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Quick Review: Masquerada: Songs and Shadows (Switch Version)

Nintendo’s Switch console continues to be very successful, not least because many popular games are subsequently ported. So, it’s not surprising that developers Witching Hour and publisher Ysbryd Games from Singapore have also decided to re-release their tactical role-playing game Masquerada: Songs and Shadows for Nintendo’s Little Wonderbox. The game appeared already in May 2019.

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EGX Berlin 2019: Games from Singapore and Malaysia represent Southeast Asia’s gaming scene

For the second time only, the EGX took place in Berlin. As the little sister of the main event from the UK, the EGX Berlin has proved to be a small, but fine gaming event for interesting indies. The EGX pulls its great strength in comparison to big competitors like the Gamescom from its family-friendly environment, short distances and waiting times as well as an altogether relaxed visit. Although blockbusters such as Cyberpunk 2077 and Final Fantasy 7 Remake were also presented and were largely playable themselves, the focus was, as in the year before, on the small indie pearls. At least half of the show floor was dedicated to these games and there was one or the other highlight to discover and try out. In addition to many German and European projects, two games from Southeast Asia also found their way to the EGX Berlin 2019. We at Virtual SEA seized this opportunity to send Andreas to the event to try out these two titles for you.

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Incubo’s wild horror mix requires nerves of steel

It’s clear that inspiration for this game was the popular platform adventure Limbo. But unlike its role model, Incubo fails to achieve its brilliance. Too immature are the mechanics, too dirty the programming and too simple the style. Nevertheless, Incubo is perfect for those who are not afraid of any challenge and are interested in scary stories outside the mainstream.

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Sumatra – Fate of Yandi: An Outstanding Trip into the Indonesian Jungle

Actually, Virtual SEA is indeed a platform for games from Southeast Asia. Rarely enough, however, Southeast Asia is used as a venue for games from other regions. The British studio Cloak and Dagger Games dares to leave well-known settings and publishes with Sumatra – Fate of Yandi a point’n click adventure set in Indonesia. We would like to take this opportunity to take a closer look at the game.

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Quick Review: Nightstream

Nightstream is in its core an endless runner game, as players take control of a runner who is surfing the stream on hoverboards (shouldn’t they be called hovers instead?). Various levels represent the stream’s tube-like architecture in which the runners must avoid traps, collect orbs and power-ups as well as fight enemies. The game is super-fast, so quick reflexes are necessary to reach the end of each level. Fair reset points and the ability to ride the tube in 180 degrees are helpful to that task.

Action-RPG 0

Quick Review: Monster Slayers

Monster Slayers! “What a generic title for a videogame.”, was probably the first thing we thought when we heard about this game. But its tagline intrigued us: A Deckbuilding Roguelike Adventure. This combination of probably some of the most popular genres today seems worth a look. Is it a great mixture of all those or simply a potpourri of half-baked ideas to jump on a hype train? While Monster Slayers has originally been released on PC by Malaysian developer Nerdook in 2017, we are now looking at the recently ported version for the Nintendo Switch.

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A MAZE Festival 2019: Political Game “Duloga” from the Philippines showcased in Berlin

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

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She Remembered Caterpillars: A Challenging and Philosophical Approach to Death and Grief

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?

Malaysia 0

Itch.io Spotlight: Waker

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.

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A Masterful Tale of Nature and Indonesian Mythology: She & The Light Bearer

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?

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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.

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Action-RPG 2

Valthirian Arc: Hero School Story tries to satisfy your need to become Albus Dumbledore

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.