Malaysia’s gaming industry has been growing over the years, so much so that Startup Genome’s Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2022 (Fintech Edition) listed gaming as one of Kuala Lumpur’s sub-sector strengths.
With that growth comes an influx of new titles from local game studios, so we have curated a list of those that will be released in the coming year.
Explore hazardous dungeons as a brave adventurer, Lance, in Cramped Room of Death. To escape each room, players figure out how to solve the puzzles. Basically, it’s like a sliding puzzle game with more steps and stakes.
According to an update posted by the developer, Hafiz Mohd Rozlan, in August 2022, the game was intended to be released in Q4 2022.
So, the game is either going to be out in the next three weeks or perhaps it’ll be next year before we get to adventure through the cramped catacombs of this game.
Expected release date: Q4 2022 (or next year)
2. Katana Rama
A mobility-based game, Katana Rama players are armed hacker programmes breaking out of a digital security fortress while retrieving a stolen programme.
As you escape, enemies will unleash barrages of attacks, and staying mobile is the only way to dodge them. You’ll also be armed with a weapon that lets you collect energy. Collect enough to break through doors or shields.
The game is developed by Ghost Machine, a local independent developer. According to its website, three out of four of its team members have previously worked at the Malaysian studio, Passion Republic.
Expected release date: February 2023
Southeast Asian myths and monsters come to life in Kabaret. You play as Jebat, a former human who has been cursed into a monstrous creature.
To break the curse, you must decipher tea leaves and play traditional games like guli and congkak—but the stakes are way higher.
Developed by Persona Theory Games, the studio behind Fires at Midnight, Kabaret is a visually and sonorously gorgeous narrative-driven gam.
In my review of the game’s demo, I even mentioned that if I had to pick just one Malaysian game to add to next year’s wishlist, Kabaret is a strong candidate.
Expected release date: Q1 2023
4. Zombie Soup
A top-down shooter and hack-and-slash game by AeonSparx Interactive, the release of Zombie Soup has been teased since 2019, and it seems like it’ll finally be out next year.
Follow a backpacker named Ricky as he finds himself in an unfamiliar town, shooting and dodging his way through odd creatures to save a kidnapped girl.
Players will also encounter challenging bosses and access a multitude of different weapons to beat them.
Expected release date: March 17, 2023
Featuring an adorable art style, Pingo Adventure is a 3D platformer. As the round little orange character named Pingo, players will get to explore the world and solve puzzles.
There are also mini-games in between the platform levels that you can revisit.
A key point of this game seems to be its physics-simulated world full of jiggly plants, bouncy bridges, and spring ropes, among other features.
Its developer, Orb Game Studio, was just founded this year by a solo indie game developer, Tan Jian Ping.
Expected release date: 2023
The next instalment of Cellar Vault Games’ Paper Ghost Stories series, Third Eye Open is a third-person narrative adventure set in Malaysia circa the 2000s.
Play as the 5-year-old Ting as she comes to terms with the supernatural power inside of her. Described as a “creepy coming of age tale”, you’ll get to navigate Ting’s life as she’s guided (or rather, misguided) by two spirits, each with their own agenda.
Like the previous Paper Ghost Stories titles, Third Eye Open features a distinctive and charming “paper theatre” aesthetic.
Malaysians will likely find the setting to be familiar, as Third Eye Open is all about Malaysian tradition, culture, and folklore.
In this beautiful hand-drawn world, players will get to solve puzzles and complete mini-games as they immerse themselves into the emotional story.
Expected release date: 2023
Presented in a charming pixel-art style, Never Ending Beyond is a rogue-lite game where you have to pet animals to survive.
Stranded on a mysterious planet called the Beyond, players are androids known as CareTakerUnits who can pet animals in exchange for weapons.
Each animal in the game comes with its own set of unique weapons and passive abilities. Mix-and-match these abilities to create unique skill builds and conquer the Beyond.
The game is developed by One More Dream Studio, the team behind the story-driven puzzle game, Ageless, that was published by Team17 Digital, which published Overcooked.
Expected Release Date: November 7, 2023
Unscheduled titles to keep an eye out for
Featured at NoizuCon 2022, Ameowzing Tales was created by Reclaim Studio, a team of six graduates from University of Wollongong Malaysia’s game development programme.
The game follows a cat named Chonky as the main character, who will be exploring the world to reunite with its knight friend.
Exist.EXE is top-down puzzle game about a game developer’s journey of self-discovery. Trapped in a distorted game world, the game developer, Marcus, must travel across the world that’s constructed with various biome data and work with his assistant to solve puzzles.
It’s created by Skyfeather Games and explores themes of existentialism.
Demo: Itch.io (Alpha)
Last but definitely not least on this list is Midwest 90: Rapid City, of which we’ve reviewed the early alpha.
A narrative-focused survival-tycoon PC game, this game is set in a dystopian Midwestern America and features monster attacks, gorgeous art, and descriptive dialogue.
The developer is Hidden Chest Studio, founded by a trio—Kesh Ganesparan, Alex Tan, and Tan Yi Ming.
Demo: Itch.io (Alpha)
This list is likely not exhaustive, because there’s a bunch of very talented Malaysian developers out there, and we can’t keep track of them all!
In any case, we’re looking forward to the release of these locally-made games, so be sure to stay tuned for our reviews of them.
- Read other articles we’ve written about gaming here.
Featured Image Credit: Zombie Soup / Paper Ghost Stories / Kabaret