Indie Update: Indie Megabooth 2016, Hyper Light Drifter, and FREEDOM: Diegesis

PAX East is on the horizon, and if you're an indie game lover, that means one thing: Indie Megabooth awesomeness! The gaming event is set to take place from April 22 to April 24 in Boston, and there are sure to be countless great games to check out. Of course, a big, annual video game show doesn't mean new games aren't actively being  released. On this edition of Indie Update, we'll be discussing the Indie Megabooth, but we'll also be taking a look at a couple of new releases worth checking out.

So with that said, let's talk indie games!

Feature Story: Indie Megabooth 2016 Lineup

It's hard to talk about every single game that will be playable at the Indie Megabooth, but here are three selections from the Megabooth itself as well as three titles from the Minibooth that look especially cool. If you haven't already, check out the Indie Megabooth 2016 trailer for some quick gameplay highlights.

Flinthook - Tribute Games, the team behind the recently released Ninja Senki DX, is currently working on Flinthook. The game appears to function like a grappling hook-based platformer, but there are also slow-motion abilities and a plasma gun. As is customary for the studio, this upcoming project looks quite retro.

I Expect You to Die - The realm of virtual reality gaming is upon is, and devs are exploring and experimenting with the new technology to create different kinds of experiences. I Expect You to Die is one such project, and it's coming to us from Schell Games. As a secret agent, you engage in all manner of deadly scenarios. Will you come out alive? Maybe. But the game expects you to die, so there's that.

Thimbleweed Park - Developed by Terrible Toybox, Thimbleweed Park is a pixel-filled adventure game with neo-noir themes and plenty of humor. The game wears its X-Files and Twin Peaks affection on its sleeve, presenting players with twists, turns, and even a bit of absurdity.

Burly Men at Sea - Brain&Brain's Burly Men at Sea tells a tale of, well, some pretty burly men. I mean, just take a look at their beards! For as burly as they may be, though, the game itself is actually quite easy on the eyes, with subdued visuals and soft shapes creating the backdrop for this tale of folkloric creatures.

Kitty Disastrous - If you're specifically looking for a game about a mischievous cat who befriends a clumsy ferret, Rocket 5 Studios has you covered. Kitty Disastrous is a colorful platformer where you, as the titular disastrous kitty, go around creating all sorts of mayhem and wrecking levels in an attempt to aid your ferret buddy. The game's cartoon-like visuals, as well as the fact that you're literally destroying everything, kind of takes me back to the good ol' days of old school animated TV shows like Tiny Toon Adventures.

Wulverblade - Taking inspiration from classic beat 'em ups like Golden Axe and Streets of Rage, Wulverblade is all about 2D brawling action. In development by Darkwind Media, the game pays homage to the old school arcade titles that freed so many kids' pockets of those heavy quarters they carried around like some sort of burden. Teaming up with the dev studio is Fully Illustrated, an art team that's given the game a nice cartoon aesthetic.

In addition to the aforementioned titles, other neat-looking games such as Arena Gods, Astroneer, and Below will also be showcased. For the full, detailed list of Megabooth, Minibooth, and tabletop games on hand at PAX East, check out the official Indie Megabooth website.

Downloadable Indie (Just the One This Week)

Hyper Light Drifter is beautiful death

There may only be one downloadable indie game featured this week, but it's a good one. Hyper Light Drifter from Heart Machine combines rich, beautiful pixel art and challenging gameplay that's not afraid to punish you. If you stick with it, though, you'll find a game that's just a joy to play and master. Featuring action-RPG gameplay, it's been referred to by a few folks on the Internet as a pixelated Dark Souls.

You can purchase Hyper Light Drifter for $19.99 on Steam, GOG.com, and the Humble Store.

The Underground

FREEDOM: Diegesis is a NES-like puzzle-platformer with horror elements

If you're strapped for cash this week but want something cool to play, you should totally check out FREEDOM: Diegesis. Developed by Quicksand Games, the title is reminiscent of something you'd see on the NES back in the '80s. In terms of its gameplay, you'll be doing plenty of puzzle-solving and platforming, all the while avoiding deranged baddies.

Despite the crisp pixels you'll see onscreen, FREEDOM: Diegesis features horror-themed overtones. One look at a few screens, and that becomes instantly evident. But I'd suggest you check out the game's trailer as it's particularly creepy. It almost looks like an experimental film, and I can't help but want to see some sort of live-action thing come from this, even if it's just a quick abstract short.

FREEDOM: Diegesis looks like a nice throwback to the days of the NES. And because the whole thing is rooted in mystery, it looks even more interesting from a thematic standpoint. It's not a very long game, with YouTube playthroughs averaging between 35 to 45 minutes. Oh, and did I mention it's free? That's right, you don't even have to drop any cash to play this nice little indie project. So give it a try!