While tabletop gaming, pop culture and cosplay all have their place at PAX Australia, video games are often the centerpiece of the annual Melbourne convention. Here are our highlights when it comes to the video games that we saw at this year’s PAX Australia:
Though we played through an early slice of Ashen back at last year's PAX Australia 2017, the build playable on this year’s showfloor was much closer to the final product - which developer Aurora44 say is due to launch before the end of 2018.
Set in a moody fantasy setting, Ashen is a riff on the grungy dark fantasy combat of Dark Souls spliced with the aesthetics of Absolver. Again, no specific release date for this one but it’s definitely worth keeping an eye out for Ashen as we head into the holiday season.
Like the best VR games, Double Shot is the kind of experience you could only really get away with pulling off in virtual reality. It’s a shootout game where you’re a bartender who has to fight off goons while also mixing a few drinks.
Developed by Aberrant Realities, Double Shot is currently available in early access on Steam.
Due for release on Nintendo Switch and Windows later this year, Gris is gorgeous and surprisingly intuitive side-scroller from Nomada Studios and publisher Devolver Digital.
The game’s got an incredibly striking and well-realised aesthetic to it that’ll likely see it endear itself to you whether you’re a fan of the genre or not.
Necrobarista is a cinematic and stylish 3D-visual novel from Melbourne-based developer Route59.
Like the name might suggest, the game tells the story of “a supernatural Melbourne cafe where the dead are permitted to return for one last night to walk among the living and enjoy one last cup of coffee.”
It’s a great premise, and one accompanied by a unique ‘keyword’ system that promises to let you lean into the parts of the story that most intrigue you.
Table of Tales
A bold attempt to combine the best of both the digital and board gaming worlds, Tin Man Games’ Table of Tales: The Crooked Crown is a turn-based RPG experience that plays out in VR.
Guided by the game’s feathered game master Arbitrix, Table of Tales sees you make both tactical and narrative decisions as you guide a party of adventurers. The game is currently slated for release on PSVR in early 2019.
Lightmare Studios’ Infinity Wars was one of the earliest alternatives to Blizzard digital juggernaut Hearthstone, and now the developer are back with a more mobile-friendly follow-up.
Though Infinity Heroes does feature the same simultaneous pacing and fictional universe as its predecessor, the new game does take the series in a few new directions.
Hero selection is the hook here. Each match, players choose three heroes - each of whom bring their own creatures, spells and abilities to the fore - and can switch between them as the game goes on - adapting to meet the challenges their opponent throws at them.
Infinity Heroes is currently available on Indiegogo.