Top 5 Games to Watch From PAX East 2023

Everyone loves listicles. Otherwise why would anyone write them? Because they’re easy content that can be ginned out at a moment’s notice, with little effort? Nonsense! It’s because they’re the glorious future of writing.

1. Mina the Hollower

Expected Release: 2024

Mina the Hollower was, simply put, the best video game at PAX East this year. It’s a brilliant combination of old school Zelda with some Soulslike influences. It’s being made by Yacht Club, who’ve proven their worth already with Shovel Knight. The 50 minutes I played made me wish I’d backed the Kickstarter. If the full game is as good as the one level I demoed, this will be my indie game of the year for 2024.

2. Athenian Rhapsody

Expected Release: 2023

Athenian Rhapsody was my dark horse of the show. I had never heard of the game, developer, or publisher before I saw it for the first time. It sold me on the strength of its demo alone. I’m very curious to see the final product, and frankly, I have a mild sense of trepidation. This game’s either going to very, very good, or an unbelievable disaster and cringefest. Trying to emulate the tone of things like Earthbound and Undertale is hard, and I’ll applaud the effort either way. I just don’t know if I’ll be wincing while I do so.

3. Cobalt Core

Expected Release: 2023

I was going to put information about Cobalt Core here, but then I realized a friend made a meme about it that I could steal and use instead.

TLDR: Spaceship deck builder from the Crypt of the Necrodancer people. The demo I played was fun as well.

4. Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless

Expected Release: 2023

This entry is technically cheating. I didn’t actually play it at the show, but NIS had a booth, and I saw an advertisement for it, so I’m going to say that counts. Disgaea 6 moved to a new engine, and was a somewhat weaker entry in the series, but still had a strong story and fun gameplay. I’m hopeful that 7 returns the franchise to a point of strength. Also I’m pandering so I can get a pre-release copy.

5. Galactic Getaway

Expected Release: Not listed at time of writing.

I’ve got Galactic Getaway on this list because it’s trying to do something I don’t think I’ve seen another game try to do: go toe to toe with Animal Crossing. And it’s being made by the developer of Nookazon. Which is to say, this isn’t someone trying to compete with Animal Crossing because they think there’s a load of money to be made, so much as they think the player base for that game is underserved.

Which you know. That’s fairly bold.