Think Singapore is boring, capable only of producing bankers and engineers and doctors? Well, these seven locally created and developed games will show you that non-mainstream careers such as game design — along with creativity, passion and willingness to buck the trend — are alive and kicking (and slashing and throwing ninja stars) on our sunny little island. In fact, games developed in Singapore are increasingly gaining global recognition, according to a report by The Straits Times, so don’t play play.
Eschew your foreign games and give these a go. We promise they’ll be a whole lot of fun and not lacking in entertainment.
1. Cat Quest
Photos: Cat Quest website
A medieval-style RPG (role-playing game) reminiscent of Final Fantasy and Legend of Zelda, complete with sword and sorcery action, Cat Quest is a charming little title that will soon have you purring in delight. Not just because you’re playing as a cat on a quest to save his sister from the clutches of evil, but also because the hand-drawn artwork, adorable character designs and fast-paced combat all combine into an engrossing and satisfying title.
Like the concept but wish you could play as a dog? Well then, watch out for Cat Quest 2, due for launch later this year!
Developed by: The Gentlebros Pte Ltd
Available on: iOS, Android, Steam, Playstation and Nintendo Switch.
2. Holy Potatoes!
Photos: Holy Potatoes website
Guess what. Given enough personality, anthropomorphic potatoes could be just as adorable. As Daylight Studios shows us in their wacky but also very fun Holy Potatoes! series of games.
There are four titles in the series, covering a span of genres and platforms. There’s the crafting simulator Holy Potatoes! A Weapon Shop?!, where you manage a cadre of blacksmiths to fulfil requests for all sorts of fantastic weapons — including iconic ones from games like World of Warcraft and other famous franchises. If you rather wield those blades yourself, check out Holy Potatoes! What the Hell?!, a hell-themed management simulator involving cooking up diabolical recipes to please the Gods of the Afterlife. No prizes for guessing what the ingredients are (yes, spuds).
Holy Potatoes! We’re In Space?! is a space adventure featuring tactical turn-based combat and the ability to craft a variety of weapons. And the newest title, launching soon, Holy Potatoes! A Spy Story?! will have you managing a spy agency and training elite spies while battling a shadowy nemesis. How wild and wonderful.
If the quirky characters don’t charm you, the colourful artwork blending hand drawn animations and CGI background surely will.
Developed by: Daylight Studios
A Weapon Shop?!: Windows, iOS, Android
What the Hell?!: Windows
We’re in Space?!: Windows, iOS
A Spy Story?! (coming soon): Windows
3. Masquerada: Songs and Shadows
Photos: Masquerada’s website
A tactical action RPG set in a fantasy Venetian world, Masquerada tasks you with solving a kidnapping in the turmoil-ridden city of Ombre. In this magical world, opera masks imbue wielders with magical powers, and allow their owners’ deeds to live on in the form of songs.
You’ll lead a team of specialist magic users to assist you as you play through the story to solve the crime. The game’s rather linear progression is livened up a bit during combat, as you can pause the action and issue commands to set up devastating combo attacks. The game’s visually stunning art style will draw you in, while the richly imagined world and tale of intrigue and tragedy will keep you hooked. Also, the game won Best Indie Game at the Tokyo Game Show in 2015, which gives you an idea of its quality.
Developer Witching Hour broke on the scene with their previous creation Ravenmark, Scourge of Estellion, a turn-based strategy mobile game that won worldwide acclaim. You might want to check that title out too.
Developed by: Witching Hour Studios
Available on: Windows, Mac, PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch (coming soon)
4. Happy Mall Story
Photos: Happy Mall Story’s website
If you can’t get enough of building management simulator games, Happy Mall Story will help you scratch that itch. In this game, you’ll get to play as a shopping mall tycoon, designing and running your very own virtual shopping mall.
You can add as many floors as you want, installing decorations, shops and special attractions to draw as many shoppers as you can. One unique feature that will keep you on the hook is the ability to unlock new shopper types by investing in special items, which will have you racking your brains to increase your revenue — all for a chance to glimpse their cutesy interactions.
With anime inspired ‘chibi’ (short) characters and cheerful pastel shades, this title is great for both younger players and adults looking for a soothing escape.
Developed by: Happy Labs
Available on: iOS, Android
5. My Singapore City
Photos: My Singapore City’s website
Here’s a title that will entertain you while brushing up your knowledge of Singapore and her rich heritage. My Singapore City is a memory tile-matching game featuring iconic personalities and landmarks drawn from our very own history.
The simple gameplay belies a deeper meta-game, where you use the pieces you’ve unlocked to build up your very own version of Singapore. You can also visit your friends’ cities to help them out, and vice-versa.
My Singapore City is a fun and engaging way for young children to learn about Singapore’s history, while keeping the older ones rocking out to classic local tunes such as Count On Me Singapore and Di Tanjong Katong.
Developed by: Ixora Studios
Available on: iOS, Android
6. Streets of Red: Devil’s Dare Deluxe
Photos: Streets of Red’s website
Touting itself as the most bizarre cross-up you’ve ever seen, SoR: DDD is a frenetic action beat-em-up that pits video games against horror movies. Huh?
Basically, you play as one of six heroes whose powers are drawn directly from video game tropes (such as ninja teleportation, laser beams and power armour). Your mission is to fight and survive against never-ending hordes of horror movie tropes, with popular monsters such as Freddy Krueger and the Predator making the occasional appearance. And oh, to keep things interesting (read: bloody; you’ll die a lot), the bosses you encounter will automatically evolve, according to your character’s path.
Thankfully you don’t have to face the beasties alone; you can play with up to three buddies, thanks to the built-in local multiplayer co-op mode. Somehow, the game’s rather sombre colour palette and blocky pixel art perfectly frames the grimly engaging action on screen.
Developed by: Secret Base
Available on: PS4, Steam, Nintendo Switch
Photos: Cubetractor’s website
Part bullet-hell dodger, part tower-defense (or tower-attack, rather) game, the quirky, genre-defying Cubetractor will challenge both your skills and any video game conventions you might have established.
You play as a robot attempting to defeat the enemy by pulling together cubes with different functions to build automatically attacking towers. At the same time, you’ll be frantically dodging bullets and enemies making a beeline for you.
Cubetractor is different enough just to be refreshing, while still remaining accessible. Although it was first released in 2013, this action-strategy-puzzler still warrants a look five years later.
Developed by: Ludochip
Available on: Steam