Upcoming PAX West Exhibit Dev Chats – Collecting reader questions!


Dear Readers,

I expect to be meeting with a number of developers at PAX West to discuss their upcoming or recently released games, and I want to include interview questions from you! I’ll happily incorporate as many questions as I can in any time I have with the devs for these awesome indie games.

Below, in no specific order, I’ve listed each of the respective studios and the games they are showing that I’ll be trying to speak with a representative about. You can look forward to eventual reviews for almost all of them!

Haven – The Game Bakers

Haven is one of the games I’m probably most excited about at PAX West. I’ve had my eye on it from the moment it was announced by the team that made Furi.

“Like Furi, Haven is about fighting for freedom. 

Haven is about two characters, Yu and Kay, a couple in love. They escaped to a deserted planet to stay together. You play both of them, you live with them, you explore fragmented planet Source with them, gliding over the tall grass.

It’s a completely different pace. It’s a game that aims at making you feel relaxed, making you laugh, making you fall in love with Yu and Kay. It feels good for all types of players, skilled and less skilled. It’s a solo game that’s welcoming for another player to tag along, so you can explore and progress together.  “

– The Game Bakers

Backbone – Eggnut

Another title high on my list and the result of a successful Kickstarter: Backbone is a dystopian noir adventure in which you play as a detective racoon in a future where your species decides your place in society.

From their Kickstarter page – “Backbone combines the visual and social contrasts of film noir with anthropomorphic animals, retrofuturistic technologies, and dystopian fiction. Crawl through the dark alleys of pixelated Vancouver, and experience the impactful storyline focused on themes of power and prejudice.”

Calico – CatBean Studio

I kickstarted Calico several months ago and I am absolutely hyped to meet the makers of this adorable game. Calico is about magical girls running cat cafes on an island where you’ll befriend animals, bring them home, and customize your shop full of them in this “unapologetically feminine” (love it!) cafe management sim.

Evolution – North Star Games

Evolution is the digitized Switch version of the very cool board game by the same name. It’s about, well animal evolution! Are you seeing an animal theme in my game preferences so far? If not, you will! I’m a massive sucker for critters in games.

Freshly Frosted – Quantum Astrophysicists Guild

QAG is run by a college friend of mine I haven’t seen in quite some time, whose excellent industry advice was 100% paramount in helping me grow Backlog Crusader to where it is now. His team is most well known for puzzle game The Bridge and I’m excited to see their new puzzle game about a donut factory, Freshly Frosted! This friend is also one of the minds behind the Seattle Indies Expo that overlaps PAX at a nearby location, which I will also be attending and reporting on.

NIRV Ann-A and World of Horror – Ysbryd Games

Ysbryd is presenting two interesting games that were previously not on my radar, but now totally are. One is a cyberpunk, dialogue based, bartender game, a la Red Strings Club, but more detailed and deep, with a splash of anime. The other is World of Horror, a highly concerning roguelite, point and click RPG about Lovecraftian horror.

Spiritfarer – Thunder Lotus

You might have heard about Spiritfarer, the much anticipated title from Thunder Lotus, the makers of Jotun and Sundered. I love games that make you feel something, so this one really caught my interest.

From their PR campaign – “In Spiritfarer, you play Stella, ferrymaster to the deceased. Build a boat to explore the world, then befriend and care for spirits before finally releasing them into the afterlife. Farm, mine, fish, harvest, cook, and craft your way across mystical seas. Join the adventure as Daffodil the cat, in two-player cooperative play. Spend relaxing quality time with your spirit passengers, create lasting memories, and, ultimately, learn how to say goodbye to your cherished friends. “

Creature in the Well – Fight School Studio

The Switch really needs more good pinball games, so I was pleased to see Creature in the Well on the PAX indie games list. This is another title I’ve had my eye on for a while after I spotted it on Reddit.

From their Nintendo store page – “Creature in the Well is a top-down, pinball-inspired, hack-and-slash dungeon crawler. As the last remaining BOT-C unit, venture deep into a desert mountain to restore power to an ancient facility, haunted by a desperate Creature. Uncover and upgrade powerful gear in order to free the city of Mirage from a deadly sandstorm.”

Where the Bees Make Honey – Wakefield Interactive

Another “feels-y” game that caught my interest, Where the Bees Make Honey is a nostalgic puzzler coming to all consoles and PC.

“Where the Bees Make Honey tells a story about reflecting on different moments from a childhood, which are played and experienced from an adult perspective. At its core Where the Bees Make Honey is a puzzle adventure game, but gameplay variation is filtered throughout. It’s a dreamy, ethereal, and thoughtfully crafted experience about nostalgia. The game is capturing that grace period in a childhood where playing dress up was larger than life and changed the environments around you. “

– Whitethorn Digital

Liberated Walkabout

I haven’t seen anything quite like Liberated before, personally. It’s a playable graphic novel, not a visual novel game – literally all the interactive action elements play out inside the animated panels of a comic book. The cultural themes give me Mirror’s Edge vibes.

