Wednesday, December 14, 2016

'Savior' - The First Indie Game from Cuba

You know who's gotten the shaft this year on gaming news coverage? Cuba. A lot of things happened for the island nation this year, from the first air travel to/from the U.S. in decades to the death of Fidel Castro. The relationship between the U.S. and Cuba is trying to get back on track as the country improves. That includes video games.

Cuba's first independent video game Savior is seeking crowdfunding to hit a 2018 release date. It's noteworthy because games in Cuba are all controlled by the government. Creation, manufacturing, marketing (if there is any to be had) are in government hands. These games typically fail because the games are not created to entertain. They are propaganda pieces. But over the past decade games like Super Mario and The Legend of Zelda have made their way into the country and have inspired a new generation to create their own games.

Savior will be a challenge for Josuhe Pagliery, developer of the project. He will be pushing the barriers of the political influence in the gaming climate, entrepreneurship, and the artistry of Cuban games. Savior is the story of a young boy who wakes up to find that his world has collapsed. He has to travel through several lands and defeat monsters to rebuild it. The game has an ethereal, dream-like quality to it. Dark, but lit with contrasting, vibrant colors with a lovely hand-drawn essence. If the game succeeds, even if it matches the dollar amount put into funding, it could open the world of game design to more Cubans. We'll have to wait and see how it fares.

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