This past July you’d be forgiven for thinking there wasn’t a lot out in regards to games, which is somewhat true, as it turned out to be one of the quieter months in what has been an incredible year of jaw dropping experiences and new consoles already. However, a number of superb Australian developed games dropped in July which have been keeping us busy!
From the best puzzle game on the Switch, to one of the most charming and relaxing games since Stardew Valley, here are a few Aussie games which you may have missed in July. [divider][/divider]
This year has been one of the biggest in Australian games not just for the plethora of indie titles we have seen come out such as Hollow Knight and Hacknet Labyrinths (DLC), we have also seen the resurgence of Australian sport games too. Earlier this year AFL Evolution came out (read our review here) from developer Wicked Witch and in July famous Aus sports developer Big Ant Studios released the latest instalment in the Rugby League Live Series.
In previous games in the series there were often a myriad of issues from various glitches to uneven gameplay which would lead to frustration for fans.
However, as Shannon said in his review, Rugby League Live 4 is the most polished Australian-developed sporting game in recent memory. There are still issues, but a lot of the frustrating issues which plagued earlier iterations of the game have now been cleaned up to the point where people playing the game won’t be left questioning a myriad presentation issues or glitches.
Plus it has just be announced it dethroned Crash Bandicoot as the top selling game in the Australian sales charts and obviously been a hit with Rugby League fans around the country. Meaning there is a good chance will see more instalments in the series soon, ones which are hopefully even more polished.
Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles is the debut title from Queensland developer Prideful Sloth, which funnily enough relates a lot to the style of the game! An easy going and peaceful game, Yonder is charming, simple fun, but with plenty of care and polish put into making it one of the most relaxing experiences since Stardew Valley.
Although initially tasked with clearing the mysterious ‘murk’ which has engulfed large parts of your new home the islands of Gemae, once you are past the intro sequence, you are free to explore and do whatever you want. Whether it be fishing, starting up a farm, mastering a trade such as carpentry or brewing, or even just befriending adorable animals. Following the main quest at hand will allow you to unlock more areas and secrets, but the game never feels like it is pushing you.
Despite being somewhat shallow when it comes to interactions with the people inhabiting the world of Gamae and various repetitive fetch quests, Yonder is a perfect game to unwind to. Plus you can collect cats! That is just the type of game Yonder is.
A mobile game from developer duo Polyphonic LP from Melbourne, is dubbed a relaxing, remixing minimal musical puzzler, which sounds right up my alley. I’ve recently started playing mobile games regularly (particularly puzzlers and the game ‘Threes’!) and I’m the type of person who is always listening to music. So, sounds like a perfect fit for me!
Unfortunately, it has only been released on IOS so far (the price to pay of having a Google Pixel!). However, I love the concept and wouldn’t want fellow music and puzzle lovers to miss out, and to help ease your morning commutes to work or school.
Resynth had already won several awards before it released for design, especially around audio and music. Coming from a jazz pianist and PhD candidate investigating synaesthetic (yes, I had to Google that one myself) approaches to game design, you can bet the game comes from a place of great love for music and trying new techniques when it comes to game design. Check out the trailer below to get an idea about the gameplay for Resynth, which is out on iPhone and iPad.
Originally released on Steam, Xbox One and PS4 earlier this year, Death Squared has now made its way to this years most talked about console, the Nintendo Switch.
The first console title from veteran developers SMG Studios from Sydney, who cut their teeth on successful mobile titles such as Thumb Drift and One More Jump. Now SMG have the best puzzle game on the Nintendo Switch. Taking a huge focus around local co-op, every stage/puzzle in Death Squared allows for at least 2 people to play at once, with 80 levels designed for 2-4 players in mind (over 180 levels in total!).
Playing as coloured cubes, you are put through dozens of test simulations by an AI and its boss, very much akin to the Portal series, with satirical commentary throughout from the test runners as you attempt each puzzle.
More importantly the puzzles at hand are diverse and hit a fantastic sweet spot of challenging, but accessible. Relying on movement and coordination is everything in Death Squared, and is fine tuned to a point you’ll never feel like it is the game’s fault if you fail, but very much your own… or more likely your teammates.
Which comes to the best part of Death Squared, which is playing it with friends! Some of the Press Start crew played it at RTX Sydney in February and as you can see in the trailer below, we had a ridiculous amount of fun. Frustrating fun, but fun nonetheless!
[divider][/divider]Want more Aussie game goodness? Then check out our review of the incredibly quirky adventure game Paradigm or the latest news on Necrobarista, a game based in a fictional version of Melbourne, which is coming to the Nintendo Switch. Or if there were other Australian developed games which came out in July which I missed let me know in the comments!