Indie Prize Asia 2016: New Direction and First Successes

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Indie Prize Asia 2016

In the vast landscape of independent game development, we come across gems that radiate uniqueness and artistic brilliance, embodying the spirit of innovation. In this article, we will touch on the first event that took place in Asian countries. Investors like Unity, Plantronics, Amazon, EPAM, and Iron Sources were very attracted to the idea of supporting a major indie showcase in Singapore, and for a good reason. That was the starting point for the Indie Prize in the Asian segment, which ultimately only went to the benefit of everyone.

Icey — A Meta Deconstruction of the Genre

Starting our journey into the world of indie titles is Icey, a charming 2D Side-scrolling action developed by Shanghai FantaBlade Network Technology. The narrative, presented by a mysterious narrator, is immediately notable for its meta-commentary that prompts players to deviate from the path. 

It subverts expectations, deliberately breaking the fourth wall to critique gaming tropes and conventions. This aspect has garnered over 20,000 reviews on Steam and earned Icey the prestigious “Best Indie Game” award at the Tokyo Game Show 2017. Also, this project participated in the Indie Prize and was one of the event’s finalists in Singapore.

Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight — A Symphony of Pixel Art and Gameplay

Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight, the fourth installment in the Momodora series, is an enchanting action-platformer brimming with stunning pixel art. Developed by Bombservice, it is renowned for its unique blend of rewarding combat mechanics, charming art style, and deeply passionate storytelling. A critical darling, Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight has received 8,800 reviews on Steam for its captivating art direction, atmospheric soundtrack, and its approach to difficulty, which caters to both novice and veteran players.

Stifled — Redefining Horror Through Sound

Stifled, developed by Gattai Games, redefines the horror genre with its unique sound-based mechanics. It’s an innovative echolocation title where players produce sound through their microphone to illuminate the surroundings but at the risk of attracting monsters. This audacious concept has earned Stifled a distinct place within the gaming industry and participation in the Indie Prize, elevating the project’s acclaim.

Valthirian Arc: Hero School Story — The Nexus of Education and Fantasy

Next on our list is Valthirian Arc: Hero School Story, a gem of a game that combines elements of the school building with RPG and adventure. This creative blend was masterfully executed by Agate, pushing the boundaries of the genre. Valthirian Arc: Hero School Story garnered significant attention for its unique approach, where players manage a school of heroes, sending them on quests to improve the institution’s prestige. This novel concept has significantly influenced the game’s popularity, securing a solid player base.

Dungeon Souls — Roguelike Brilliance

Developed by Lamina Studios, Dungeon Souls is a highly acclaimed roguelike action-adventure. Known for its meticulous level design, and dynamic combat, Dungeon Souls has earned a reputation for being both challenging and addictive. Its radiant pixel-art style and robust character progression system have contributed to its recognition among the best indie titles. Its procedural generation of levels ensures high replayability, keeping it fresh and engaging, which was new at the time.

YiiK: A Postmodern RPG — A Homage to the 90s

YiiK: A Postmodern RPG is an indie game famous for its unique, offbeat take on the traditional RPG genre. Developed by Ackk Studios, this title pays homage to the ’90s with its stylized art, surreal story, and rich palette of characters. YiiK stands out with its quirky narrative and has gained a cult following among indie enthusiasts for its eccentricity. Despite the severe backlash from the players, the developers are still polish the project by releasing new updates and listening to their fans to improve the project.

Opus: The Day We Found Earth — A Stellar Odyssey of Emotion

In the realm of indie games, Opus: The Day We Found Earth is a heartfelt narrative-driven adventure that explores themes of purpose, existence, and the vastness of the universe. Developed by SIGONO, Opus is known for its dynamic storytelling, beautiful art design, and captivating, atmospheric soundtrack. It has received several awards, including the 2016 Indie Stream Fest Best of Narrative Award, owing to its profound narrative.

Dictator 2 — A Simulation Power Trip

Concluding our list is Dictator 2, a distinctive simulation game developed by Tigrido. Dictator 2 invites players to take on the role of a dictator, managing various factions within their nation to maintain power. Known for its unique, casual gameplay and sharp, satirical humor, Dictator 2 has carved a niche for itself in the indie landscape. Its standout feature is the balance players must strike between pleasing and manipulating different societal groups, highlighting the tenuous nature of power. The idea of this title was so popular with players around the world that it received more than 40,000 reviews on mobile devices.

Concluding the Indie Exploration

In conclusion, these eight indie projects, each with their unique blend of gameplay, narrative, and art design, have significantly contributed to the vibrant landscape of the gaming industry. Each of them holds a unique charm and provides experiences that are often hard to find in mainstream titles. From meta-commentary to unique mechanics, these titles have explored the boundaries of gaming, further enhancing the appeal of the indie scene. Their achievements and recognition are a testament to their creators’ creativity and passion, reminding us of the significant potential that lies in independent title development. And believe us, from now on, only more interesting projects will appear in the Asian Indie Prize.

Thanks for Reading! Owl is Flying Away.

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