With the first day of PAX East 2022 in the books, I’m happy to report that we’ve seen and tried out an insane amount of rad games. Though the convention is only getting started, it’s clear that there are no signs of stopping the amount of wonderful things in store for the coming days. To hold us over until then (tomorrow), check out these five games that we loved.
Cult of the Lamb
Developer: Massive Monster
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Cult of the Lamb casts players in the role of a possessed lamb saved from annihilation by an ominous stranger and must repay their debt by building a loyal following in his name. The demo quickly throws you into the bowels of chaos as you combat and destroy your enemies. Within minutes, you’re meeting new characters, saving creatures from being sacrificed, and making progress into building your own little cult. The battle mechanics are super smooth, allowing me to dodge roll and slash with ease. Additionally, the roguelite-inspired elements with random upgrades, widely varied weapons, and creative abilities offer a fantastic loop that engrossed me during my entire 30-minute demo. The game is tentatively slated for 2022 on PC, PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch and Cult of the Lamb has quickly shot up to my most anticipated game of the year.
You can wishlist Cult of the Lamb on Steam here.
Depths of Sanity
Developer & Publisher: Bomb Shelter Games
In Depths of Sanity, I was able to dive deep into a fully underwater metroidvania to explore massive oceanic biomes, battle monstrous bosses, and piece together a mystery that threatens not only your crew, but your own sanity. In this game, you solely play under the sea, which happily is super smooth (as compared to 90% of water levels in video games). During the demo, I was able to easily maneuver around the underwater crevices and solve some simple puzzles with later-game abilities and upgrades. This 20-minute adventure allowed me to also fight in a boss encounter, forcing me to not only hone my skills in maneuverability but also combine it with offensive tactics. The game is in Early Access on and Steam and is planned for Switch and Xbox in 2022.
You can wishlist Depths of Sanity on Steam here.
Developer: Grave Rave Games
Another game that I’ve excitingly been anticipating since Play NYC 2021 and PAX West 2021 is Squish. The premise is simple: you play as glowing skeletons who are maneuvering blocks to squish your opponents. The last skeleton standing wins the round, and if you win three rounds, then you win the match. Additionally, there’s some hazards and recovery abilities to add layers to this game, so anything can happen. This game reminded me a bit if Runbow and Super Smash Bros. had a baby with its adjustable platforming within a confined space and the hilarity of a simple party-fighting game. This party game quickly grew a crowd (just like the other two conventions) for people to watch and the excitement will only grow until release. Squish comes to PC and Nintendo Switch on May 31, 2022.
You can wishlist Squish on Steam here.
SpiderHeck is a physics-based platformer-brawler that’s easy to jump in and create absolute calamity. With up to four neon spiders with laser swords, grenades, or insane guns constantly appearing on the levels, each round is a unique experience. I was able to play with three other attendees from PAX and we quickly all started laughing and building our competitiveness among ourselves. SpiderHeck is set to release on PC, Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo Switch in 2022.
You can wishlist SpiderHeck on Steam here.
Developer: Free Lives
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Terra Nil is a reverse city builder about ecosystem reconstruction and flourishment. The goal is to turn a barren wasteland into an ecological paradise complete with different flora and fauna. This flip on a builder game was fun to see and even more relaxing to play. The ambiance of the game, though starts as a destroyed world, is brought back to life slowly by your careful placements of resources to bring the area back to life. Paired with the tranquil sounds and music, I had a delightful time experimenting with all the features and maximizing my positive impact on the newly rejuvenated land. Terra Nil is planned for PC soon.
You can wishlist Terra Nil on Steam here.
Follow Harry Loizides, to hear all about his love for niche indie games on Instagram and Twitter.