In general, all press content and video game analysis is usually focused on the outside industry to select the titles to talk about. And while it’s true that the middle heavyweights belong to American, Japanese, French, etc. studios, we can’t overlook about Spanish video game developing. Spain is famous not only for its excellent cuisine, ocean and beautiful cities, but also for its quality games.
Even with the few productions, publication and marketing facilities available to videogame creation in Spain, due to the lack of aid and the scarce knowledge of the general press about the sector, the Spanish videogame industry has fought against all odds over the years to make a place for itself on the national scene. Fortunately, this is one of the best (if not the best) times for the creation and distribution of national brand video games, thanks to the magnificent work of many studios with spectacular ideas. And if there is one thing to recognise about Spanish video games, it is the great creativity of their proposals and the courage to experiment and explore concepts beyond what we have usually seen in the sector. For all this, we have selected 5 Spanish video game studios that we need to recommend, both to take a look at the great work we can find at home and to shed some light on the current Spanish sector.
Milkstone Studios is a team located in Oviedo and made up of 5 people, with a common trait in all their projects: passion for what they do. All their videogames are treated with great affection, and that can be seen with the naked eye in the result of each of the titles. One of the great facets of Milkstone Studios is, specifically, the versatility they demonstrate when designing their games. We find works like White Noise, an experience of asymmetrical terror to play with our friends in which we can be 4 investigators trying to solve a mystery, or the monster trying to hunt them in the dark. But we also come across completely different proposals like Ziggurat, the first-person dungeon crawler that brought the team to fame. Every game at Milkstone Studios doesn’t seem to be developed by the same team, and the versatility they demonstrate when it comes to translating their ideas is spectacular. His latest title, Pharaonic, is both his most ambitious project and one of the most fun and interesting titles we can find on the Spanish scene. Pharaonic is, roughly speaking, a 2D Dark Souls set in Ancient Egypt in which we will have to make our way through pyramids, labyrinths and deserts, an interesting proposal that will make us strive to overcome their difficult challenges and will dazzle us with the colorful art that portrays the game. If you haven’t tried it yet, we recommend it 100%!
Super Amazing Hyper Dimensional Mega Team
A studio with a name like “Super – Amazing – Hyper – Dimensional – Mega – Team” could only promise one thing: lots of fun. As expected, the name doesn’t disappoint, as the games developed by this 4-person Spanish team are loaded with fun. Their proposals are almost as crazy and funny as the name of the studio: while Supermagical is an adventure for all ages with multiple mechanics and a universe full of magical elements, Pro Zombie Soccer puts us in the shoes of a football player who is involved in a zombie apocalypse, forcing the player to defeat hundreds of living dead by shooting a ball. The jewel in the crown is undoubtedly his latest project: Rise and Shine. This shooter with elements inspired by Metal Slug has a great proposal: in the world of Gamearth, Rise and his faithful pistol Shine must face hordes of Space Marines from the planet Nexgen. Do the names of these worlds ring a bell? In addition to mechanics that promise long hours of entertainment, Rise and Shine is a fun look at the world of video games and a nod to the industry loaded with easter eggs and references to classics like Zelda, Super Mario Bros or Halo. A fresh and modern game full of nostalgia for the most veteran that you can not miss, at the hands of the great Super Amazing Hyper Dimensional Team (we said it right the first time!).
In addition to hours of entertainment, video games can be an inexhaustible source of stories, and on many occasions have become the perfect platform to reflect and explore issues such as ethics, good and evil, freedom, and so on. This is something that the Valencians of Deconstructeam, the Spanish studio responsible for two of the most important and successful games of the national indie scene, both published by the famous Devolver Digital: Gods Will Be Watching and The Red Strings Club. The two titles offer deep and complex narratives with ample decision-making power, creating multiple personal stories in which the player will have to reflect on different themes during the game to understand his message. Gods Will Be Watching presents a science fiction story divided into 6 episodes in point & click format, with an impassive game system that will force us to make every effort to solve the puzzles, at the risk of losing our progress in each phase very easily. The Red Strings Club offers a cyberpunk graphic adventure with several protagonists, with a story that revolves around a night club in which hackers, androids and information smugglers come together to give life to a fascinating narrative loaded with decisions that we will have to constantly evaluate. If you’re looking for deep games that make you think and accompany you even after you’ve finished them, don’t hesitate, Deconstructeam’s work is for you.
If there are two mythical genres in the world of videogames that, with the passing of the years and the use of new mechanics, have been somewhat relegated to the background, they are platform and puzzle games. With a few honorable exceptions that have kept the classic trail of this type of games, the number of platform titles and puzzles on the market has been decreasing over time to give way to new generations of shooters, open world adventures and RPGs. But Tequila Works, a Spanish team made up of professionals from Blizzard, MercurySteam, Pyro, Weta and Sony, know perfectly well how to use these mechanics to create interesting and really fun proposals. In addition, their line of games is totally dynamic, as all of them seem to be developed by different studios: the ability to reinvent oneself is one of the strengths of Tequila Works. On the one hand we have Deadlight, a horror and survival video game that will force us to cross levels infested with “shadows” through curious platform puzzles with a lot of tension during the game. On the other hand, The Sexy Brutale (developed by Tequila Works together with Cavalier Game Studios) offers a masterful Cluedo game in which we’ll have to find out what’s going on in a sinister masquerade party, in which guests have begun to die one after the other. As if that weren’t enough, the consolidation of the two characteristic elements of the Spanish studio can be found in its latest and ambitious product: RiME, an adventure full of puzzles and platforms with a colorful and minimalist aesthetic. As we can see, each Tequila Works game is a completely different product from the previous one, making clear the skill and magnificent work that this studio is able to carry out to continually reinvent itself.
The Game Kitchen
Finally, we couldn’t leave without mentioning the Sevillian study that has been on everyone’s lips in recent years. The Game Kitchen was known for developing The Last Door for 3 years, a point and click adventure with strong inspiration from the work of Lovecraft and the well-known horror game Amnesia, in a Victorian horror story with sinister entities, forbidden sects and unsolved mysteries in a dark mansion. But in the last two years, there has been talk of a title impossible to forget if we talk about videogames developed in Spain, a videogame financed through Kickstarter that has appeared in all the specialized media both here and abroad. A title that, by all means, could become the Bloodborne of our country: Blasphemous. With a story and an artistic section that try to become a dark and twisted version of the Christian religion, Blasphemous shows an end of the world in which monsters and penitents roam the bloodthirsty streets. The player’s job, like so many other times, will be to advance through these streets sword in hand, defeating hundreds of enemies and powerful final bosses to unravel the mysteries of the game. Blasphemous is still in development and we barely have more detailed information to know more about it, but its developers update their news from time to time and are constantly active on social networks, video game events, fairs, and so on. With great desire to see the final result of the Sevillian studio, we can assure you that The Game Kitchen can have in the oven one of the most ambitious and interesting projects in the history of videogame in Spain.