Welcome back to Teacups & 1UPs, a somewhat-regular column in which I talk about games and pair them with tea. Today is going to be a little bit different from usual, as it’s going to be the first of a three-part PAX Aus special, all about the indie games I picked up and tried out while in Melbourne. Each part will briefly look at a bunch of games I tried and liked, rather than examining one in-depth.
First up: single player games, followed by virtual reality and finally, local multiplayer—because there’s not much I love more than kicking my friends’ asses in ridiculous indie games. Of course, there will also be tea.
So, single player. Leave your friends at home, because it’s time for an adventure.
There’s not much I enjoy more than a round of Dungeons & Dragons (or, no doubt, Of Dice and Droids) with a bottle of cider at my side, but there’s probably not much my DM and co-players hate more than a tipsy Saf making critical decisions. When I first heard about Jason Anarchy’s Drinking Quest, I near leapt from my seat with excitement. A role-playing game that is also a drinking game is right up my friends’ and my collective alley.
With an emphasis on responsible drinking and an easy system that can be picked up in the first couple minutes, Anarchy has built both a humorous and smart card-based tabletop RPG perfect for a Friday evening with the gang.
Though Anarchy is Canadian, PAX Aus gave me the opportunity to interview him and talk to him about both Drinking Quest and other tabletop games.
There was one game that completely caught my attention in the lead-up to Melbourne’s massive gaming convention, PAX Australia: Hollow Knight, a gorgeously atmospheric action-adventure platformer with a healthy dose of challenge.
Hollow Knight is being developed by Team Cherry, an indie company based in Adelaide made up of Ari Gibson, William Pellen, and David Kazi, with a release planned for the first half of 2016.
Set in a bug-infested cavern system below an eerily silent village, Hollow Knight is filled with all kinds of strange creatures and wonderful sights. I’ve always been a sucker for platformers with fascinating worldbuilding that you can explore for hours, and from what I’ve played of the Hollow Knight beta, it seems to be shaping up to be exactly that. Though the gameplay can be difficult, it never feels punishing.
I had the opportunity at PAX Aus to interview Willaim Pellen and ask him a few questions about Hollow Knight, influences, Kickstarter, and taking the leap to full time game dev.