“Leap into the frame of a graphic novel, where classic motion comic storytelling transitions into fully playable action sections in a story about technological surveillance squeezing society’s freedom away. “

– Walkabout

Wave Break – Funktronic Labs

Okay, Wave Break is like… Tony Hawk Pro Skater meets animals, meets surfing, meets vaporwave, and it’s RAD, dude! Seriously. It’s been a while since we’ve had a well made skateboarding or snowboard style game on a Nintendo platform and Wave Break might be just the scratch for that itch. It looks so fun!

Biped – NEXT Studios

I’ll be checking out Biped on a day when my significant other will be at PAX with me just so we can try this adorable co-op, physics-based puzzle game together. It looks as if inspired by the Portal 2 robots, with NEXT Studios own personality infused.

Quench – Axon Interactive

Quench is a lovely game set in the African wilderness full of all of the animals! I actually already have a key for this one, but unfortunately the Switch version suffers from frame rate lag so I am waiting for an optimization patch which is coming before winter, then I’ll dive back in to review it.

“Become Shepherd, an avatar of nature, and guide herds of animals on their perilous journey. Help Shaman, the young Elephant leader, convince the other animal tribes to join her. Protect the herds as they are beset by flood, fire, drought, and the dark smokebeasts that have spread across the land.”

– Axon Interactive

Minute of Islands – Studio Fizbin

The style of Minute of Islands game immediately made me think of Adventure Time and other adult cartoons, both cute and bizzare!

” Explore a strange and wonderful archipelago in this classic comic-style adventure. Guide young mechanic Mo on a journey to find the strength to let go in a world about to collapse. The powerful Omni Switch at your disposal may not be enough to fix all that is broken…”

– Minute of Islands’ Steam page

Indivisible – Lab Zero Games

From the makers of Skullgirls comes a action platformer about Anja… “a girl who embarks on a global journey to discover the truth behind her mysterious powers. During her quest, she is joined by a variety of unique heroes, gaining new abilities to traverse different environments and defeat enemies encountered along the way.” – Lab Zero Games

Best Friend Forever – Starcolt

BFF was just announced literally today and landed in the middle of my animal game radar. Can’t wait to check this one out!

“Best Friend Forever is the world’s first simulation game to combine pet care and dating (just not necessarily at the same time). Train, pat and play with your very own dog to form a bond that will last the ages. With your four-legged companion by your side, meet, woo and cherish the many cuties of Rainbow Bay’s thriving singles scene.”

– Bfforever.dog

Falcon Age – Outer Loop Games

The only non-Switch game on my appointment list, Falcon Age is a VR RPG with combat based on falconry, you can raise and interact with your falcon, and I MUST PLAY THIS GAME! It is out on PS4, which I don’t have. Fortunately my partner has a Vive setup in our apartment so I’ll be able to play and review it when it released on PC VR, my tendency toward motion sickness be damned!

That’s it for now! Please leave any questions you have about these games in the comments or email them to angeline@backlogcrusader.com. If you have any requests for specific games or studios you would like to read about from the PAX West exhibitor list, please let me know as well and I’ll do my best to visit them on site. Annapurna, Devolver Digital, and Supergiant Games are all on my visit list already, if possible. I am simply jazzed for the trip out to Seattle and I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

If you like what you read and want to support the blog, please consider making a $1 pledge on the Backlog Crusader Patreon and joining our growing Discord community! Every little bit helps with things such as the coast to coast flight tickets and PAX housing arrangements. Cheers to my patrons who have my most sincere gratitude!



8 comments on “Upcoming PAX West Exhibit Dev Chats – Collecting reader questions!”

  1. No particular questions I don’t think, but still very keen to see what you come back with.

    Haven looks interesting though. The suggestion of such a storyline allowing co-op though makes me oddly uncomfortable. No matter who I imagine myself playing it with. Including even my wife, were she into games.

    Just me?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hmm. I think it is to do with the degree of putting self into the role of the characters being played, or if not that exactly then certainly around the degree of empathy for the characters being played.

        Playing a storyline about characters in love then starts to head out into shaky ground in a co-op environment. Not really sure I can articulate more than that even to myself though. Will give it some thought.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Interesting perspective comment from the Devs! For me I wouldn’t see it that way playing, not in co-op. In single player maybe yes.

        Co-op I think, one would be ‘me’ and one would be ‘you’.

        If there is a romantic element to the game, even if a non sexual one, that would be an odd experience.

        Maybe there is enough for a post here actually.

        Liked by 1 person

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