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Check out the 25 SA-developed games on itch.io

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Did you know there are currently 25 South African developed video games on itch.io? It's okay, neither did I; I didn't even know about itch.io to begin with. MWEB GameZone is always looking for ways to support local game development, so when I saw a tweet from Make Games SA about "a collection of South African games on itch.oi" I investigated ... and found a South African treasure chest of games - specifically for those wanting to go into game development. There's also a few games you should play; we recommend The Maker's Eden from Screwy Lightbulb.

Before I show you that 'lil treasure chest, allow me to explain what itch.io is all about. For that, I caught up with Make Games SA Chairperson Nicholas Hall and local developer Steven Tu from TwoPlus Games.

What is itch.io? Can I scratch it?

"Itch is a great platform to distribute games where the intention is not primarily for commercial success (for now). Itch has hosted some really controversial or "alternative" games that explore interesting themes, as such it has (to my mind) got a reputation as being the platform to release more artsy or non-traditional games. Gamers can benefit by being able to experience how games can be used to as both a social commentary tool or experience unconventional game-play and themes at little to no price," explains Nicholas.

Steven has been using itch.io for some time; you can check out his page here.

"It’s grown a lot and has had many functionalities added. Anyone can create an account on it and put games on it, and you can choose to charge for it or not. These days it’s a nice space to put your games on just for anyone to see. Access to it is pretty easy, so there’s a whole whack of games on there, and they, of course, range from the prototype experiments to “finished” games.

itch.io also has a dedicated game jam platform where people can set up game jams, run game jams from there. So people can submit their games as part of a game jam.

As for SA games on there, we’ve always used it to put or games up after game jams. It’s a very handy system complete with analytics so you can see what kind of traffic your game is getting, and it provides a handy central point to organise your games that you want to show everyone.

It’s free to setup and free to use, which is obviously a huge boon to indies. Recently Itch.io made a collections functionality that allows people to create collections of games for organisations and whatever purposes, kinda like steam’s curatorship lists but much more basic."

A look at SA-developed games on itch.io

"Kobus v/d Walt had the idea of putting together a list of SA games :). These are mostly prototypes and not complete games, most of them come from game jams, and the games on itch.io aren’t exhaustive (i.e. they don’t cover ALL the games everyone has made) because not everyone uses itch.io, but it’s a nice snapshot of dev in SA who are putting games out there into the world. There’s also a list like that on Steam, but that’s exclusively commercially released games," continued Steven.

You can find Kobus' ithi.io page here. I'll list the 25 games in his "South African Games On Itch.io" folder, click on this link for a snapshot of all the games. Please bear in mind, a lot of the games listed below come from game jams.

(Price reflected as at the time of writing, converted to Rand from USD. Game is free unless price listed. Platforms vary from PC to mobile.)

  1. Pixel Commute by Benjamming: Pixel screensaver, gorgeous stuff.
  2. Snow Cones by TeamLazerBeam: A textless frozen treat dating simulor (name own price).
  3. Bunny Bash by DarkArts Studios: Platformer where you meat grind your way through an online multi­-player death match (R258).
  4. Vulture for NetHack by DarkArts Studios: A graphical Roguelike RPG with a birds-eye view (R48).
  5. The Uxchilan Horror by Screwy Lightbulb: An interactive fiction set during the early 20th century at an archaeological dig site.
  6. The Maker's Eden by Screwy Lightbulb: A sci-fi hypertext adventure in the style of a motion-comic (R65).
  7. Cadence by MadeWithMonsterLove: Cadence is a musical playground of beautiful puzzles, defined by elegance and minimalist design.
  8. Error-Prone by MadeWithMonsterLove: A simulation parable about how self-driving cars always beat the mayhem of humans.
  9. Raptor Polo by Benjamming: A sports game about Orcs riding raptors, using each other as balls to play Polo.
  10. Symmetric Torpedo by Francois van Niekerk: Puzzle game about a submarine-on-submarine battle.
  11. Luminare by Francois van Niekerk: A puzzle game of inductive logic. 
  12. Neon Highway by Francois van Niekerk: A six-way connected runner.
  13. Streamline by Francois van Niekerk: Hand-crafted puzzles contain a variety of unique interesting mechanics - easy to fiendishly difficult.
  14. Glassacre by Kobus vd Walt: A minimalist arcade game created for the Ludum Dare 31 competition.
  15. Thumbper by Kobus vd Walt: Created for the inaugural NAGJam in which it placed first.
  16. Boxer by SUGBOERIE: A top down boxing game played using only the analogue sticks. Winner Jhb A MAZE Festival Award.
  17. Cluster by Kobus vd Walt: Experience finger bleeding difficulty while trying to dodge, smash, and curse blocks.
  18. Landshark Missile Attack by Twoplus Games: Their first Ludum Dare game.
  19. Opera Sentai by Twoplus Games: Their first foray into Blender and mobile FPS controls.
  20. No More Boxes by Twoplus Games: Crush, toss, stomp, smash your friends in this death-by-box four-player deathmatch.
  21. PokEscape: Magicrap's Battle for Survival & Gyrodeuce by Twoplus Games: You're a growing monster baby. You need to eat to survive.
  22. Bodybag by Twoplus Games: Crime resolution physics simulation, either play with a friend or be an ambidextrous hero yourself.
  23. Beat Attack by Twoplus Games: A musical versus puzzle brawler for two players.
  24. Babel by Twoplus Games: A tower building puzzle game about social cohesion.
  25. BOOOST Enhanced by Twoplus Games: Made in 48 hours for for Ludm Dare 34.

Here's a look at Boxer that won last year's Jhb A MAZE Festival Award.

 

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