Another Game Has Been Refused Classification In Australia

Another Game Has Been Refused Classification In Australia
Image: Devolver Digital

Even though Australia is OK with giant dildos and games that let you split bags with literal children, Devolver Digital has managed to add another game to Australia’s refused classification list.

The title is Sludge Life, a seemingly innocuous indie out now on Steam and the Epic Games Store. It’s pitched as a stroll through an open-world, where you wander around vandalising and tagging everything in sight.

Just so we’re clear about what we’re dealing with, here’s the official “feature” list:

  • Experience the thrills of vandalism from the safety of your computer.
  • Curiosity and free will are your only motivators – roll as you please.
  • Find and download apps to your laptop and waste your life away playing a game in a game.
  • Smoke Ciggy Cigs brand cigarettes. Smoke ‘em up real good.
  • Take photos of exotic fauna and ambivalent NPCs.
  • Dedicated fart button.
  • A huge baby, community basketball court, and a cat with two buttholes. [no extra charge]
  • Three distinct endings and a pretty robust credits

The official trailer notes “use of drugs” as an element, which is undoubtedly what’s gotten the game refused classification. A listing isn’t available on the Classification Board website at the time of writing, but Devolver Digital confirmed the game had been RC’d in a release to media this morning. (The game is still available on Steam; the RC rating only impacts the Switch release at this stage.)

Kotaku Australia contacted Devolver for a statement, but the publisher declined to comment at the time of writing. We’ll also try and get more clarity from the studio and the Classification Board about the exact reasons for the ban, but from the sounds of things this was automated through the IARC process, which limits how much detail can be made publicly available.

Comments

  • If its not the use of drugs it might have fallen foul to the same thing as Mark Ecko’s Getting Up. ie. Glorification of vandalism.

    • Glorification of vandalism is disqualifying criteria? Jesus Christ, if that’s true, then how the fuck did Tonight We Riot get cleared?

      • I suspect it’s the usual application of weird US-styled double standards – i.e. physical violence and destruction of property is perfectly fine, but being involved in public painting as a message medium is too much like actual political protest in this country.

      • Australia has this thing about graffiti. Once again, double standards as below since there are lots of titles with a core mechanic of graffiti that haven’t been banned either before that title or since. Jet Set Radio, Infamous: Second Son and GTA: San Andreas three off the top of my head.

  • “use of drugs”

    Strange, I could think of a few dozen games right now which openly depict drug use, one of the most destructive and human suffering causing drugs in the world in fact, alcohol.

  • Surprised this got RC, as it seems to basically be Frankston: the video game. Being serious however, is likely to with drugs. As far as i’m aware however, it’s stil purchasable on the Epic Games Store, no idea if its still free however

  • Just wait and see if it was the automatic process, or an actual submission process first. We all know how broken and messed up the auto process is. Shit, a Baby-Shark game could get banned that way.

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