBA (Soon)

Developer Ogre Head Studios is a two-person operation based in India. This upcoming roguelite is loosely inspired by Indian myths and has a lot of procedural generation, including a procedurally generated skill tree. Each wedge on the tree is geared toward a set play style, but the exact skills offered vary from playthrough to playthrough.

Blasters of the Universe
VR (Vive w/ Windows) | $15 | Early Access now

This is one of the most fun games I played at PAX. I'm awful at traditional bullet hell shooters because I am awful at dodging the bullets, but in VR, it's all very intuitive. Developer The Secret Location was demoing a boss fight against the game's villain, a guy who got so excited about VR during its first wave of interest that he put himself into the world of VR. Now that VR has become popular again, the guy is torn. He wants to keep VR to himself, but has already spent decades alone.

Bleed 2
Windows, OSX, Linux | $TBA | Late 2016/Early 2017

Sequel to 2012's Bleed, developer Bootdisk Revolution describes it as "a relentless arcade action game about shooting, dodging, reflecting bullets, slowing time, and lots and lots of bosses." Check out the trailer and you'll see what they mean.

Eco
Windows | currently $40+ | Alpha available, independent crowdfunding

It's no secret that Minecraft has mass appeal. Eco functions a lot like Minecraft, but where it stands out from most Minecraft-inspired games is that it's about social and environmental responsibility. A meteor is hurtling towards the planet and players must work together to create a civilization capable of fending off a horrible fate waiting to happen without completely depleting the resources of nature.

Karma
Windows, OSX | $TBA | Releases September 2016

AuraLab's upcoming "moral choice psychedelic adventure" has the player take the part of a spirit whose aim is to banish evil from the world. However, there are good and bad ways to do this. The spirit must deal with the effects of karma, depending on the player's choices.

Open Sorcery
Web, iPhone, Android | Free-$3 | Available now

OS Screenshot 5.pngIn Abigail Corfman's Open Sorcery, the player takes on the role of a firewall (that is, a fire demon bound with C++ code) tasked with protecting humans from other demons. The web version is free of charge, but the mobile versions cost $3.

Solitairica
Windows, OSX | $12 | Available now

For those of you who like puzzle combat mechanics, this roguelite is for you. Before the player lays a path full of enemies to defeat. Each battle is an attempt to clear a solitaire board in the face of enemy tricks. The different suits give the player mana that can be used to cast spells. Spells and items granting passive abilities can be purchased with coins earned along the way. As if its clever gameplay weren't enough, it's also adorable and silly. Righteous Hammer Games has created something special in Solitairica.

StoneHearth
Windows | $25 | Early Access now

StoneHearth is a Dwarf Fortress-inspired game that's been out in early access for a while now. Just from glancing at what people were doing with it at PAX, I could see that they've made a lot of improvements in the several months since last time I took it up. If you're interested in that style of gameplay but can't get over Dwarf Fortress's interface, consider giving StoneHearth a try. And if you have StoneHearth but haven't played in a while, now is a good time to check it out again.

Tumblestone
Windows, OSX, PS4, XB1, Wii U | $25 / $10 multiplayer only | Available now

The Quantum Astrophysicists Guild's Tumblestone is a match-3 game in which the player is presented with a board full of blocks and must pull them off the board, from the bottom of the stacks, in groups of three of the same color. The goal is to clear the board, and in addition to having a large number of singleplayer stages, there's a 2-4 player mode in which the challenge is simply to beat the puzzles faster than everyone else.