6 Australian indie developers worth paying attention to

Whether you know it or not, Australia has always had a thriving gaming market, backed by a host of leading indie developers. I mean, we are the country that has produced Fruit Ninja, Bioshock, de Blob, and La Noire. 

So to honour the underground and recognise the amazing games coming from Australia this year, here are 6 amazing indie developers to keep an eye on.indie developers

Australia has an often overlooked history of creating remarkable games. Here are 6 indie developers holding the torch today.

Cherry Team

After the wildly triumphant Hollow Knight in 2017, South Australian developer Cherry Team has seen massive success since then—and it’s wholly deserved.

Simply one of the best Metroidvania platformers to emerge in recent years, Cherry Team have artfully taken direction from Cuphead and Limbo as well as the sombre design of Dark Souls. The sequel Hollow Knight: Silksong is destined to drop sometime this year.

Anthony Tan

Anthony Tan is a one-man powerhouse. The 16-year-old has been working on Way To The Woods since 2015. This incredibly unique, profound, and gorgeous looking game has pricked up the ears of countless people around the globe.

Centred around the theme of light as power, you play as a deer traversing a post-apocalyptic landscape with his calf. The trailer looks very surreal with fish swimming in the air. Plus, with glow in the dark antlers, it is simply mesmerising.

A powerful case of game design without text or speech, Anthony Tan caught the attention of Hello Game’s Sean Murray and made a splash at E3 2019. We suspect that he will continue to do so.

Paper House

In June 2018, Paper House released one of the most quintessentially Australian games ever made. Paperbark was described as a “love-letter to the Australian bush” and they’ve hit the nail on the head.

Originally developed as a student game at RMIT in 2015, Paper House is one of the youngest award-winning developers in the country, enlisting the help of a famous Aussie author who has chosen to remain anonymous. In 2018 they were the Winners of the Freeplay 2018’s ‘Excellence in Visual Art’ award and the Intel Level Up ‘Best Game-Open Genre’ award.

This stunning game is especially poignant since the recent devastation of the Australian bushland by wildfires. Watch the trailer to the end.

SMG Studio

With their latest release just under a month away, SMG Studios continues to innovate in a genre where they have duly earned a dedicated fanbase. Dropping April 28, Moving Out is the latest from SMG and it looks like an incredible amount of fun.

The action puzzler centres around one of the most challenging experiences in life: moving furniture. By inserting a comic cartoon ethos, you’ll also be traversing tidal waves, deadly boulders, lava, and lasers. While it may seem silly it still looks like an engaging prospect. The trailer below says it all:

House House

Every wanted to terrorise a town as an unruly Goose demon? Of course you have you sick puppy. House House unwittingly unleashed one of the world’s most frightening horror characters in 2019, and it was a huge hit.

Now you can put yourself in the webbed feet of these pondside pillagers and wreak virtual havoc on an unsuspecting English village. The art design is whimsical yet endearing, making what would otherwise be your run of the mill simulator a pleasant journey through morally questionable actions.

Shadowplay Studios

Last year, Shadowplay Studios really made a name for themselves with the aptly titled Projection: First Light. Picking up steam at PAX in 2017, the sidescroller is akin to Limbo, though it takes silhouetted light play a step further.

Projection; First Light documents a history of shadow puppets throughout its campaign. As the player progresses, so too does the puppet, evolving through Indonesia, China, Turkey, Greece, and 19th-century England. Rather genius is you ask me.

As you can see Australia has a thriving and ever-growing indie developer scene, churning out world-class games every year. If you’re not across these creators, check them out online and be sure to get your hands on these games when they’re released.