In Cinema 14, players take over the role of a girl falling asleep during a show and awakening being trapped in a deserted movie theater. By choosing the seat of a long-lost child, she unknowingly triggered a deadly curse. Now, she needs to unravel the mysteries of the child’s fate, reconstruct the events and escape the cinema. Since the game is made in Malaysia it features many references to Malaysian cultures and mythologies, which adds a nice touch to an otherwise interesting but common storyline.
Bayani is a fighting game on a 2D plane with 3D environments, similar to the latest Street Fighter games. It features 8 fighters that are fantasy re-imaginations of heroes and heroines from the Philippines such as writer Jose Rizal or revolutionary Gregoria Alvarez de Jesus. The battle arenas will be inspired by famous landmarks in the Philippines. But that’s not all: Filipino music, collectibles such as the book “Noli me tangere”, unlockable traditional costumes and of course background stories inspired by the history of the Philippines. Ranida Games wants to deliver a truly local game with a gameplay that can reach a global community of players.
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 and Indonesia. Go and give these games a chance!
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.
Legion Tale is a turn-based RPG with tactical encounters and quick-time-events (QTEs). It tells a common fantasy story about a kingdom divided by war, an outside aggressor that is both evil and ugly and of course a hero who will save the world.
This school evokes memories of imprisonment – and that’s not a bad thing: Academia: School Simulator (Early Access)
Some artists develop a unique style that makes all their work recognizable at first glance. While very common in other art forms, this isn’t particularly the case for video games so far. One of the few exceptions is Ryan Sumo, game artist and co-founder at Filipino indie studio Squeaky Wheel. His previous works include politics simulator Political Animals and BAFTA-winning management game Prison Architect; his style being the defining element in those games. Now, Squeaky Wheel’s newest game is Academia: School Simulator and you can clearly tell it’s another Ryan Sumo work.