Top Indie Games from PAX East

15 top indie games we saw at PAX East

We had an absolute blast at PAX East this year!! We were so delighted to see an incredible showing from a huge variety of indie game developers, studios and publishers. The demos for both new and upcoming games blew us away! Here are some of our very favorite indie game demos that we got to experience at PAX this year.

Top Games from PAX East - Botany Manor

1. Botany Manor

Botany Manor is a beautiful, serene escape into the world of Arabella Greene, a botanical researcher studying the ideal growing conditions for a variety of rare flora. At its heart this is a puzzle game, where the player gets to investigate a gorgeous manor and its grounds to discover the clues to the plants’ secret, but the vibes make it feel like you’ve just stepped into a pleasant dream. 
If you like: Strange Horticulture, Return of the Obra Dinn

Developer: Balloon Studios
Publisher: Whitethorn Games
Release Date: Apr 9, 2024

Top Games from PAX East - LUCID


Eric of The Matte Black Studio describes Lucid as a Celestoidvania! If you like games that reward you for your hard work, but also sound and look amazing with a very specific color palette, Lucid is for you! The pixel graphic fans will also really love this one. Playing the demo while talking to Eric was an incredible experience, and we are now highly anticipating Lucid!
If you like: Celeste, Axiom Verge, and Dandara

Developer: The Matte Black Studio
Publisher: Apogee Entertainment
Release Date: 2025

Top Games from PAX East - Wild Woods

3. Wild Woods

The Wild Woods couch was PACKED for PAX! You could tell how excited everyone was to play this casual couch co-op, which is thoughtfully designed for intergenerational players of all skill levels and experience. We recommend this one for families or for folks who are just getting started on their video game journey and want to play with others!
If you like: Overcooked, Bloons TD

Developer: Octofox Games
Publisher: Daedalic Entertainment
Release Date: To be announced

Top Games from PAX East - The Mortuary Assistant

4. The Mortuary Assistant: Definitive Edition

The Mortuary Assistant took the indie horror scene by storm when it released back in 2022. Since then, DarkStone Digital has made a number of free content updates to the game, which will culminate in the Definitive Edition, launching later this year in tandem with the game’s console release. This is possibly our favorite (well, Emily’s favorite) horror game, and we look forward to some additional scares and a new game mode, which will surely keep us playing (and embalming) for many more hours to come!
If you like: Phasmophobia, Visage

Developer: DarkStone Digital
Publisher: DreadXP
Release Date: 2024

Top Games from PAX East - Littlelands

5. Littlelands

The Littlelands demo had us immediately sucked in and wanting more. Styled after iconic classics like Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening and Pokémon, this charming 3D modeled adventure whisks the player away into a world that feels both small and yet somehow expansive. The only downside to the experience of playing this demo was that we have to wait for the full title to come out.
If you like: Legend of Zelda, Pokémon

Developer: Rafael Martín
Publisher: Apogee Entertainment
Release Date: To be announced

Top Games from PAX East - Let's! Revolution!

6. Let’s! Revolution!

Let’s! Revolution! caught us off-guard with its addictive gameplay and disarmingly beautiful graphics. If you’re a fan of Minesweeper (as we are), you’ll be delighted by this roguelite twist on an old classic. We had to drag ourselves away from this demo at the BUCK booth so that others could give it a try! 
If you like: Slay the Spire, Backpack Hero, Minesweeper

Developer: BUCK, Antfood
Publisher: BUCK, Hawthorn Games
Release Date: Jul 19, 2023

Top Games from PAX East - Snacko

7. Snacko

What a ride! Snacko is an adorable farming sim that really focuses on CATS! As a cat lover myself, I really appreciated the witty and hilarious dialogue that the cats of Snacko are equipped with. The jumping and fishing mechanics are so satisfying. We’re giving Snacko a 10/10 for the immaculate vibes!
If you like: Animal Crossing, Stardew Valley, Moonstone Island

Developer: Bluecurse Studios
Publisher: Armor Games
Release Date: Dec 6, 2023

Top Games from PAX East - Memory's Reach

8. Memory’s Reach

Although it was intimidating to play the demo of a very clever puzzle game in front of the very clever puzzle creator himself, we had a great time dipping our toes into the world of Memory’s Reach. We enjoyed the sci-fi vibes and the alien planet aesthetic, clearly pulling some inspiration from Metroid Prime (both in visual style and in the game’s genre), and really look forward to seeing how the gameplay and puzzle-solving build as more skills are unlocked.
If you like: Metroid Prime, Myst, The Talos Principle

