Indie games let you experience Melbourne despite lockdown

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These beautiful, relatable games create experiences that feel like home, in a time when we can't experience the city that we love in real life.

One week ago, Melbourne-based studio Route 59 Games released their debut title, Necrobarista, to critical and popular acclaim. A darkly funny, aesthetically sumptuous visual novel, Necrobarista charts a night in The Terminal, a Melbourne coffee shop where the dead spend their last day on earth. Set to a juggernaut soundtrack from Kevin Penkin, a BAFTA-nominated composer who also worked on Melbourne title Florence (my partner described the soundtrack as being ‘like getting a massage from your former self'; make of this what you will), the narrative winds deftly between humour and pathos. It’s also populated by distinctly Australian characters, slang, idioms and all, in an environment (stunningly rendered by an art team lead by Ngoc Vu) that feels quintessentially Melbourne.

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