For a country that is besotted by cricket and where parents prefer to send children to academies in the hope that they at least make the grade in the IPL, gaming has still managed to hold its own, though largely on smartphones. While PC gaming is on a slow curve upwards, consoles are struggling to ignite some relevance.
India is one of the top five mobile gaming markets of the world with approximately 300 million users, thanks to the cheap internet bandwidth and cheaper phones. It is into this milieu that PC games are seeking to get a toe-hold.
Owning a PC solely focused on gaming is still a dream for many in India, the availability of affordable internet has helped in increasing awareness around online gaming. As per estimates, the gaming industry in India is likely to generate a revenue of Rs. 11,900 crores (around $1.6m/£1.2m/AU$2.2m) by 2023 and several brands have started to consider India a potential market (opens in new tab).
While India has always been a hub of talented developers, designers and coders, game development has not been the most favoured idea. However, in the last few years, there are a few studios that have braved these challenges and have released their games. To support these brave pioneers, we’ve created a list of a few of the best Indian PC games right in time for the PC gaming week here on TechRadar.
1. Gamedev Beatdown
Planning to build your own game? Well, Gamedev Beatdown is a single-player hybrid 2D strategy game that makes you experience the struggles of a game developer in a gamified way.
As a decision-maker, this brawler-type game takes you through the entire life cycle of a game like building your own game right from scratch, creating a team that has a right mix of developers and designers, strategize to solve real-time scenarios that are fabricated to highlight issues a game developer would face.
Coupled with decision-based incidents, Gamedev Beatdown has all the ingredients- a nasty colleague and a pokey investor who’ll make you think about how to efficiently spend the funds available at hand. In case of an argument over a certain topic with a colleague, you get to solve it via small combat, brawler or a card-based activity. Since the winner’s decision is accepted, you need to ensure that you win the activity to proceed with the game as per your choice.
Created by a couple of ex-EA employees, Gamedev Beatdown is already available to download (opens in new tab) on Steam as early access with new modes and content being introduced regularly, the final launch for PC as well as a mobile version is scheduled for the last quarter of the year.
A rogue-like game, Asura has been available since 2017. Ausra is a top-down game that is set in a fantasy world, and the players’ skill tree changes every time they die. This game is heavily inspired by Indian mythology, which can be easily established by the name itself, and has the gamer reincarnated as an Asura, or a demon, who with the help of powers fights against the “God-king” Hasirama.
The latest “Vengeance Expansion” adds more features and content to the game. It adds a Vengeance mode, basically an endless game where you’ll be fighting with the unending waves of invading God king’s army. One who can eliminate the most, stays on top of the leaderboard. Other additions are Mahasura difficulty, Chakra system, where games unlock new perks by defeating enemy bosses, Shamshan and more.
Asura is available for Windows, Mac and Linux and can be downloaded (opens in new tab) from Steam. The makers of Asura are already working on a new RPG game that again leverages Indian mythology and is known as Yodha. Though the game is still a year and a half away as of now and like Asura, Yodha also has an interesting storyline. You can check out its teaser (opens in new tab) on YouTube.
3. Miner’s Mettle
Miner’s Mettle is an interesting blend of artillery game and a real-time strategy game. Set in the future, this game takes you to a newly discovered yet uninhabitable planet that has a magical mineral known as Pentum. As a player, you not only fight with other factions who are trying to take control of the planet and its resources but also ensure that you come back to your base station alive with a sizable cache of the mineral.
On the base station, users can build new weapons that once fitted on to the artillery trains, gives you an edge against the opponents. As a gamer, you also need to find a perfect balance between loading new weapons onto the train or keeping it spacious enough to haul a bigger cache of minerals.
The game is both a single-player game and an online multiplayer game. While the game is available (opens in new tab) on Steam as early access the full version is slated to roll out in less than a year.
This is an action-adventure game where you play a young girl Raji. It's set in ancient India where Raji is on a mission to save her brother, Golu, from the demons and defeat the demon-king Mahabalasura. On her journey, Raji completes various tasks which help her get different weapons blessed by various Indian Gods.
These weapons come with special powers that help Raji save her only family member. As the story unfolds, Raji solves different puzzles that also unveils why Mahabalasura is eager to destroy the world.
The game strategically uses various aspects of Indian mythology, like Mandala paintings, local music, temples, idols on the walls of these temples etc, with each of them carrying a unique logic, immersing the player in the intricacies of ancient Hindu mythology.
Raji, as a game itself, has had its journey. It got delayed due to a failed Kickstarter campaign, however, in 2018 it got an Unreal Dev Grant from Epic Games. One of the most awaited games, Raji is now available on Switch (opens in new tab) while the PC and console version is expected to come out (opens in new tab) on October 15.
5. The Bonfire: Forsaken Lands
The Bonfire is a unique game that has been out for some time. It's a survival and strategy game that helps the player build a settlement. It has five minute cycles of day and night where you build your settlement, manage your craft, gather resources and manage them during the day while at night combat with the monsters to save your settlement.
The player is aided by the visitors who help build the structures for the settlement. As a player, you need to manage the workforce that is available at your dispense and use them strategically maintaining the balance between various tasks.
The game comes across with a minimalistic design and does not distract the player by offering too many alerts/information, instead letting them make a decision based on their instincts. Even the controls are easy and blend well with the design.
Bonfire 1 has been out for approximately three years now and is available (opens in new tab) for Windows PCs and iOS devices. Its sequel, Bonfire 2: Uncharted Shores, which comes with a similar story line, has also been released recently (opens in new tab) in August.
6. Lovely Planet 2: April Skies
Lovely Planet 2 : April Skies is a first-person shooter game. With over five different worlds, each filled with unique experiences, this fast-paced game has over 100 levels of shooting various objects and baddies, while unravelling hidden secrets.
Unlike most other FPS games, Lovely Planet 2 : April Skies does not have dead bodies lying around you, no gunshots, no citizens or enemies running for their lives. The player does not need health packs to heal nor does it have any deadly weapons. The player is equipped with a home-made gun-type weapon that is used to “shoot” the enemies which are nothing but red blocks.
The target of the player is to get through each level quickly with the enemies or obstacles in the form of red blocks trying to stop the players from getting through. If a player touches the blocks/obstacles they have to start the level all over again, hence the best way to get through is to shoot them. Since there is no violence or blood, this game can be enjoyed by players of all age groups.
The game is available for Windows and iOS. For PCs, it can be downloaded (opens in new tab) from Steam while the iOS version is available on iTunes.
Rainswept is a cinematic adventure mystery game that is based in a small town, and the player is a part of a sad story that involves grief, loss and a murder mystery. While the game does touch upon sensitive topics like child abuse and domestic abuse, however, as the story unravels it creates hope and uses the art of storytelling effectively.
Since this is a 2D game, the characters look a bit cartoon-like, though there is nothing childish about this murder mystery. Playing the protagonist, Detective Michael Stone, your task is to assist the local police in finding out the killer of a young couple in the Pineview town.
Dressed as a typical detective, Stone takes you through the streets of the town and interacts with various characters in a bid to solve the murder mystery. The gameplay also has emotional flashbacks, coupled with soundtracks that sets the mood, of how the now-dead couple met and the drama in their lives making this a game that's hard to forget.
Rainswept was first released in February 2019 and is available (opens in new tab) on Steam for PCs and App Store for iOS devices.
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