On top of the game

Most people are probably unaware of the growing Malaysian video game industry which is bursting with a wide array of locally developed titles across multiple platforms, including PC, Sony PlayStation 4, Microsoft Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.

With many choosing to stay home on weekends in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, playing video games is a popular ways to pass the time.

Whether you are into multiplayer stimulation, action, adventure or strategy games, why not consider spending time on something that was created right here in the country?To give you an idea of where to start, here are some of the better games, made with Malaysian talent, that are on our radar.

Re:LegendThis is a role-playing game (RPG) and simulation hybrid developed by Magnus Game Studio. The small studio in Kuala Lumpur is headed by two brothers – Gan Dong Chee and Welson Gan – who raised US$480,000 (RM2mil) in a month through crowdfunding to develop Re:Legend in 2017, according to video game industry website GamesIndustry.biz. Like Harvest Moon and Rune Factory, players can build, farm, mine as well as craft weapons and armour, and even go fishing with friends in the game. Since its early access version was launched a year ago, it has received mixed reviews by players on online video game service, Steam.No Straight RoadsThis action-based multiplayer game is developed by Metronomik, a Malaysian studio founded by Wan Hazmer Wan Abd Halim and Street Fighter V concept artist Daim Dziauddin. No Straight Roads follows indie rock band members Mayday and Zuke as they lead a musical revolution against an EDM empire, which is also a clever metaphor for a clash in ideals. Players can look forward to fast and energetic combat action with a musical twist as the lead characters battle enemies using the power of music. The game is scheduled for release on Aug 25 for PC and PlayStation 4.

King’s League IIAward-winning Malaysian game studio Kurechii unveiled King’s League II, the sequel to its popular simulation strategy title The King’s League in November last year. This medieval fantasy game has players recruiting the best players from over 30 classes to form their own dream league to do battle in a quest to gain fame and fortune. Players are treated to a colourful cast of characters, vivid graphics and highly addictive battle scenarios. It’s no wonder the PC version of this game has received rave reviews by Steam users.

Simulacra 2The sequel to the critically acclaimed Simulacra, developed by Malaysian indie game studio Kaigan Games, expands on the found phone horror genre with new apps, more complex narratives and a larger live-action cast that delves into the darker side of the Internet. The game begins with the untimely death of a social media influencer and players investigate the suspicious death by going through the victim’s phone to piece together the influencer’s past and cause of death. Launched in January on Steam, the game has garnered glowing reviews from more than 500 players who were impressed with the complicated storyline and spooky reveals that depend entirely on what players choose to do throughout the game.

Final Fantasy XV Final Fantasy XV created a buzz on social media after local delicacies such as roti canai, satay and teh tarik were featured in the game back in 2016. Lead game designer and Malaysian Wan Hazmer Wan Abd Halim was behind the designs which introduced our local culture into the game developed by Japanese company Square Enix. The action RPG, available on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, has dramatic battles with elemental magic and weapons. It received critical acclaim as one of the most successful launches in the Final Fantasy series’ history, with five million copies sold.

PostknightAlso developed by Kurechii, mobile game Postknight catapulted the small game studio to the big leagues when it was launched in 2017. It was rated one of the best indie games of 2017 on Google Play Store and won the Grand Prix award at the 2nd International Mobile Gaming Awards Southeast Asia. This RPG action-adventure follows the exploits of Postknight, a knight who is tasked with difficult or dangerous deliveries in the fictional grand kingdom of Kurestal. Based on some of the reviews on Google Play Store, players love the game’s cute, fun and interactive graphics and unique storyline.

Mortal Kombat XLocal game studio Passion Republic worked with American

developers NetherRealm Studios to come up with Mortal Kombat X’s environment concept design and non-player character modelling. The 10th instalment of the popular video game series features impressively detailed costumes and lifelike characters. Add to that the positive reviews for the gory fighting game from critics and you’ve got a winner. As of last October, the game has sold almost 11 million copies worldwide since its release in 2015.Eximius: Seize the FrontlineA first-person shooter and real-time strategy hybrid game developed by Ammobox Studios, an independent game studio in Malaysia, Eximius: Seize the Frontline has players working in teams of five as they combat enemy forces in a post-apocalyptic urban environment. An early access version of the game is already available on Steam with online multiplayer functions. A full release is expected to launch in November after the team fixes any bugs found throughout the trial period. The game has already received many positive reviews, with a majority of players excited for its full release. Bake ‘n SwitchThis adorable multiplayer PC game is developed by Streamline Games, a game development studio based in Kuala Lumpur. Players in Bake ‘n Switch can opt to play with friends in teams or play against each other by baking adorable dough creatures and shooting them at enemies before time runs out. Similar to Angry Birds, there are over 100 levels, with seven different bun “species” and 12 enemies to fight off at various levels. A full version is expected to be released soon, but an early access version is already available for download on Steam to give players a taste of what’s to come.

Mak Cun’s AdventureThis addictive cooking and fashion mobile game by Petaling Jaya-based Media Prima Digital is set against the backdrop of lush padi fields and a beautiful traditional Malaysian village. Players manage Mak Cun’s fashion and restaurant businesses and are responsible for keeping customers happy. The Diner Dash game with a local twist highlights local delicacies such as nasi lemak and char kuey teow as well as traditional outfits like baju kurung. Players have the opportunity to grow Mak Cun’s business by purchasing upgrades and quickly serving customers at every level, building her business from a small set-up in a rural village to a global empire.

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