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12 Aussie-Made Games To Have On Your Radar In 2024

These Aussie devs are cooking up a storm

Australia is known for many things, such as its amazing nature, world-renowned coffee, dangerous animals and laid-back culture. But it’s also got a thriving indie video game scene thanks to a diverse and unique array of titles that often push the creative boundaries into new and exciting territories. Although there are many more we could shout out, we’ve highlighted 12 upcoming Aussie-made games that have us fair dinkum excited.

Arco 

Developer: Franek Nowotniak, Max Cahill, José Ramón “Bibiki” García, Antonio “Fayer” Uribe  | Publisher: Panic
Platform: PC | Release: 2024 | Wishlist

A global effort of a game, grounded on Aussie soil by Max Cahill, Arco is a stylised cartoony pixel art take on the Western genre as told by a diverse and passionate collection of developers. It’s promising a pretty unique-looking spin on action-driven gameplay with what it’s called “simultaneous turn-based combat” across multiple playable characters and campaigns, all of which are united by a violent pushback on the Red Company gang. The setting seems to be leaning into a fantastical Mexican landscape, a vibrant but equally harsh plateau for this tale of vengeance to play out. It’s striking to just look at, and the score is already kicking arse, so I have no doubt Arco will make its mark. 

James Wood

Bears in Space

Developer: Broadside Games | Publisher: Ravenscourt
Platform: PC | Release: 2024 | Wishlist

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Featuring the zany and humorous tone of TimeSplitters and the frenetic pace of Doom, Bears in Space from Queensland’s Broadside Games is fusing retro and modern design with roaring (bear pun?) success. After going hands-on with it at PAX Aus 2023 I knew it would be on this list, reminding me of a time when video games could be just that – dumb fun. As for the premise, you play as a Spacetronaut who is trying to save their crew and get back to Earth, and whose DNA has been merged with Beartana, the She-Bear, allowing you to channel your inner bear when consuming elusive honey pots. It’s coming in 2024 and if you’re not excited about what Broadside Games is cooking up, then I’m guessing you were born after 2005 (or first-person shooters aren’t your jam).

Zach Jackson

Bits & Bops

Developer: Tempo Lab Games | Publisher: Tempo Lab Games
Platform: PC, Switch, PlayStation, Xbox | Release: 2024 | Wishlist 

Bits & Bops is a colourful and catchy rhythm game that is going to consist of twenty different original levels. As its demo stands, you can take pictures of a seal, build furniture with a cat getting in the way of the instructions, and have conversations through birdsong. This game seems to capture the appeal of titles like Melatonin while keeping the content light and whimsical while throwing in some interesting mechanics to increase the difficulty. Even with pleasant animation and tunes, the strength of a game like this relies on its accuracy and responsiveness, and it seems like the team has this in the bag already.

Josefina Huq

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Call of the Golden Valley 

Developer: O’Saurus Studios | Publisher: O’Saurus Studios
Platform: PC | Release: 2024 | Wishlist

Call of the Golden Valley has already been turning heads at various game conventions and it’s not hard to see why. This first-person detective adventure game places you in the shoes of an American woman who has been whisked away into Australia’s high country in search of her missing friend. Developer O’Saurus Studios has gone out of its way to make this as authentic an Aussie outback experience as possible, using real sound recordings and visual reference points in its recreation of our striking backyard. With an updated take on the concept of detective work in the age of the internet, a gorgeous rendition of Australia’s natural splendour, and a tone that lands somewhere between comforting and alienating, Call of the Golden Valley feels truly blue.

James Wood

Diets & Deities

Developer: Larrikin Interactive | Publisher: Larrikin Interactive
Platform: PC | Release: 2024 | Wishlist

Coming out of little ol’ Darwin is the multicultural rhythm game Diets & Deities. Playing as Nephele, a cloud spirit formed from cooking vapours, you must dance-cook your way through different regional maps to restore delicious order to a world that has been corrupted by the bland fast foods of Colonel KFZ. This game offers challenging keep-the-beat levels to unlock recipes (actual recipes you can use irl) from First Nations, Balinese, Brazilian, and Chinese cultures and introduces players to a cast of cool, original characters in the form of deities. The central message is that cultures are strengthened through the sharing of music and food and I’m keen to see how they’ve captured the feeling of what it’s like to eat, dance, and live somewhere like Darwin. 

Josefina Huq

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Dryft City Kyngs

Developer: magicdweedoo/Nonsense Machine | Publisher: magicdweedoo/Nonsense Machine
Platform: PC | Release: 2024 | Wishlist

Imagine an RPG with the cartoon aesthetic of Rugrats and Ciggie Buttbrain, combined with world design inspirations from Earthbound and the racing mechanics of Micro Machines, all set in a 2D near-future Melbourne. That’s Dryft City Kyngs from Melbourne’s Nonsense Machine, a game where you’ll work your way up from a nine-to-five life to the greatest drift racer going around. To achieve your dream of burning rubber, you’ll need to work your day job to earn the cash to spruce up your ride with new parts and paint jobs to have the best chance at completing the Dryft Lords’ challenges. In between work and racing, explore Dryft City and do something fun on the side such as helping the locals, hitting up the Sunday market and cafes, and getting decked out in fresh threads. Coming early-ish in 2024, Dryft City Kyngs is one of the year’s more quirky titles to have on your list.

