What do you get when you combine the tactical mechanics of XCOM with the card-based gameplay from Slay the Spire? If it is up to Drix Studios from the Philippines, the result is called Grand Guilds. This concept was also able to find enough fans on Kickstarter and the finished game has now finally been released. You can find out in this review whether Grand Guilds successfully linked the popular mechanics of its role models and how we liked the rest of the game.
We’ve probably all been there. Sometimes, you’re just itching to play a new game, but work and life left you tired and stressed out enough – picking up another 30h epic may seem too big a task. Fortunately, there are lots of great, shorter games out there and plenty of them can be found on Itch.io. Browsing through the site’s extensive library can be a task in itself, however, but we’re here to help. We’ve selected 4 games from our collection of indie games from Southeast Asia you should give a try the next time you’ve got that itch.
Is a good thing worth waiting for? When the Kickstarter campaign for Graywalkers: Purgatory started in September 2014, no one expected the ambitious project would have to face such an odyssey. The first release was announced for 2017, but the game never came out. A good six years after the crowdfunding campaign, the first official version of the post-apocalyptic turn-based role-playing game was finally released in Steam’s Early Access program. We have taken a closer look at Graywalkers: Purgatory and will tell you whether the project has arrived where it was supposed to go.
The end of 2019 is very close, so let’s look forward to the upcoming year! After Vietnam, which gaming highlights await us from the Philippines? The country has been producing many titles of ever-increasing quality for all kinds of platforms and is known as a pioneer for Southeast Asian game development. Among the best games of 2019 from the Philippines were Bayani, Towertale or Love Esquire. Let’s now take a look at some confirmed releases for 2020!
Towertale by Misou Games is an ambitious project for a dev team of only five people. A sidescrolling hardcore boss rush about four adventurers fighting their way up a wish-granting tower, the game boasts a story mode for each adventurer, complete with their own unique dialogue, endings, and cutscenes, and a free mode that lets players fight any unlocked boss with any unlocked character. It certainly aims high, and I’m glad to report that Towertale actually hits its lofty goals. Mostly.
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
When you browse the Steam catalogue, especially the “indie section”, you’ll get quickly overwhelmed by the number of roguelikes available. As another game in that genre, is Dungeon Souls from the Philippines really worth your time?
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.
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.
Assassin’s Creed Origins – Helped by Southeast Asian Game Developers, Ubisoft delivers a new Open World Highlight
Ubisoft has completely changed the mechanism of Assassin’s Creed Origins and is much different from the previous series. I really liked the changes, but not all of them. The process of leveling and also the short storyline made my game experience less enjoyable in some moments. But in terms of exploration, I must admit that Assassins Creed Origins provided me with a more immersive experience. Ubisoft really made real the dreams of open-world gaming enthusiasts in this latest entry.
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.
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!
Southeast Asia’s new gaming hope: Impact Games and their games Praesidium and Noir
Here are the nominees from Southeast Asia for the 13th Global IMGA Awards.