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ACMI to host free demos of excellent Australian games

The Big Games Night In will once again be hosted by ACMI as part of MIGW 2022, allowing everyone to play great upcoming Australian games.
a halloween valentine game ACMI big games night in

Melbourne International Games Week 2022 takes place from 1-9 October in the Victorian capital, but for those from interstate or overseas, the umbrella event will see a number of opportunities to experience some of the most intriguing-looking games being made in Australia for yourself, no matter where you are. The MIGW Steam festival will be hard to miss, given it’s on the most popular PC game storefront, but in addition ACMI, Australia’s museum of film, television, and video games, will also be hosting its Big Games Night In once more.

Taking place from 2-9 October, the Big Games Night In will play host to a curated selection of current and upcoming Australian video games – all of which look incredibly intriguing.

Read: The Gamers Guide to Melbourne – Melbourne International Games Week 2022

A demo of Massive Monster’s runaway hit, Cult of the Lamb will be available for those who have yet to try it, as will a demo of the upcoming, strongly anticipated (by us, at least) Mars First Logistics from award-winning developer Ian MacLarty – a game where you build bespoke planetary rovers out of LEGO-like material to transport all manner of goods across rough terrain.

In addition, two titles from developer and artist Olivia Haines will be available to play – e-scape and Drive Me to the Moon. A Halloween Valentine, a new game from composer Jacob Leaney, will also be on show.

To support the event, ACMI will be hosting open Q&A sessions with the developers of each game via Discord, where interested players can chat to creators about their work.

You can find out more on the ACMI website. Descriptions of additional games follow, courtesy of ACMI.

Some of the highlights in this year’s BGNI selection of games:

  • Cult of the Lamb by Melbourne developers Massive Monster is an adorably dark adventure/management game that sees you play god-worshipper and recruit other animals to join your cult. 
  • A Halloween Valentine is the much anticipated follow-up to last year’s award-winning Video World by Things for Humans. A spooky and romantic puzzle game with a synth-pop soundtrack composed by Jacob Leaney, get a first look at A Halloween Valentine at BGNI.
  • e-scape by Olivia Haines is a zen nature experience game that sees you explore an abandoned virtual world – a love letter to the bygone online worlds of the 2000s, and Drive Me to the Moon is a tiny open-world driving game with a romantic twist.
  • Susurrus is a narrative adventure game created by winner of the ACMI + RMIT Games Prize, Caleb Noeller, in collaboration with Sarah Carlton. Explore a foreign country as Bo, who teams up with his friend Asha to help find Bo’s archaeologist uncle who has mysteriously gone missing. 
  • Mars First Logistics by Ian MacLarty is an open-world physics simulator set on the surface of Mars. Your task is to build robots, gather materials and help deliver unwieldy resources to other space colonies, and explore the hostile environment by any means necessary.
  • Call of the Golden Valley is a first-person modern murder mystery by O’Saurus Studios, set in the High Country of Victoria. After a magpie postpones your trip to America, a friend asks you to go look for her missing brother in a regional town. Travel to Phillipston, interview locals and uncover clues.
  • Butterfly Dollhouse was created by ACMI + RMIT Games Prize runner up Chase Profeca, along with team members Jessica Schembri, Jessica Tuohey, Joshua Bowyer and Jam Walker. The game features a player exploring a dollhouse to uncover secrets and solve adorable puzzles.

Edmond was the founding managing editor of GamesHub. He was also previously at GameSpot for 13 years, where he was the Australian Editor and an award-winning video producer. You can follow him @EdmondTran