Every Australian Video Game You Should Keep An Eye On In 2020

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Australia’s video game industry has a great track record. While they don’t always get the attention they deserve, they all showcase the diverse talent and passion that our local games industry has to offer. From one-person projects to hits from studio teams, let’s dive in with all the exciting Australian-made games releasing this year and beyond.

Already, we’ve seen instant hits like SMG Studio’s Moving Out make its mark on games. Baked Koala detective game STONE from Convict Games also made its Nintendo Switch debut this year, showing off the strength of Aussie games for a global audience. With a bunch of new and exciting projects on the way, 2020 should continue to be a great success for Aussie developers.

Here’s every big Aussie project you should watch out for this year and beyond.

Dead Static Drive

Image: Fanclub

Dead Static Drive is an apocalypse RPG road story featuring creepy monsters and existential cosmic dread. This gorgeous-looking adventure is published and developed by Fanclub, a Melbourne-based studio. It’s been in the works for several years and you may have seen it at PAX Australia in the past.

With an eye-catching art style and intriguing premise, this is one indie to watch. You can wishlist it on Steam here. It is currently undated.

The Dungeon Experience

Image: Jacob Janerka, Twice Different

The Dungeon Experience is a weird action adventure developed by Paradigm creator Jacob Janerka and developer Simon Boxer. It aims to turn the RPG genre on its head with Janerka’s signature weird humour. Paradigm was a delight when it released in 2017 and The Dungeon Experience is shaping up to be no different. Check out the synopsis below:

You come across a low level RPG monster, a Mudcrab, who’s pursuing a dream of becoming an entrepreneur with his startup, The Dungeon Experience. It’s like Firewatch D&D but with jokes.

The Dungeon Experience’s planned release date is currently “MmmmMMMMM” but you can still wishlist it on Steam.

Ring of Pain

Ring of Pain, also being worked on by Simon Boxer and the team at Twice Different, is a rouge-like card game dungeon crawler with a sense of humour. It was recently showcased during the Humble Sizzle reel and looks set to be an absolutely cracking time.

The game is dated for a spring 2020 release and you can wishlist it (or play the demo) on Steam. While you wait for the game, you can also check out one of the game’s more horrifying creatures over on Boxer’s Twitter (it’s a butt monster, fair warning).

Hollow Knight: Silksong

Image: Steam

Hollow Knight: Silksong is the sequel to the award-winning Hollow Knight. Developed by Adelaide studio Team Cherry, this is a standalone adventure set in the intricate world of Hallownest. It follows a new protagonist, Princess-Protector Hornet, as she defends her forest lands from a variety of deadly foes. Hollow Knight was one of 2017’s best games, and it deserves a worthy sequel.

Hollow Knight: Silksong does not currently have a confirmed release date. You can wishlist the game on Steam here.

Necrobarista

Necrobarista is an anime-style narrative adventure set in Melbourne. It’s developed by Route 59 games and features a gorgeous art style that makes it stand out from the crowd. Kotaku Australia was able to get hands-on with Necrobarista at PAX Australia 2019 and got a taste of just how unique and stylish the game really is. This one should be an absolute treat.

Necrobarista does not have a set release date, but you can wishlist it on Steam here.

Way to the Woods

Way to the Woods is a gorgeous, dream-like adventure developed solo by Anthony Tan and planned for release on PC and consoles. It’s a beautiful-looking game inspired by Ghibli classics and looks set to be a wonderful, impressive journey when it finally releases.

Way to the Woods is currently set for a 2020 release date. You can find more about the game on its website.

Wayward Strand

Wayward Strand is a narrative adventure following a teenage journalist as she visits an airborne hospital and discovers the mysteries of its inhabitants. It’s developed and published by Melbourne studio Ghost Pattern and features a whimsical, storybook art style that’s easy to love.

Wayward Strand is set for a 2020 release. You can play a demo or wishlist it via the game’s Steam page.

Windbound

The next game from the makers of Satellite ReignWindbound is an adventure that’s very much echoing Breath of the Wild and Windwaker. You start, shipwrecked, on a island and have to forage, hunt and explore to survive. Along the way, explorer Kara will encounter various shrines, challenges, bosses on land and the sea.

