We particularly liked two aspects about Short Creepy Tales: 7PM: The setting and the visual design. In addition, 7PM is an exciting, albeit very short, horror adventure that shows the potential that lies dormant in games with unused scenarios and creative design decisions outside the mainstream.
Especially in recent years, the German video expo Gamescom has developed into an important meeting point for game developers from all over the world to present their works to a larger audience. Southeast Asia was also strongly represented last year. Now, the trade fair had to switch to a purely digital concept due to the pandemic. Unlike in the past, the developers were now able to at least save the high travel costs – but does that mean in return that more games from Southeast Asia could be seen and played? We must admit: Compared to last year, there were fewer surprises this time, but a lot of new things from games which were already announced. In this article we will discuss these games and the possible reasons for the cautious participation in general.
In a world where electronic sounds dominate the music business, our task is to bring rock back to its former glory. Action adventure No Straight Roads by Malaysian studio Metronomik received a lot of praise and expectations for one of the most important games from Southeast Asia are huge. In this review, we will clarify whether the game lives up to these expectations and can claim the rock ‘n roll throne once an for all.
The buns are ready! After some development time and a successful Kickstarter call Bake ‘n Switch was finally released for the PC on Steam. Can the cute co-op scuffle from Malaysia meet the high expectations?
Imagine living in a world where people who have sex without loving each other go up in flames. What will happen to our relationships? The narrative adventure Fires At Midnight gets to the bottom of this question and sends us through a thrilling fever dream in the life of a young couple against the backdrop of the turn of the millennium in Malaysia.
Due to this year’s pandemic, many gaming events had to be canceled or replaced by online presentations. Therefore, probably more game developers than ever decided to contribute playable versions of their PC games to The Steam Game Festival – Summer Edition 2020. In addition to live streams and Q&As with the developers, the hands-on experience is the main focus of this event. Fortunately, there are also many titles from Southeast Asia, for example from Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines and Vietnam. So that you don’t lose track of all those games, we have this list of 15+1 game demos from Southeast Asia that you can try out from home and for free between June 16, 2020 (10 AM PDT) and June 22, 2020 (10 AM PDT).
Stronger together – this applies not only to many social movements around the world, but also to projects in indie game development. Not only effectiveness but also creativity are boosted when creative people from different countries and cultures come together to develop games together. Southeast Asia is a very diverse region with many cultures, languages, religions and of course also different possibilities and approaches to game development. While individual countries already have a very distinctive development scene, there are also regions in Southeast Asia in which game development plays a subordinate role, if at all.
Due to the current corona pandemic, UOW Malaysia KDU has decided to have this year’s summer showcase of its student projects take place digitally. It is an ideal opportunity for us to introduce you to the games made by students of the Bachelor of Game Development at the School of Computing & Creative Media. It is impressive what Malaysia’s future game designers have achieved already: from a culturally inspired point & click adventure, to a musical brawler or even a Souls-like, everything is there to delight a gaming enthusiast’s heart and what’s the best: all games can be downloaded free of charge, the links can be found below. We have picked five highlights for you, but the other projects are also definitely worth a look.
The time has come to look at the upcoming games from Malaysia. If you check out our list, you might not even know where to start. In any case, there is something for every gamer, whether on playing on console, PC or mobile device – so let’s go!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Simulacra: Pipe Dreams is another found-phone-game and a successor to Simulacra as well as Sara Is Missing from Kaigan Games. All games have in common that they simulate a phone in your phone. This idea, which can also be found in several other mobile games like A Normal Lost Phone, helps to get more involved into the game – the immersion rises. So, also this spin-off of Simulacra feels and behaves like a phone of a nameless person or like “your” phone.
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.