Niche Early Access – Pax Nova, Pandemic Express, and More

This is Niche Early Access. In this column, we regularly showcase various promising games that are currently in some form of early access or development, and haven’t reached full release. Please let us know if there’s a game you want us to showcase!

Another week has come and gone, so its time to cover some more recent Early Access releases that look promising. Even if you don’t buy games while they are in Early Access, be sure to check them out and add them to your wishlist for when they get a 1.0 launch.

Here’s this week’s batch of 5 Early Access games that might be worth checking out:

Pandemic Express – Zombie Escape
Developer: TALLBOYS
Publisher: tinyBuild
Platforms: Windows PC
Price: $14.99 (Price will increase)

First this week is Pandemic Express- Zombie Escape, a game you may have heard about because its already gained a decent sized following. Pandemic Express is essentially the “zombie” game you often see as a minor mode or mod in a lot of online shooters, but taken to a much larger scale with a higher player count, huge maps, and vehicles.

The game supports 30 players in a match, and one of them spawns as a zombie trying to infect everyone else. The survivors will spend their time scavenging for resources, forming temporary alliances, backstabbing other survivors, and doing whatever it takes to get to the train at the end of the map and escape.

Pandemic Express- Zombie Escape has no set final release date, and is expected to stay in Early Access throughout 2019.

Infected Shelter
Developer: Dark Blue Games
Platforms: Windows PC
Price: $9.99 (Price will increase)

Our zombie slaughter continues in Infected Shelter, a post-apocalyptic side-scrolling roguelite. Throughout a run, you’ll discover blueprints and other resources that can be used to permanently upgrade your base camp, allowing you to give future characters access to better gear right from the start.

There’s also four distinct and upgradeable characters with their own set of skills and traits. You can play Infected Shelter alone, or bring along three friends in local co-op.

Infected Shelter is expected to remain in Early Access for around six months.

Pax Nova
Developer: Grey Wolf Entertainment
Publisher: Iceberg Interactive
Platforms: Windows PC
Price: $24.99 (Price will increase)

Pax Nova is a sci-fi 4X where you lead one of 15 factions as they carve out their place in the Eos Galaxy. The game features empire and troop management on both the terrestrial and intergalactic level, where each individual planet is a randomly generated world full of resources, creatures, factions, and cities.

Each unit and ship can also be customized, and eventually the game will feature a procedurally generated tech tree to ensure each game allows you to craft a unique playstyle.

Pax Nova will be in Early Access for about three to six months.

The Last Hex
Developer: That Indie Studio
Platforms: Windows PC
Price: $14.99 (Price will increase)

The Last Hex is the latest deckbuilding roguelite to enter Early Access. Pick one of 11 characters and set off for adventure in a randomly generated, hex-based world packed with monsters, bosses, and special events. In addition to building your deck, your character also has stats and item slots. These stats will affect how powerful a card that uses the relevant stat will be, giving you plenty of freedom to customize your playstyle during a run.

The Last Hex is expected to remain in Early Access for around five to eight months.

Trials of Fire
Developer: Whatboy Games
Platforms: Windows PC
Price: $15.99 (Price will increase)

Finally, we come to Trials of Fire, a turn-based tactical roguelite with deckbuilding elements. Lead a band of adventurers across a dying world in search of hope. Battles play out on hex-based boards, and each character has a deck of cards that is created based on the gear they have equipped. Face difficult moral dilemmas in a post-cataclysmic fantasy world as you try to bring salvation to your people.

Trials of Fire is expected to stay in Early Access for upwards of a year.

Which of these games caught your attention? Are there any other cool recent Early Access games that we missed? Tell us in the comments below.

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Frank Streva


Niche Gamer’s resident indie expert. Digs through the Steam new releases so you don’t have to. Massive fan of miniature and board games as well.