Queer representation, both in the game and in the team behind the game, is beyond important and more than necessary for games, and what better time to share some exciting upcoming games from the LGBTQIA+ community than during Pride month? These five games are all from queer-owned and founded studios. So, get reading, get wishlisting, and most of all, Happy Pride Month!
Kinder World by Lumi Interactive
““Learn self-kindness with the ultimate houseplant mobile game, and create your ideal space for relaxation.”
Kinder World is being developed by Lumi Interactive, a queer-female-founded indie game studio based in Melbourne, Australia. Kinder World is a mobile indie game about houseplants. It’s a gentle therapeutic game, where you learn to nurture and care for yourself in real life, and that reflects for the houseplants in the game. You can go on a journey, learning about healing and kindness, to the self and to others.
Mobile games is a relatively untapped market when it comes to a lot of game genres, so it’s great to see such a relaxing and welcoming game be made for mobile. This accessibility is also crucial for the mental health aspect.
Kinder World has a thriving TikTok account where you can follow along with its development and get to know the team behind it, as well as a Discord server for the community.
The team have recently taken on some new members, and are aiming to release Kinder World later this year. The demo is already available, both for ios and Android.
A Long Journey to an Uncertain End by Crispy Creative
Set for release this year, A Long Journey to an Uncertain End is a strategy and time management game where you’re running and managing a spaceship, and exploring the unknown. It’s founded by Kylan Coats, a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, and many other team members are also part of the queer community. The game itself looks to have a queer aspect to it that’s normalsied yet stylised in a really creative way, there’s a strong sense of solidarity and celebration.
But I’m interested to see how that animated and fun look to the game ties in with the narrative, as the overlining story is that you keep moving and keep going in order to escape your abusive ex. It looks to be a really interesting mesh of genres and themes, and I can’t wait to see what sort of narrative design and game mechanics will reflect the nuances of such an impassioned theme and story. To keep up to date with the games development, they have a Discord server, and their Twitter posts regularly.
DELIRIA by Aipo Digital
Delira is a casual, lore-rich, indie game being developed by Aipo Digital, a studio based in Brazil focused on queer narratives. Deliria is a game where you come across a bar that exists on the edge of time and space. You play through the four stories of the main characters, each of their forename initials spell out L-G-B-T, which is a nice detail. The retro art style of the game really draws you in, and there’s apparently a musical number at the end of each chapter, which isn’t something you see often in games! It’s also rich with lore and hidden secrets and easter eggs. Deliria looks like such an interesting one to keep an eye on!
According to the Steam page, the game is “coming soon”, but it’s available to wishlist and you can follow their socials to keep an eye for any development announcements.
We Are OFK by OFK Band
We Are OFK, developed by Team OFK, is a coming of age, queer romance, indie game about how four friends in LA game together to form a band and release their own music, all whilst battling with the struggles of everyday life, from romance to rent. This game has a real Life Is Strange feel to it, with that teenage angst you can’t help but love, not to mention it’s an episodic game that’s fully voice-acted. It’s also another musical game, the band OFK are a genuine band in real life, and one of the songs from the game is already available to listen to.
You won’t have to wait long to play this one as it’s set to release summer 2022, on PC, Switch, and PS5. It looks to be an episode-a-week release schedule
Queer Man Peering into a Rock Pool is a poetic exploration game being developed by queer boyfriend duo, Pete Foley & Scott Ford.
In the game, water levels have risen and left you to piece together the parts of your life that you’re not remembering. The water levels drop back down as the game progresses, and you collect more and more about yourself and your life with Darl as it does so.
The game has a wonderful style, managing to look charming and clumsy and beautiful and strange all at once, and the monologue writing segments we see in the trailer already really show the character of the protagonist shining through.
It’s set for release mid-2022, so presumably not long until it’s playable. You can find its Itch page to take a look at the trailer and see some screenshots of the world, or read up on more of the game itself.
I hope this list has inspired you to delve into the wonderful world of not just queer-games, but queer-owned games and their studios. There are lots coming out, (no pun intended!), and any support they get, whether that’s a kickstart donation or a simple click of the follow button, will help them to be seen by the community.