Zach Jackson

Footy Bash

Developer: Danger Thumbs | Publisher: Danger Thumbs
Platform: PC | Release: 2024 | Wishlist

Far too often, sports games forget about the good old arcade days, where they often had a fun, stylised and sometimes brutal spin on the sport. Games like NBA Jam, NHL Rock the Rink and FIFA Street were staples of my younger years, and Melbourne’s Danger Thumbs is tapping into this era with its appropriately named upcoming Aussie Rules game Footy Bash. Footy Bash is an up to four-player game made with pixel art visuals that sees two teams of 10 battle it out for bragging rights. The twist? Players can bash one another as well as dash and take huge screamers. We played it at PAX Aus 2023 and it was fun and incredibly addictive. It’s aiming to release near the start of the 2024 AFL season on PC and hopefully consoles and I cannot wait.

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Zach Jackson

Janet DeMornay is a Slumlord (and a Witch)

Developer: Fuzzy Ghost | Publisher: Fuzzy Ghost
Platform: PC | Release: 2024 | Wishlist 

Although veering into the fantastical, Janet DeMornay is a Slumlord (and a Witch) highlights an incredibly real and contemporary issue; renting is a hellscape and landlords are evil. The game centres on a “gaggle of queers” who must get out of their crappy rental and far away from their landlord Janet’s invasive witchy powers. In this survival-horror-escape-room scenario, I am excited to see how Fuzzy Ghost pull from their spooky-funny inspirations (think Beetlejuice) and apply it to the central sentiment of housing as a human right. I’m particularly looking forward to seeing how these housemates can create a home amongst themselves, despite all the mould.

Josefina Huq

Macabre

Developer: Weforge Studio | Publisher: Weforge Studio
Platform: PC | Release: 2024 | Wishlist

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Macabre is the work of the Sydney-based Weforge Studio and is a co-op stealth extraction horror game that sees players explore an unstable time rift to uncover the cause of terrifying anomalies. To do so, your team will need to traverse infinite timelines and tackle interdimensional threats and other players, with every successful extraction yielding new equipment to further your progression. When times get tough, teams can choose to stick together or individual players can try to save themselves and betray their teammates. Weforge aims to blend the terror of single-player horror with a multiplayer setting. It’s being developed in Unreal Engine 5 to help maximise the game’s immersive atmosphere and it looks like it’s on track to be a spooky and compelling time.

Zach Jackson

SPIRITWELL

Developer: David Chen | Publisher: David Chen
Platform: PC | Release: 2024 | Wishlist 

Judging from the delay in its Kickstarter campaign launching I very much doubt SPIRITWELL will release this year, but maybe through the power of listing it here, it will help move it along! SPIRITWELL is an adventure RPG set in a magical world found at the bottom of a well. The character and animation designs are stunningly cute and detailed, with references to a bunch of well-loved franchises such as Ghibli and Zelda. To return home, your character engages in mini-games that will bring you closer to your forest friends and immerse you in their environments and everyday lives. Since playing a demo at Pax Aus 22’ I have thought about returning to the forest often. Fingers crossed for more news on SPIRITWELL this year! 

Josefina Huq

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Surf Club

Developer: Olivia Hanes | Publisher: Olivia Hanes
Platform: PC, Mac | Release: 2024 | Wishlist 

The opening minute of the trailer for Surf Club, the pastel-laden narrative adventure game from Melbourne-based indie developer Olivia Hanes, immediately sold me on what may be lurking beneath its aesthetic veneer. In it, we follow a young couple, madly in love and planning a life together, but through the distorted lens of an aging VHS recording, the artifacting of the form lending the whole romantic display a warped and somewhat uneasy tone. It’s no surprise then that Surf Club will follow Holly as she returns to her beach hometown half a decade after leaving that love behind, roaming the familiar streets in search of maybe another chance with her then partner, Bede. It’s a great premise, and the game’s self-proported shorter length and ruminations on real-life inspired emotional journeys make Surf Club stand out in 2024. 

James Wood

Your Holy & Virtuous Heretic

Developer: i will bite raw coffee beans | Publisher: i will bite raw coffee beans
Platform: PC | Release: 2024 | Wishlist

First up, “i will bite raw coffee beans” is probably the best developer name I’ve seen in all my years writing about games, hats off. Your Holy & Virtuous Heretic looks sick, there’s simply no way around it; with an art direction that looks like someone ran King’s Field through a cursed emulator, the game follows ritualist Aleister in the 19th century as he is caught up in a daemonic summoning. Through first-person exploration and turn-based combat, Aleister quests through some truly unhinged-looking locations while recruiting even more unhinged-looking daemons to fight by his side. The whole thing is scored by composer Lorespinner, whose unique sonic bend amplifies the game’s outstanding vibes. Unsurprisingly, I am all in on this one.   

James Wood

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So there you have it! While it’s certainly not every cool Aussie game, it’s a pretty good start for what looks to be another killer year of local talent. Did we miss your favourite upcoming title? What game are you keen to smash out with a Lamington and an overpriced latte? Be sure to let us know in the comments below.

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