Windbound is out on August 28 on PC and Xbox One.

Broken Roads

Broken Roads is a narrative RPG inspired by classic strategy titles like the original Fallout. It’s developed by Torquay studio Drop Bear Bytes. We’ve showcased it on Kotaku Australia many times before, so you may be familiar with its beautiful art style and intriguing premise. In the game, players will traverse a desolate Australian landscape and attempt to survive in the harsh wilderness. It features turn-based combat and a new moral compass system that makes every decision matter.

Broken Roads is currently aiming for a 2021 release date on PC and consoles. You can find out more about the game on its website.

Conan Chop Chop

Conan Chop Chop was originally revealed as an April Fool’s joke, but it’s actually very real. Developed by Adelaide studio Mighty Kingdom, this game is a funky rouge-lite hack’n’slasher based on the world of Conan the Barbarian. It utilises an adorable stick figure aesthetic and is very cute, making all the carnage seem that much more fun. The fact this game exists at all is a miracle.

Conan Chop Chop is currently scheduled for a Q2 2020 release. You can wishlist it on Steam here.

Unpacking

Image: Unpacking

Unpacking is a beautiful, pixel-art style puzzle game from Brisbane studio Witch Beam. It features zen Tetris-like mechanics as players unpack boxes to decorate rooms. In the process, you’ll also uncover a subtle narrative about each room and who lives in it. The intricacy of the game design here is spectacular, and every pixel is stunning.

Unpacking is due for a 2021 release. You can wishlist the game on Steam here.

Sports Story

Golf Story was an absolute delight when it released in 2017. It combined a narrative adventure with classic golf gameplay to create a genuinely unique and enjoyable tale. Sports Story is set to continue this adventure and bring the franchise to new heights. The sequel is again developed by Queensland studio Sidebar Games and will include brand new activities in addition to golfing.

Sports Story is set for a mid-2020 release. You can find more about the game on its Nintendo game hub.

Beyond the Veil

Beyond the Veil is a dark narrative adventure that explores the history of New Orleans. It’s developed by Melbourne’s Sun’s Shadow Studios and utilises text-based mechanics and a narrative-choice system that guides your experience of the game. It looks incredible moody and features a beautiful, colour-heavy art style that really pops.

Beyond the Veil is set for a 2020 release date. You can wishlist the game on Steam.

The Rewinder

The Rewinder is a gorgeous pixel art-style adventure developed by MistyMountainStudio. It’s inspired by Chinese mythology and traditional Chinese artwork, which gives the game a unique scroll-like aesthetic. In the game, players take on the role of an agent ferrying the souls of the dead to their final destination. While it’s mostly flown under the radar, it’s a genuinely stunning-looking game that deserves attention. It was on show at PAX Australia 2019 and has only grown more intriguing since then.

The Rewinder is currently set for a release in 2021. You can check the game out and wishlist it on Steam.

Interloper

A six-degree-of-freedom flight sim for iOS, Interloper is one for anyone who enjoyed Star Citizen or oldschool arcade space shooters. Playable in portrait or landscape, Interloper is due out on July 30.

More information is available on the official website.


Australia’s video games really are labours of love. Australia’s video games industry is still developing and many studios lack the resources afforded to larger AAA titles around the world. Still, the country is producing some fantastic gems that show off just how passionate and talented our local industry is. All of these gems and more deserve your attention.

Have we missed any Aussie games you’re looking forward to? Tell us about it in the comments below.

Comments

  • Necrobarista is at the top of that list for me, but Windbound, Broken Roads, Unpacking all leapt onto my radar as soon as I heard of them.

    Beyond the Veil and Rewinder are intriguing and I hadn’t heard of them, so thanks for that!

    Missed from the list: One I’m following is The Drifter – a time-bending/groundhog day for a homeless-person adventure game by Powerhoof, the Melbourne guys who did Crawl.

    I gave their demo a whirl the last time Steam did one of those time-limited demo festivals, and wishlisted it immediately. Dev gave an update about a month ago noting that they’re still kicking away, albeit slowed down a bit by the pandemic and looking after kids at home etc.

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