Brazil Indie Spotlight 2019: Top 5 indie game developers of Brazil
21 Nov, 2019
You might know Brazil as the land of capoeira and carnival, but the South American country has also served up these terrific indie games.
Brazil may not be the first place that comes to mind when it comes to video games, but that might very well change at this rate. Brazilian developers have created several terrific indie games in the past decade, and we’ve picked out five studios you need to keep an eye on.
Long Hat House (Dandara)
Long Hat House was founded in 2014 in Belo Horizonte, but it really made its mark in 2018 with the release of Dandara. This innovative platform-action game featured a protagonist who cannot walk or run, but rather snap to surfaces. The Raw Fury-published game also took inspiration from Brazilian culture for its storytelling, such as naming its protagonist after the historical Dandara.
Long Hat House consists of developers Lucas Mattos and João Brant, who met while studying Computer Science. After several game jams, the duo decided to found the studio formally in 2014. The studio’s next game is as-of-yet unannounced.
Bombservice (Momodora series, Minoria)
One of the more veteran studios of Brazil, Bombservice has been developing games since at least Momodora in 2010. The studio specialises in 2D platformers, and its most notably series Momodora saw four entries from 2010 to 2016. While the earliest games can only be found on itch.io, the series made its way to Steam eventually and then to consoles as well. Bombservice has most recently developed Minoria, an original game that released on PC in August this year.
Bombservice was created by, and is directed by Guilherme “Rdein” Martins, who has been creating games since high school. Although he appears to be the only member of the studio, Rdein has been assisted by other collaborators in the development of his games.
Swordtales is based in Porto Alegre, and it developed one of Brazil’s most high-profile games of recent years: Toren. Swordtales received funding from the Brazilian Ministry of Culture in the development of the game, which was published by Versus Evil in 2015.
The Ico-esque game had you playing as the ‘Moonchild’, who must climb the tower (called Toren), in order to find her purpose. The game combined exploration, combat, and puzzle-solving, all with 3D graphics. The game notably was a finalist and honourable mention at several events, including the Brazil Game Show and the Independent Games Festival.
Behold Studios (Knights of Pen & Paper, Chroma Squad, Out of Space)
Behold Studios hails from the Brazilian capital of Brasília itself, where it was founded in 2009 (making it one of the oldest studios on this list). Their debut game was the charmingly original 2012 RPG Knights of Pen & Paper, in which players controlled a group of tabletop roleplayers, including the dungeon master.
While Finnish studio Kyy Games worked on a sequel to that game, Behold Studios instead worked on the Power Rangers-inspired Chroma Squad, in which a group of tokusatsu stunt performers decide to found their own indie studio and produce an action series.
In 2017, the studio launched Galaxy of Pen & Paper, which takes from the studio’s debut game, and launches it into space (although it remains focused on tabletop roleplaying, this time via the Internet of the 1990s).
At present, the developer is working on Out of Space, which is a co-op multiplayer game about living with roommates on a spaceship. The game is currently in Early Access on Steam.
JoyMasher (Oniken, Odallus, Blazing Chrome)
JoyMasher’s website proudly proclaims that the studio knows retro, and we’re inclined to agree with that assessment. The Curitiba-based studio was founded in January 2012, between Danilo Dias and Thais Weiller. The studio’s debut game was the doggedly retro-styled action platformer Oniken (which you’d be forgiven for thinking this was a game actually from the 1980s). JoyMasher also developed Odallus: The Dark Call.
Although the studio had trouble getting word of its games out initially, its fortunes changed with Steam Greenlight and crowdfunding. In 2016, founders Thais and Danilo were able to work on games full time at long last.
Their newest title is Blazing Chrome, which keeps up with the relentlessly ’80s style, this time with run-and-gun gameplay.