We produce a lot of games for a small island. Not only that, but we produce weird and wonderful, curious, diverse and intricately-crafted games, ranging from little iPhone shoot em ups to mythical MMOs.
Irish games exist on the world stage now, found on Steam or the iTunes store or Google Play or Gamejolt. And the wealth of creativity here is difficult to ignore GameJolt even celebrated our industry last week with a St. Patricks day Irish game marathon.
Weve rounded up Irish indie game companies below: if youve noticed any people weve left out, as usual, tweet it at us!
‘Furry, leathery-winged independent games await you with nasty, big, pointy teeth ’ Its hard not to like this little studio. They have two games so far: P-3 Biotic, an arcade-style shooter, and Onikira: Demon Killer, a ninja beat em up.
Why you should know them: How many games are set in a petri-dish? P-3 Biotic sounds truly weird, wonderful and inventive.
bitSmith build weird and wonderful ‘handmade games’ for PC, Mac, Linux and PS4. Ku: Shroud of the Morrigan is a celtic steampunk puzzle game with Irish language options, and upcoming release FranknJohn is an adorably deranged roguelike featuring a hero with two heads.
Why you should know them: Aside from creating games, bitSmith advise the Irish government on developing our games industry.
Founded in early 2012 and based in Dublin, Digits first game is Kings of the Realm (KotR), a massively multiplayer strategy game released along with a book series from Penguin.
Why you should know them: Digit raised 2m in venture capital funding before releasing Kings of the Realm, making it one of 2014’s biggest European game releases.
This small Irish developer is the force behind the fantastically creepy Life After Us series of horror games for PC inspired by the works of Poe and Lovecraft, featuring lurchy, atmospheric gameplay and desolate interiors.
Why you should know them: Life After Us won Best Digital Game at the Eircom Spiders in 2014.
More steampunk, you say? Why not. Clockwork Damage is an action RPG by HAIL, backed by Enterprise Ireland and ESAT, in Valencia, Spain. They operate on an open innovation modeltheres even an open call for beta testers on their site.
Why you should know them: Because how many indie game studios get the Google seal of approval? (HAIL have it!)
Why you should know them: The Jump is notable for its soundtrack, created by Poet from Black Eyed Peas.
Kahoot are an independent, idiosyncratic team of two founders, a web designer and a ‘(fictional) demon division’ (take a closer look here). So far they’ve made browser games Kahoot Untangle and Game of Hoot, and a new and exciting creation called Project Space Cat Moon Puncher is in the works…
Why you should know them: Because they tweet the most adorable concept art known to the internet.
An independent Irish company founded in 2012, LoPoly have produced the Daft Punk-inspired Discman, the Legend of Danny Crask. Their site is full of pixelated loveliness and something very exciting called ‘Slice of Cheese’, coming soon.
Why you should know them: Nevermind are based in Thurles rather than Dublin, but were not going to hold that against them.
Born out of PopCap Games, which closed its Dublin studio in 2012, SixMinute are a team of nine creating colourful smartphone games with a kawaii, cartoonish look to them. Pick-a-Pet is an addictive puzzler while Monster Mini-Games offers a full suite of games.
Why you should know them: SixMinute secured funding from Delta Partners, ACT Venture Capital and Enterprise Ireland before the release of their first game.
Best-named Irish game studio, anyone? Snozbot sounds like something from a book by Roald Dahl, but is in fact an Irish privately-funded gaming company. Theyre the creators of side-scrolling runner Super Sword Sword Shield.
Why you should know them: They’re also the creators of Fungus, a Unity 3D extension for creating story-based games.
One for younger gamers: StoryToys write that they invented the digital pop-up book for children. They have thirty-nine apps listed on their site, including one for cult favourite The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Why you should know them: The Very Hungry Caterpillar was awarded the BolognaRagazzi Digital Award at this year’s Bologna Childrens Book Fair, the world’s leading event for children’s publishing.
Why you should know them: This week, Studio POWWOW’s ShipAntics won best app at the Irish Animation Awards.
WarDucks is a small Irish startup which creates games which can be played across devices. Their first is Global Agents, a Facebook game about a global counter-terrorism spy force with and Archer vibe.
Why you should know them: Because even pink ducks can be war-ready…
Keith McCormac (@keithjmcc) March 14, 2015