Developer: 100 Stones Interactive
Publisher: 100 Stones Interactive
Release Date: To be announced

Top Games from PAX East - Baladins

9. Baladins

If you love cute and cozy with a touch of chaos, Baladins is for you! Even if you’ve never played D&D before, Baladins makes jumping into virtual TTRP approachable and enjoyable for everyone, no matter your experience level. We had a blast demoing this at PAX, and are so grateful for Ariana at Armor Games for giving us the Baladins 101. It’s very likely we’ll be covering Baladins as our first ever NSG co-op game 👀 so stay tuned for that! If you want to hear us talk a bit more about Baladins, check out our episode discussing our favorite announcements from the 2023 Wholesome Snack showcase.
If you like: Honey Heist, Wildermyth, Dicey Dungeons

Developer: Seed by Seed
Publisher: Armor Games
Release Date: 2024

Top Games from PAX East - Part of You

10. Part of You

Fans of Smile for Me will love the art style and mechanics of this quirky puzzle adventure game, full of memorable characters! Players get to literally turn frowns upside down with clever mechanics that let you copy, rearrange and swap facial expressions on other characters in the game. If you’re looking for a game with a big dose of personality and an intriguing premise, we think you’ll enjoy diving into Part of You.
If you like: Smile For Me, Night in the Woods

Developer: Team Sometimes Y
Publisher: Team Sometimes Y
Release Date: Mar 22, 2024

Top Games from PAX East - A Space for the Unbound

11. A Space for the Unbound

The Toge Productions booth was one of our most memorable PAX experiences! This team is INCREDIBLY passionate and kind, which also comes through when you experience one of their games. They had many gameplay experiences of all genres for folks at PAX to experience, and we highly recommend that y’all check out A Space for the Unbound. If you like cats, beautiful landscapes, and emotionally driven narratives, you definitely gotta add this one to your bucket list!
If you like: When the Past was Around, Until Then

Developer: Mojiken
Publisher: Toge Productions
Release Date: Jan 19, 2023

Top Games from PAX East - Heartworm

12. Heartworm

We feel confident that Heartworm is going to be a favorite among horror game fans who find themselves replaying and reminiscing over 90s and 00s classics like Resident Evil and Silent Hill. Within just a few minutes of starting the demo, we felt the strongly unsettling vibes that this game so effectively creates. This is at the top of our list to keep our eyes on in the indie horror scene.
If you like: Resident Evil, Silent Hill

Developer: Vincent Adinolfi
Publisher: DreadXP
Release Date: 2025

Top Games from PAX East - Kamaeru

13. Kamaeru: A Frog Refuge

We are certain that ANYONE could play and love this game. Kamaeru wins for the most approachable and relaxing demo that we played at PAX. Despite the chaos of the show floor, we felt tranquil in this lush paradise full of cute frogs, characters, and plenty of critters. Thank you to the devs for kindly walking us through Kamaeru with such care.
If you like: Usagi Shima, Minami Lane

Developer: Humble Reeds
Publisher: Armor Games
Release Date: 2024

14Top Games from PAX East - The Big Con

14. The Big Con

The fantastically bright and vibrant Mighty Yell booth at PAX East was hard to miss! The Big Con has been on our radar for quite some time, and meeting this fantastic team solidified our excitement to eventually cover a Mighty Yell game on our show. If you appreciate 90’s aesthetic, funny games, and super eye-catching visuals, you’re gonna wanna check this one out!
If you like: Rain on Your Parade, Donut County

Developer: Mighty Yell Studios
Publisher: Mighty Yell Studios, Skybound Games
Release Date: Aug 31, 2021

Top Games from PAX East - Rightfully Beary Arms

15. Rightfully, Beary Arms

Daylight Basement Studio is proving that cuteness and bullet hells are a match made in heaven (or bullet heaven?). We were drawn into their booth at PAX by the fun, colorful graphics and their friendly, welcoming team members, but we stayed for the delightfully action-packed and quirky gameplay. We have also fully been converted to the cult of Pajama-core, by the game’s PJ-wearing protagonist!
If you like: Enter the Gungeon, Brotato

Developer: Daylight Basement Studio LLC
Publisher: Daylight Basement Studio LLC
Release Date: Jul 27, 2023

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