Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

WellPlayedWellPlayed

Feature

10 Aussie-Made Games To Have On Your Radar In 2021

Damn we have some talented developers Down Under

While the beginning of a new year always starts off slow, it’s not long before the games are coming thick and fast, and if you’re not careful some promising titles can slip under the radar, including those made in our own backyard. To make sure that doesn’t happen, we’ve picked out 10 Aussie-made games set to launch in 2021 that you will want to keep an eye on. 

The Artful Escape

Release: 2021 | Platform: Xbox Series X&S/Xbox One/PC | Wishlist
Developer: Beethoven & Dinosaur | Publisher: Annapurna Interactive

In our interview for our regular Made In Australia segment, The Artful Escape creative lead and former rocker Johnny Galvatron describes the game as “a narrative-driven, musical, cinematic platformer.” Consider me absolutely sold on that alone, to be honest. This one’s been on our radar for a while, and it’s finally coming this year to bring its psychedelic sounds and visuals to the world. WellPlayed Managing Editor Zach Jackson’s interview with its creator is well worth a read, so get on that.

Kieron Verbrugge

Broken Roads

Release: 2021 | Platform: PC/Consoles | Wishlist
Developer: Drop Bear Bytes | Publisher: Drop Bear Bytes

Broken Roads is a game that people have been crying out for years to get made – a post-apocalyptic game set within the great Aussie outback. At its core, Broken Roads is a single player RPG with turn-based combat, and Torquay-based developer Drop Bear Bytes is promising a narrative-driven experience with a unique morality system that will influence character development, dialogue and quests. Plus it features a cracking hand-drawn art style with authentic Aussie locations and environments.

Zach Jackson

Conscript

Release: 2021 | Platform: PC | Wishlist
Developer: Catchweight Studio | Publisher: Catchweight Studio

Any game that is inspired by Resident Evil is going to pique my interest. Conscript comes from Melbourne-based solo developer Catchweight Studio and is inspired by the survival horror classics of yore. Where it differs though is in practically every other facet. Featuring a pixel art style and top-down perspective, Conscript takes place during the First World War, with a lone French soldier forced to battle, scavenge and puzzle-solve his way through the trenches during one of history’s most horrific events. If you want to get a taste of what’s to come you can check out the game’s demo on Steam now.

Zach Jackson

Dead Static Drive

Release: 2021 | Platform: Xbox Series X&S/Xbox One/PC | Wishlist
Developer: Team Fanclub | Publisher: Team Fanclub

We featured Dead Static Drive last year because we were sure that 2020 would be the year. Turns out 2020 had other plans, and while a release didn’t eventuate the little teasers we were treated to continue to raise our excitement. It features again because it looks so damn good with its striking art style and intriguing setting. Plus any game that describes itself as Grand Theft Cthulhu gets a tick from me. I swear though, if it doesn’t release this year then I’m convinced Mike Blackney is a world-class troll whose sole purpose is to post GIFs on Twitter

Zach Jackson

Hollow Knight: Silksong

Release: 2021 (hopefully) | Platform: Nintendo Switch/PC/Mac/Linux | Wishlist
Developer: Team Cherry | Publisher: Team Cherry

Hollow Knight is one of those one beautiful Aussie success stories, elevating Adelaide’s Team Cherry to premiere indie dev status. It’s sequel Silksong started off with simple origins too, as a downloadable expansion for the original game that wound up growing in scope into a full-fledged sequel. Playing as new protagonist, Hornet, the new game follows the same basic format of the original with a host of improvements to keep it fresh. Challenge-hungry metroidvania fans have every reason to look forward to this one. 

Kieron Verbrugge

Nekograms

Release: 2021 | Platform: iOS/Android
Developer: Hungry Sky | Publisher: Hungry Sky

I wrote the words quoted below way back in 2019, but I feel they ring just as true today. In fact, perhaps even more so given how much more vital both cats and puzzle games have been in keeping my mental health mostly in check over the last year. Also, how many more people can go fuck themselves in that same space of time. Go figure.

The Perth-based studio behind this adorable creation has been keeping fairly active on social media with development updates, and more and more Nekograms is shaping up to be a winner. Can’t wait!

Kieron Verbrugge

Unpacking

Release: 2021 | Platform: PC | Wishlist
Developer: Witch Beam | Publisher: Witch Beam

I think what blew me away the most playing Unpacking‘s brief demo was just how quickly I took command of its implied narrative. That’s the point of course, and you can tell as much as a curious onlooker, but when you’re sitting down and playing the game it just clicks. Yeah nah, we used to love this toy but it’d be sooo embarrassing if our friends came over and saw it. That goes in the back of the cupboard. Whether you want a story told to you, to tell your own, or just to zone out and organise a bunch of gorgeous, pixel-art rooms, there’s plenty of reason to look forward to Witch Beam’s upcoming joint.

Kieron Verbrugge

Way to the Woods

Release: 2021 (hopefully) | Platform: PS4/Xbox One/Nintendo Switch/PC
Developer: Anthony Tan | Publisher: Team17

The journey from 16-year-old ‘deer game’ developer to 20-year-old showcasing their game Way to the Woods on the E3 stage is an incredible thing to witness, especially when the talent is homegrown. There’s never a bad time for a contemplative, gorgeous indie title set in a desolate world with playable animal protagonists, but this looks like a particularly special example. It’s also gone from a one-person project to tempting talent from the likes of Steven Universe, which is pretty special.

Kieron Verbrugge

Wayward Strand

Release: 2021 (hopefully) | Platform: PC/Mac/iOS/Android | Wishlist
Developer: Ghost Pattern | Publisher: Ghost Pattern

Another title I wrote about and was hoping to see release last year but pushed its release back. Wayward Strand is the creation of Melbourne-based studio Ghost Pattern. Set in 1970s Australia, the game’s narrative sees a young girl named Casey interview the residents of an airborne hospital for a school newspaper article. Each character on board the ship has their own timeline, so Casey must choose which characters she wants to interact with at every given moment. It means that players will have to play through the game several times to unlock all of the stories on board the ship. It’s backed by impressive writing, a fitting soundscape and a phenomenal art style thanks to Marigold ‘Goldie’ Bartlett and the talented team at Ghost Patten. Fingers crossed it launches this year.

Zach Jackson

Webbed

Release: 2021 | Platform: PC | Wishlist
Developer: Sbug Games | Publisher: Sbug Games

While platformers aren’t my favourite style of game, every now and again one catches me in its web. Speaking of webs, Webbed is a cute looking 2D platformer featuring a tiny jumping spider who goes on a mission to save their spider boyfriend. Created by solo Brisbane developer Sbug Games, Webbed has tons of web-slinging and web-spinning and looks like it will offer players an enjoyable challenge. Plus, you can even bust a move and dance in traditional jumping spider style and there’s even going to be a arachnophobia mode for those who aren’t fans of spiders. Seriously, what’s not to love?

Zach Jackson

With so many good looking locally-made games on the horizon it was hard to pick just 10. If you want to see every game that Australia (and New Zealand) has to offer in 2021 then check out the full list here. Otherwise, tell us what Aussie-made games you’re keeping an eye on this year.

Comments

Latest Podcast Episode

You May Also Like

Feature

Thrice the heat in the kitchen

Advertisement