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The best indie games at PAX West

PAX West returned this year with a slew of great games, from big-time AAA titles like Nintendo’s Splatoon 3 to the coolest of indies like Yacht Club Games’s Mina The Hollower. Throughout the four day event held in Seattle, if there was one big takeaway from this year’s convention, it’s that we truly have a diverse collection of games to look forward to for the next few months. Let us take this opportunity to spread the love on the hidden gems of indies spread throughout the expo halls. Here are the best indie games from PAX West 2022.

Lies of P

Bloodborne fans rejoice as the next action souls-like game to keep your eyes out for is none other than Pinocchio! Yes, not kidding here, in Lies of P, you will play as the kid-turned-marionette (spoilers!) Pinocchio, on a mysterious yet gruesome journey to find Mr. Geppetto. Our hands-on time with the game allowed us to get a glimpse of that addicting souls-like combat and had us gushing over the demo’s first area set in a grimy industrial city district filled with a nice variation of enemy mechanoids. If you want to know more, also don’t forget about our guides.

Lies of P is developed by Neowiz and comes out on PC, PlayStation, and Xbox (Game Pass) in 2023.

Mina The Hollower

Yacht Club Games returns with a brand new adventure! This time we are abandoning the Shovel Knight universe, in favour of Mina The Hollower. Players will get to control Mina, in her epic journey as she sets a course to save a cursed island. This 8-bit action adventure title will take you down memory lane as the inspiration here is from both NES classics like Zelda and Castlevania, an interesting mashup of the two. In our demo session, one of the most unique takeaways from the game is Mina’s Hollowing ability. Not only can the ability be used to dodge enemy attacks but you’ll find it’s necessary to solve puzzles and even traverse through some of the game’s challenging maps. To all the retro fans out there, this is not a game to skip! 

Mina The Hollower is developed by Yacht Club Games and comes out on PC with a target release date of December 2023.


Mega Man X fans will definitely love this one! Currently in early access, 30XX takes gamers on a mission where heroes Ace and Nina must solve the mystery of their dying world and race to save what remains of it. 30XX is an action platformer that also features the mechanics of a roguelike. For those unfamiliar, a roguelike style system usually involves a player entering randomly generated environments with different enemies every time they respawn. In the case of 30XX, this is the type of experience you can expect to encounter along with the possibility of finding character upgrades as you progress, making your run just a tad bit easier. Additionally, the game will also feature a Mega Mode, where players will have the option to enjoy the game without the roguelike features. What further helps make this game standout is the fact that you can also play it locally with friends and in online co-op. Without a doubt, this is one of those games that you will enjoy to the fullest by playing with a buddy and taking in that sweet sweet 16-bit retro-style OST this game has to offer.

30XX is developed by Batterystaple Games and is currently available as early access on PC.


Finally, here we go with a retro FPS with a cyberpunk aesthetic. While it is easy to observe how the developers have been influenced by the likes of classic FPS, like Quake and Counter Strike, there is definitely more to it. Sprawl takes players on an adrenaline-packed experience where they must escape a walled city, by simultaneously taking on a militarized government. Arguably, the coolest gameplay mechanic this game pushes is that you need to wipe out enemies in order to get access to ammo and certain abilities like slo-mo. We found out very quickly that you cannot just run and gun rather, but rather each shot must count and all abilities must be used wisely. 

Sprawl is being published by Rogue Games and developed by a small indie team, Carlos Lizarraga and Hannah Crawford. There is no current release date set at this time but is available to wishlist on steam.

Wanted: Dead

Last, but definitely not least, is a game from the makers of Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive. Wanted: Dead is a hack and slash game with third person shooting elements. You’ll play as Lt. Stone, part of an elite Hong Kong police squad, on a mission to take down a huge villainous corporation. If you’re a fan of pulling off tons of brutal finishers and unlocking numerous flashy combos, then you’ll be right at home with this action heavy title. 

Wanted: Dead is developed by Soleil Ltd. and comes out on PC, PlayStation, and Xbox on February 14, 2023.

As previously mentioned, there was a huge assortment of games playable at PAX West this year. While the spotlight is typically on the AAA titles, it’s very important to remember that indies too exist and can offer just as much of a satisfying experience and in some cases even more. Perhaps next time you have a gaming itch to scratch, instead of replaying Elden Ring for the hundredth time, perhaps try some new indie games. For more information, check out the official PAX West site with has tons of information about indie developers and their games.