Herald favorites: the five best Argentine video games of 2022

Argentina’s video game industry, the third-biggest in Latin America, is constantly growing. Suiting all tastes and age groups, here is a list of the best new national games for your computer or console.

Unusual Findings (Epic Llama)

When evil aliens appear in the quiet town of Southplains, the fate of the world is in the hands of three mischievous teenagers  – even if that means putting aside their plans to secretly (and probably illegally) unscramble a pay-per-view adult TV channel.

An old-school adventure game set in the 80s, Unusual Findings pays homage to classic films of the time, including E.T., The Goonies, and Stand by Me. Its intricately detailed retro pixel-art graphics suit the topic and the 80s-inspired synthesizer music was composed by Tomás Ferraro, of Latin Grammy and MTV Awards-nominated band Rayos Láser (Laser Rays).

Unusual Finding’s effective humor stems mainly from the interactions between the three protagonists (Vinny is an adventurer and fan of old movies, Tony is a nerd who likes ponies and Nick is obsessed with cars and girls) and from the over-the-top side characters. The story has three different endings, which mainly depend on how you make the characters interact. A reflection on nostalgia and friendship, Unusual Findings has all the ingredients to make its mark on the player well after the credits roll.

Genres: Sci-fi comedy, point and click adventure game

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Switch.

Buy it on Steam.

MADiSON (Bloodius Games)

For his 16th birthday, Luca received an old instant camera – but little did he know, it was a device that connects the world of the living with that of the dead.

Set in a large house, in MADiSON the player has to use the camera, which belonged to a serial killer 30 years earlier, to solve puzzles, drive away demonic entities and put an end to a macabre ritual. To say this psychological horror game is scary would be an understatement – it was deemed the Scariest Video Game of All Time by The Science of Scare Project from Broadband Choices. The project’s team conducted an experiment in which 200 participants played the game and their heart rate was monitored. Their average heart rate was 97 beats per minute, reaching peaks of 131 and beating well-established franchises. That is not MADiSON’s only honor –  it won awards like best game in the EVA expo, best horror game in the DROP horror festival in Moscow, and was even declared of cultural interest by the Berazategui City Legislature.

With its graphics, story and sound design, the game excels at creating a very tense atmosphere that is only interrupted by jump scares. Highly recommended for those not suffering from heart conditions.

Genre: Psychological horror, action-adventure game

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch

Buy it on Steam.

Golazo! 2 (Purple Tree)

What if offsides weren’t a thing in football games? Apart from the fact that Argentina would easily have won its debutWorld Cup match against Saudi Arabia, it would likely make the sport way more streamlined.

Golazo! 2, the sequel to Golazo!, ditches offsides, fouls and some football video game conventions like team management, to create the rawest version of Argentina’s most popular activity. Inspired by classic arcade games, Golazo! 2 adds innovative features that weren’t present in the first version, like street matches and women’s teams, while retaining the local and world tournaments of the original.

During Qatar 2022, Golazo! 2 also launched a new mode, called Soccer Cup 2022, incorporating teams from the 58 countries that contested the World Cup.

With its anime-like aesthetic, Golazo! 2 is an entertaining and lean game that focuses on making football fun again.

Genre: Sports, one player and allows two players on shared screen

Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Buy it on Steam.

I See Red (Whiteboard Games)

Chaos, spaceships and death in all of its flavors, but only in two colors – white and red.

I See Red puts the player in the body of a clone thirsty for galactic vengeance by invading spaceships manned by humans, robots and aliens. With an art style that represents the inner workings of the main character, this frantic game lets the player wreak utter havoc, as every corner and every object of each spaceship can be blown into a million pieces.

While each level presents new characters with their own weaponry, the player’s character will learn new abilities along the way – but they can also resort to using their bare hands to kill enemies.

The game was the first Argentine production to be developed in alliance with the leading German company Gameforge, an accomplishment that was recognised by Interior Minister Eduardo “Wado” de Pedro in an event with I See Red’s creators in Buenos Aires.

Genres: Sci-fi, twin stick shooter

Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Buy it on Steam.

Restless Soul (Fuz Games)

Yet another game that centers on death, nothing is scary about Restless Soul. In fact, as its developers say, it will make you laugh in the face of death.

In this RPG adventure, you play a ghost trying to make it back to the land of the living. With the Grim Reaper as its obvious antagonist, its black and white pixel-art graphics add a layer of melancholy to the humorous world of the game. The script is very well-written, and the protagonist maintains a good spirit even when everyone (including the narrator) makes fun of him.

However, behind the simplistic graphics, lurks a challenging game that consists of battles with hell-bent enemies, head-scratching puzzles and existential (albeit laugh-inducing) conversations with the dead. It’s literally side-splitting.

Genres: RPG, comedy

Platforms: PC, macOS, Linux

Buy it on Steam.

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