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.
Silence. A strange ambience. A void. This is what awaits you at the beginning of Memoir, the latest game from Paperdoll Games (Malaysia). You start as a little deer, who must face an unknown quest and is only barely told to awake the ancient kingdom. But, how is he going to that?
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!
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.
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.
Embark on a journey between fantasy and reality with charming puzzler Uri – The Sprout of Lotus Creek
This passively controlled indie platformer is a blast with its gorgeous screens and the ability to tell stories without any audio sample or too many words. Every little chapter has a story, only told by pictures or a few sentences – and it works. The colors keep it magical and are evoking memories of the stories of Scheherazade.
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!
Here are the nominees from Southeast Asia for the 13th Global IMGA Awards.
Sara is Missing is a visual novel with horror and detective elements for Android devices.
Updated list of pc games on Steam Greenlight made in Southeast Asia.