As part of the Berlin gamesweek, this year’s A MAZE festival opened its doors from April 10 to 13 to present talks, workshops and exhibitions from the field of art and culture and playful media. Being the Gamescom’s little artsy-fartsy sister, inclined visitors had the chance to experience mind-blowing VR installations, crazy indie games and other media that go way beyond mainstream gaming. Main topics were inclusion, politics, playfulness, and experimental visuals – all of it with a great and wide international focus
Transferring own biographies and emotional experiences into videogames has been a hit and miss so far. One of the challenges is to make the story fit with the gameplay. We can often discover a discrepancy between both parts, leaving the narrative and the interactive elements in dissonance. With “She Remembered Caterpillars”, we see another attempt to link the heartbreaking testimony of Malaysian writer Cassandra Khaw with a clever puzzle mechanic. Does it succeed to deliver a satisfying union?
Waker is minimalism. This shoot’em-up comes with clear and simple graphics and basically consists of lines and lights of various colors. Players control a vessel, try to dodge millions of projectiles while shooting the “enemy”. To do so, it isn’t simply enough to spam the shoot button, but players must target their foes until the weapon lock-on is activated.
If you have been playing videogames for a while, you will undoubtedly encounter a certain fatigue either of recurring gameplay or – as in the author’s case – of uninspired recycling of settings, topics or locations. Is seems like the videogames industry is repeatedly offering the same experiences inspired by either North American or Japanese cultures and regions. Here at Virtual SEA, we strongly believe that game developers from under-represented areas of world such as Southeast Asia can offer new and refreshing ideas to videogames. Can She & The LightBearer from Indonesian studio Mojiken satisfy this expectation?
Holy Potatoes! A Spy Story?! Is already the fourth installment in this humorous management simulation series developed by Daylight Studios from Singapore. It is about time to check out what […]
Streets of Red: DDD might have the monopoly on red pixels and delivers a satisfying return to arcade style beat’em ups
Fans of classic horror movies and geek culture should listen up: Streets of Red: Devil’s Dare Deluxe (DDD) is a multiplayer beat’em up full of parodic references to horror classics and arcade style gaming. With its retro style presentation and unforgiving permadeath gameplay, Singaporean developer Secret Base wants to revive memories of old school arcade brawler sessions.
Who’s the main protagonist in the Harry Potter universe? Harry himself may be a good guess, he-who-must-not-be-named would make the best antagonist. Honestly, isn’t Hogwarts, the magical school, and home to all of Harry’s adventures the secret star? A school for magical kids with secrets everywhere, astonishing architecture and a curriculum that makes every other study look like boring chores. And then Hogwarts is lead by one of the most characteristic figures of all time: Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts. Ever since, players all around the world have been waiting to become the head of magical school themselves. And here comes “Valthirian Arc: Hero School Story” to fill this gap.
Players take control of a submarine and are thrown into this devastating world. At its core, Earth Atlantis is an arcade-style shoot ‘em up in which you explore under water areas in search for better weaponry and huge underwater creatures. The game’s focus is on boss battles with ever increasing difficulties. To fight those impressive monsters, it is necessary to develop quick reflexes and to acquire the right weapon. In traditional side-scrolling method, the submarine can be controlled in a 2D plane from left to right and up and down. By exploring the world and fighting smaller enemies, players can upgrade their subs and unlock powerful weapons.
Here at Virtual SEA, we are working hard to represent the vast diversity of Southeast Asian video game development. While we give our best at covering as many games as possible through in-deep reviewing, there are still a lot more games that just fall under the table due to simple lack of time and resources (not to mention each of our own piles of shame). Now we want to give credit to all those little gems we played only for too little time to craft a proper review but which still deserve your attention. This time, we present to you indie games from Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia. Go and give these games a chance!
Nostalgia. That’s what obviously comes to mind when talking about Azure Saga: Pathfinder, the new game of Indonesian developer Masshive Media. It is in most of its aspects a trip down memory lane, reminding of classic Japanese role-playing games. The developers tried to transfer the classic feel of those story-driven games with turn-based combat into a modern costume. That seems to be a trend now, as we have seen other attempts by Southeast Asian studios such as WanderJahR or Legrand Legacy.
With the rise of indie games in the last years came a wave of new storytelling perspectives to the gaming world. Instead of telling fantastic stories about heroes and villains, game developers started to cope with their personal often traumatic experiences through the medium of video games. Some of the better-known examples here were That Dragon, Cancer or Nina Freeman’s debut masterpiece Cibele. Both of them take the players very closely into the personal memories and emotions of the game developers themselves and deliver intense experiences. Now, solo developer Amanda Lim (known as Sanud Games) from Singapore shares her own story in her debut work For Emery, a story about loss and grief.
We want to give credit to all those little gems we played only for too little time for a proper review but still deserve your attention. This time we present to you indie games from Singapore, the Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia.
Lobster Empire is already the third game released by Indonesian studio Maulidan Games within one year. Claiming to become the fastest video game developer, the team based in Surabaya aims at releasing more games in a shorter period than conventional studios of the same level. After a detour into the RPG-Genre, they return to the studio’s origins with Lobster Empire: tycoon games.
Cat Quest could easily be mistaken as a standard casual game at first. Its game mechanics are simple, and the story isn’t very deep. Yet, it achieves to bridge the gap between casual and hardcore RPGs in a very satisfying way through challenging fights, a motivating leveling system and charming characters. Drawing inspiration from older Zelda titles and the aforementioned Skyrim, it delivers an entertaining little adventure that will keep you busy for a few hours and make you laugh a lot along the way.
Tower Fortress: This 2D roguelike from the Philippines will make you scream and laugh – In a good way!
Tower Fortress by Filipino game developer Keybol is a hidden gem. With its generic name and the cartoonish 2D pixel look it could be easily seen as one of those quick and dirty indie publications that have flooded the market in recent years. But don’t be mistaken, Tower Fortress is a very addictive platformer that draws inspiration from the roguelike genre and classics such as Sonic the Hedgehog and Metroid.
With SIMULACRA, Kaigan Games delivered a masterpiece. Building up on Sara Is Missing, this game has been improved in every possible way. It looks better and smoother, recreating a more believable phone experience. Voice and video acting is more professional (although still a bit overacted at times) and the story is more believable.