This year’s PAX East was a bit of a strange experience. The last time we attended the show was just weeks before the entire country began shutting down due to the pandemic. After a canceled show in 2021, the Boston Convention Center was once again filled with gaming fans this year, though now all of them were wearing masks (with strict enforcement).
Many of the big-name publishers that were at previous PAX shows were missing this year, whether because of pandemic risks or shrinking promotional travel budgets. That left the usual mix of indie developers and publishers hanging on to their floor space—though not really expanding to fill in the gaps.
Even though the total selection of games on offer seemed smaller, there were plenty of standout titles. Here are the nine games we’ve been thinking about ever since we left Boston.