Explore Norse mythology in a captivating snow globe-bound puzzle game

From January 20th to the 22nd, the annual Global Game Jam blanketed the entire world as developers from every corner of every country quickly devised games. In total, 7217 games saw completion—which according to Global Game Jam, accounts to about 60 percent of Steam’s entire library. Some games were about knife-wielding crabs, others were calming vignettes, but every project found itself carefully crafted in accordance to a single theme: waves. In Australia-based developers Jennifer Scheurle, Gerard Delaney, and Emri Can Deniz’s entry, waves took shape in a familiar place: Norse mythology. The Serpent Cycle is a game of vignettes, taking place entirely within…


The Irish mythology and music behind watercolor game Scéal

Sandro Magliocco spent his childhood playing around and exploring the medieval coastal town of Carlingford, Ireland. So when his Slovakia-based, multinational team at Joint Custody decided to set its debut title in Ireland, it made sense for him to revisit those early memories and set the game in a place he knew well. But more than that, Magliocco argues that the Cooley Peninsula—where Carlingford is located—lends itself well to a videogame environment for two reasons. “Firstly, there’s the geographical variety, from the mountain of Slieve Foy looming over Carlingford village, to the forests and hills connecting to the village of Omeath, and the waters…


Expect to gather round Djur’s bonfire for a sci-fi fable

The campfire story has been resurrected in videogames recently. A rush of independent games have taken their own spin on the sit-around-and-talker, and the idea of making a game out of a fable is currently being tested by upcoming games like Forest of Sleep. The recently-announced game Djur expands this area of thinking, and aims to combine the quiet calm of fantasy worlds with sci-fi, and explore the meaning of myth and humanity through folk tales. it attracts the uncanny So far we don’t know much about Djur besides the unusual moniker of “sci-fi fable.” But that’s okay, because the little…


Climb a mystical mountain in a game based on Tibetan Buddhism

In Tibetan Buddhism, the space between death and rebirth is called bardo, a liminal period containing six—or four, depending on the source or scholar—different states, experienced in phases from birth to death to rebirth. This “limbo” is a journey in multiple senses, both to a spiritual conclusion and to a physical resurrection. British developer Blind Sky Studios explores this in-between space in Mandagon, a freeware game released earlier this week on Steam. As detailed in a blog post, Mandagon was born as the personal project after one of the team members suffered a death in the family. The game shifted…


Miyamori will be a foxy love letter to Japanese folklore

Japanese folklore is a pretty common inspiration when it comes to storytelling in videogames. From Clover Studio’s Ōkami (2006) to ZUN’s iconic Touhou Project, Japan’s mythological spirits and creatures provide a familiar backdrop for Japanese game makers to tell their own, new stories to their audience through the cultural legacy of Japan’s mythology. But the upcoming action-adventure title Miyamori isn’t being made in Japan. Instead, the game features a production crew located across the Western world. Developed by Joshua Hurd, with pixel art from Lachlan Cartland, and promotional art by Kevin Hong, the game features a “folktale-inspired story about community, love,…


Embrace your fetish in a videogame about washing a giant foot

Ashi Wash is a ridiculous game with a ridiculous premise—a terrible, funky foot comes crashing through your ceiling. It’s got a serious fungus problem. (I’d suggest crashing into a doctor’s office next time, foot.) Its toenails are overgrown. Also, it can talk. The giant foot makes it pretty clear—in its greasy Brooklyn accent—that you’re to wash it; if you don’t, it’ll “smash ya house up.” Thems the rules, after all. Troy Grooms, Matt Murphy, Alex Zako, and Julian Francis created Ashi Wash during the summer edition of My First Game Jam, held on The prompt was to create a…


Two game artists share the Japanese yōkai that inspire them

After living in Japan’s seaside city of Niigata for a year, French artists Cécile Brun and Olivier Pichard learned, among many other things, an appreciation for the island nation’s mythology and art. They’ve told us about their visits to Buddhist spiritual sites on Japanese mountains, and as we’ve written before, the pair have a particular fondness for Japanese photographer Kotori Kawashima and his photobook Mirai-chan, which depicts a young girl living in Niigata’s Sato Island. “What interests us here is this juxtaposition of a very young girl from today and an ancient mysterious world,” they said. Since returning home to France, it has…


What could an Indian videogame identity look like?

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. Indian game development is booming—or at least it is compared to where it was just a decade ago. Shailesh Prabhu, founder of Yellow Monkey studio and a lead designer on their isometric puzzle game Socioball, says that, “When I started working in games eleven years ago, there were about four game studios. When I started Yellow Monkey eight years ago, there were maybe eight? Right now, there are too many to count.” That’s in no small part due to the fact that, despite the lack of formal avenues for developers, quality creators…