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.
What happens when a dedicated development team both has a passion for music and Japanese role-playing games? They decide to mix the best of both side into their first release. Newcomer Klappanome from Malang, Indonesia is currently working on Valz – a rhythm game and JRPG cross over for mobile devices.
Mayari accomplishes on mobile what others are unable to do on more advanced platforms: traveling to a mystical world by means of imagination. It lets the player delve into the mythological world of the Philippines by using simple mechanics, beautifully handcrafted panoramas and a tantalizing soundtrack. Mayari is far more than just a game, it’s a unique visualization of ancient myths translated into modern media. It stands exemplary for a culturally inspired game.
The Letter is a visual novel made by Filipino studio Yang Yang Mobile and it takes the consequences of such a chain letter very seriously. The game is inspired by Japanese and Korean ghost stories such as The Grudge or The Ring, so players might have an idea what to expect already.
Steam Greenlight is dead! After almost 5 years, Valve closes down its community driven publishing system in favour of a new system, called Steam Direct, with the goal to increase the quality of the published games and to avoid fraud. Steam Direct will go live June 13th, which still gives us some time to take a look at the most recent – and last- contributions from Southeast East Asian game developers. This time, we have a wide variety of games from Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore and the Philippines. Let’s hope we will still see some of these games on Steam later!
Infinity Warriors, developed by Thai studio Sandbox Global, is a brawler game for mobile devices with one-touch controls and heavy focus on grinding.