PAX West 2023 – 11 Hidden Indie Gems

PAX West is an annual gathering of game enthusiasts that features many pop culture references along with games, games, and more games for everyone to look at and try out. It is also a mecca for indie developers to feature their latest works and show off what’s in the pipeline for indie gaming.

We’ve covered the titles featured in Day of the Devs extensively, including the well-received and recently released Viewfinder. I was able to try out a new build of BeastieBall and it was fun, however, I’m here to check out what might go under the radar for many.

Here are a handful of titles I’ve perused in PAX West this year and while I cannot feature them all, you might find something in this list to add to your ever-growing library of anticipated titles. You never know, one of them may end up like a future Hollow Knight, Undertale, or Stardew Valley.

Hidden Gems of PAX West 2023

Animal Well

Release Date: Early 2024
Platform: PC, PS5, Nintendo Switch

Developed by solo developer Billy Basso and published by popular YouTuber Dunkey and his new publishing company Bigmode; Animal Well has a playable timed demo during PAX West. It is a unique game that combines 2D platforming and cozy exploration to create a strange but flow-like experience. We can’t wait to see more as Animal Well releases next on a to-be-determined date in 2024.

Break Arts III

Break Arts III

Release Date: TBD 2025
Platform: PC

With the popularity of Armored Core VI right now, indie game publisher PLAYISM shows up with Break Arts III, which stands out from the pack being just a visually appealing game combining mech combat with a racing twist.

Defeat your competitors through speed or crush them with sheer firepower, we have quite a ways to go to see the final product of this mech action-sports title as it is still quite rough around the edges based on what we saw during PAX West.

Break Arts III Gameplay

Chicken Police: Into The Hive

Release Date: TBD 2024
Platform: PC, TBD Consoles

Wild Gentlemen’s Chicken Police: Paint it Red flew under the radar, delivering a punchy point-and-click adventure when it launched a few years ago. Its upcoming sequel, Chicken Police: Into the Hive, returns with the same tongue-in-cheek film noir storytelling involving farm animals and their predators to deliver an entertaining adventure title.

Choose to experience this title in film noir or technicolor as this choice changes the game’s overall mood and demeanor while still delivering its punchy trademark acerbic wit and straightforward puzzles.

Ebenezer and the Invisible World

Release Date: November 3, 2023
Platform: PC, PS5, PS4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S

Dickens’ A Christmas Carol as a Metroidvania was probably not on my PAX West Bingo Card this year, but it’s a pleasant surprise to find this gem while I checked out a slew of Indie Games during Twitch’s The MIX Live after PAX West’s Friday programming.

Ebenezer and the Invisible World presents the grumpy protagonist as its titular hero as he double jumps and wall climbs in this platforming adventure. It’ll be out this November, just in time for the holidays!

Everdeep Aurora

Release Date: TBD 2024
Platform: PC and Nintendo Switch

Celeste meets Steamworld in this retro platformer by Ysbyrd Games. Separated from its mother, a magical cat digs through the vast subterranean with a trusty drill, all while helping fellow burrowers along the way.

Everdeep Aurora is a cozy platformer that combines fun aspects of said games while maintaining your drill’s integrity and exploring as far as you can before returning to the hearth of your campfire.

Long Gone Days

Release Date: October 10, 2023
Platform: PC, Nintendo Switch, PS5, PS4, Xbox

Doki Doki Literature‘s publisher Serenity Forge always features interesting narrative-driven indies with serious twists, and Long Gone Days is something special. Set in a futuristic dystopia, a group of talented cadets from a military academy run by the ominous General Father sends their new recruits on a harrowing mission that will question their morality.

Serenity Forge is no stranger to PAX West and we don’t need to wait too long to experience this RPG, launching this October.

Lost Eidolons: Veil of the Witch

Release Date: TBD 2024 (Early Access)
Platform: PC, TBD Consoles

Ocean Drive’s Lost Eidolons has been featured extensively during The Game Awards over the years, providing a punchy story-driven SRPG. Its sequel, Lost Eidolons: Veil of the Witch, is a challenging action-driven SRPG that applies all the lessons learned from its predecessor to a fantastic degree.

Characters have been reduced to five unit squads that have varying degrees of tactics that change the course of their gameplay. It releases in Early Access sometime in 2024.


Release Date: TBD 2024
Platform: PC and Nintendo Switch

With dark cozy games like Dredge making a splash this year, Mirthwood follows suit as a dark fantasy meets life simulator, making an appearance in PAX West 2023.

Set for a 2024 launch date, choose your adventurer as they explore the nuanced world of Mirthwood, not only building up their physical traits but also their social skills, as its denizens can determine your fate in this treacherous world that presents itself as a mundane and sleepy hamlet.

Pirate101 and Wizard101


Release Date: Out now
Platform: PC

This franchise might have flown under your radar for the last 15 years but Kingsisle Entertainment’s long-running MMOs are trying something different. Under the shared universe of Wizard101 and Pirate101, they’re finally finding a way to combine their intersecting worlds and shared characters.

While it will be a while before the deckbuilder title of Wizard101 and the tactical RPG world of Pirate101 will completely cross over, long-time players of both games can experience what each world has to offer on its 15-year anniversary.

Sky the Scraper

Sky The Scraper Gameplay

Release Date: TBD 2024
Platform: PC, TBD consoles

Serial Cleaners meets Persona in this retro title that wears its Elevator Action influences on its sleeve. Embark on a kafkaesque journey of Sky, a high-rise window cleaner as he dodges birds, lightning, and strong gusts of wind as he attempts to make his rent, save enough money, and find the true purpose of his life in this action roguelite life simulator from solo developer Ryo Kobuchi.

Sky The Scraper

The Thaumaturge

Release Date: Late 2023 (PC)
Platform: PC, TBD Consoles

11-Bit Studios, a renowned publisher of fantastic titles such as Frostpunk and Moonlighter, will be releasing a promising isometric RPG from developer Fool’s Theory, a dream team made up of CD Projekt Red veterans who worked on Witcher 3, Cyberpunk 2077.

Disco Elysium meets Persona as empath Victor explores 1905 Warsaw, hunting down cryptids and solving mysteries. Seen in Gamescom and finally graces us in PAX West, We can’t wait when it launches on PC later this year!

PAX West 2023

And there you have it! Here’s but a taste of a few hidden gems during PAX West that’ll possibly fly under your radar, but we’ve been able to try them out in PAX West 2023! What are your impressions? Please let us know in the comments!

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