Freeplay: Parallels returns in 2022 to showcase new Australian games

The showcase of artful, independent Australian games returns in 2022 as a physical event.
Freeplay Parallels 2022

Freeplay: Parallels, the annual showcase of upcoming, artful Australian video games is returning in 2022 as a physical event. Freeplay: Parallels 2022 will take place on 6 October 2022 as part of Melbourne International Games Week, and on the eve of PAX Aus 2022.

Update: 8 September 2022 – Tickets for the event are now on sale, available from the Freeplay: Parallels website.

The lineup of games being presented on the night has also been confirmed:

Mars First Logistics
Future Folklore
Wizard Chess: Song of the Fae
Letters to Arralla
Isopod: A Webbed Story
Bits and Bops
Frog Detective 3: Corruption at Cowboy County

The original article follows below.

Though the event’s focus is primarily on showcasing games from small studios, typically experimental in nature, Parallels is notable for providing the public first looks at games that would go on to be global gaming phenomena.

Titles like Untitled Goose Game from House House, Heavenly Bodies from 2pt Studios, Umurangi Generation from Naphtali Faulkner, Unpacking from Witch Beam, and Cult of the Lamb from Massive Monster were all showcased at previous Parallels events in their early forms.

Read: Victoria’s games industry continues to thrive, and other states must take note

Melbourne developer Paper House (Paperbark, Wood & Weather) will be running the event this year in lieu of a director for Freeplay. Chad Toprak left the director position in 2021, and the Freeplay Festival, typically held mid-year, appears to be on hiatus in 2022.

An official press release from Freeplay reads: ‘Working with Paper House- an experienced team who understand Freeplay and local games well – lets us hold a space for independent, artful games in Games Week, while also saving the important work of appointing a new ongoing Director and core team for post-review.’

Additional, the release also notes that Freeplay will ‘have more to share about our future in Spring.’

A representative from Paper House enthused about their involvement in running the 2022 showcase: ‘For years Parallels has been the stand out event during Games Week and the highlight for many. It gives an opportunity for new local voices to be heard, extremely talented established game makers to showcase new work and advocate for the importance of independent games culture in Australia. Parallels means the world to us and we want to make sure we do it justice.’

Freeplay: Parallels will take place on Thursday, 6 October 2022. The location is to be confirmed, and the event will hopefully be live-streamed for those not in Melbourne, as it has in the past.

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