For the longest time, the major players in the video game development industry have been the west. While this still holds true, the Indian gaming industry has seen a massive improvement in recent years. Even a decade ago, there weren’t so many Indian game development studios. Today, they are working at full speed and are also collaborating with some renowned international video game developers.
Many highly popular video game franchises such as Bethesda Studio, Ubisoft, and more have had Indian developers in their ranks. They are often overshadowed and it's high time India has more representation in this industry. We must celebrate the Indian game developers who work tirelessly to bring us joy and entertainment. Here is a list of 5 games developed exclusively by Indian developers which you must play:
I. Stay, Mum
Developer: Lucid Labs
Developers have often used the narrative in video games to elicit strong emotions from gamers and this particular game falls under that category. It is a narrative physics-based puzzle game that will tug at your heartstrings since the story is quite relatable and meant for all age groups. The premise is about a little boy whose mother keeps having to leave him, for what I assume is to go to her night job. There are no words in the game, so the interpretation of the scenes is up to you. To help him cope with their separation, she gives him blocks to play with. Each night, she gives him a new one, which he imagines as some creature. The art direction in the game looks stunning and the emotional cutscenes between each chapter are sometimes melancholy and sometimes cheerful but always feel genuine.
II. Lovely Planet
Platforms: Windows, Linux, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Wii U
Enjoy a good challenge? Then this game is definitely for you. One Steam review aptly described this game as “The friendliest, most adorable middle finger you’ve ever been given.” With speedy boots on your feet and an infinite supply of bullets for your semi-automatic and the ability to jump over twice your own height, you're well-equipped to face any enemy on your quest to reach Lovely Planet in this first-person shooter. Jump and shoot your way through five worlds full of tricky enemies.
III. Scribbled Arena
Developer: Apar Games
Scribbled Arena is a Top-Down Twin-Stick shooter multiplayer game. What’s better than blowing up your friends in a tank? Blowing up other players in a hand-doodled tank with your squad. Control a doodled tank in a full hand-drawn arena in a crazy online multiplayer game. Play with up to 9 other players in a variety of game modes and maps. Bring out your squad on paper, and have at it! With intense multiplayer battles, fast action, and explosive gameplay, Scribbled Arena has it all.
Platforms: Windows, Macintosh
Developer: Pyrodactyl Games
As a long-time fan of RPG games, Unrest is a joy to play. Set in a fantasy representation of an ancient Indian city, you can play multiple characters, each with their own motives, their own sets of problems, and ambitions. The key driving force behind the game is its intense narrative and dialogue, dealing with several themes that are characteristic of our country, such as the caste system and the consequent discrimination. You play as ordinary people in a struggle for safety, freedom, and a yearning for peace. Use conversation, manipulation, and sometimes even violence to achieve your goals.
V. Find Your Own Way Home
Platforms: Windows, Macintosh
Developers: Curious Sense, Dhruva Interactive
Find Your Own Way Home is a hidden object game with many variations and mini-games, using the band REO Speedwagon for the main theme. The game takes place in various locations related to the plot, where the objective is to find and click on all the items listed on the right side. It was a first-of-its-kind video game that proved to be a treat for the worldwide audience of 'casual gamers' and fans of the classic rock band, REO Speedwagon. The game’s protagonist, who you play as, is the entertainment reporter Ruby Easton, who has been on assignment with REO Speedwagon in light of the band's newest album, Find Your Own Way Home. There are some interesting consequences that end up with the frontman of the band missing from the release party. You are now supposed to use your powers of observation to locate the missing singer.
Platforms: Switch, Windows
Developer: Nodding Heads Game
Developed by Nodding Heads Game, Raji is an action-adventure game where the protagonist is a young girl called Raji. Set in a beautiful landscape of ancient India, Raji is on a mission to save her brother, Golu, from nefarious demons and defeat the demon-king Mahabalasura. On her journey, Raji must complete various tasks and each level grants exciting weapons, blessed by various Indian Gods. As Mahabalasura seeks to destroy the world, Raji must solve several puzzles, battle through dungeons and save her brother, and the world. The game smartly uses various facets of Indian mythology, like Mandala paintings, Carnatic music, temples, and idols in those temples, immersing the player in the intricacies of ancient Hindu mythology.