As this year's PAX convention fades into history, we're left with the memories of a handful of indie titles that never quite got the exposure they deserved. We scowered the aisles and booths to bring back our impressions of some of the smaller, but no less awesome, titles featured during the show. So prepare a space in your calendar for some serious PC, XBLA and PSN action with these upcoming games...
"The Swarmites have become stranded on the worst planet a squishy blue thing could imagine. It's a burned out industrial wasteland full of sharp edges, pointy objects, environmental hazards, and other lethal items. They aren't too bright, but they do teamwork like nobody else. At first glance, Swarm looks like it may be related to Pikmin, but it soon becomes clear there's a lot more going on under the hood."
"The concept behind Dwarfs is rather simple – you are going to die. Part Dwarf-Fortress and part Lemmings, you loosely command an ever growing army of diggers to excavate nuggets of gold, rare metals, and pockets of magma that will quickly rush in to exterminate all life from your settlement. Death happens and your only job is to stall that 16-bit reaper as long as possible. With a whole cavern of beasts, nasty bosses, and endless pools of water just waiting with every swing of the axe, you might want to finish up your bucket list pretty soon."
"Whenever you assemble a crack team of criminals to steal a highly prized, if not highly pixilated set of blueprints, communication and patience are essential skills in maneuvering around armed guards and prying security cameras. Somehow when you get four of your buddies on a couch, all of that really goes out the window. Monaco is a top-down action title in the vein of Gauntlet where you and up to four of your cronies must rob and escape from a high security facility."
In Chris Heckler’s new game, Spy Party, you play one of two roles. If you are the spy, you’ll mingle with the computer AI while accomplishing a list of tasks such as planting a transmitter on the ambassador or switching out one of the statues. Every move comes with a slight tell: an animation that gives away your true intentions. You have to be clever and blend in with the crowd. Think of it as a reverse Turing Test where you want to be a part of the machine. Look at the paintings. Read a book. Mingle.