2017 saw some interesting games from Indian developers. Asura had us crawling through mythology-inspired dungeons, we vicariously lived through the daily regimen of a Bollywood starlet in Alia Bhatt: Star Life, and we played way too many cricket games for our liking.
While the holy trinity of mythology, Bollywood, and cricket form the bedrock of most games from India, 2018 sees a greater variety from the country’s developers. From World War 2-inspired survival sims, to games designed to capture the hopelessness of sex trafficking victims, here are the made in India PC games you should be checking out in 2018.
Helmed by a duo of 15-year olds, Alter Army takes inspiration from games like Nuclear Throne, Dead Cells, and Risk of Rain to make a retro-fuelled adventure. Sporting tons of humour and attitude, as well as a combat system that rewards aggressive gameplay, the full game can’t come soon enough.
The Last Train
World War 2 games usually place you as a soldier on the frontline. The Last Train is a little different - you are a train pilot charged with making stops to take in those seeking refuge across America. The game hypothesises what would happen if Japan did have the means to retaliate after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Featuring an aesthetic not too dissimilar to Papers Please and The Westport Independent, it fuses survival gameplay with exploration. We’ve been given to understand that a demo is in the works and should be out in a month. Look out for a full release in the first half of the year.
Missing: The Complete Saga
The Missing Public Art Project and Awareness Campaign exists help rehabilitate victims of trafficking. Its debut PC release, dubbed Missing: The Complete saga is a role-playing game for PC where you play as a trafficking victim. If you’re not sure what to expect from a game like this, you can check out Missing on iOS and Android — it’s a free game with around half a million downloads across all platforms, according to the developers.
It’s meant to capture the hopelessness of sex trafficking victims. In order to do so, it’s being intentionally designed to feel unfair. In terms of themes and content, it’s quite unlike anything else on this list. Expect it in April 2018.
Raji: An Ancient Epic
This gorgeous action game didn’t hit its Kickstarter fund goal, but Nodding Head Games tell us that the development is still being going forward. There’s an intriguing plot that has you as a girl in search for her brother amidst a demonic invasion and polished gameplay. Throw in a mix of subtle puzzles and slick enemy design, and this could be one of the bigger releases from India in 2018.
It's not every year that we get to see this many interesting Indian games poised to release on PC. With discoverability and monetisation becoming pain points on mobile app stores, we won't be surprised to see more studios turning to Steam to in the foreseeable future. What Indian made games are you looking forward to? Let us know via the comments.