So the National Film and Sound Archive have begun the process of archiving eight Australian games from classics like The Hobbit up to Hollow Knight and Florence. Once that batch is done, they’ll start archiving other games — but what should they add to their collection next?
With all Australian games seemingly on the table, from ancient text adventures of the ’80s to modern day mobile adventures, there’s a strong case to be made for a lot of different games. The initial reception to the news on Twitter asked why games like Fruit Ninja weren’t included, although Halfbrick’s mobile juggernaut would surely be a top candidate.
But there’s a few other Aussie games that surely deserve pride of place in the NFSA vault. Here’s some ones that come to mind:
- Super International Cricket
- Flight Control
- Dark Reign / Dark Reign 2
- Kill Krush n’Destroy / KKND 2
- Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords
- Game Dev Tycoon
- Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood
- Card Hunter
- Void Bastards
- Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel
- Whore of the Orient
- The Dame Was Loaded
- The cancelled Mad Max game
- Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director’s Cut (Wii U)
- Mass Effect 3: Special Edition (Wii U)
- Stellaris (PS4/XBO)
- Sonic Mania (Switch)
Did you know the Wii U versions of Human Revolution and Mass Effect 3 were made in Australia? They were produced by Straight Right, a developer that later worked on ZombiU for Ubisoft. The company, which is now known as Tantalus Media, went on to help develop Sonic Mania Plus for the Switch and the console versions of Cities Skylines, as well as the console versions of Stellaris.
Other games like Powerslide seem an easy target for archiving, because they’ve already done the rounds as part of the ongoing Game On/Game Masters exhibit that’s toured Melbourne, Sydney, now Canberra, and around the world. You’ve got games like Ty the Tasmanian Tiger that are uniquely Australian as well, but where the NFSA starts is probably more down to what archival materials are available, and the difficulty of the process. (For that matter, Fallout Tactics should be high on the list only because the developer is still operating in Sydney as part of Wargaming, and still have some of the old promotional materials and resources around their office.)
If you had the choice of selecting the next lot of Aussie games to be preserved for future generations, what would you pick?