Guck announces debut game, Blaktasia

Blaktasia is a mobile game focussed on restoring bushland and protecting animals.
guck blaktasia game

Aboriginal-led studio Guck, which currently works out of Naarm (Melbourne), has officially announced its debut game, Blaktasia. As announced, the title is a mobile adventure about restoring the bush and saving animals, while facing down a corrupting force known as the Murk.

The game is inspired by Indigenous Australian culture, art, and practices, and has been developed by a pioneering “100% Aboriginal-Led” team. With the support of Screen Australia, Guck has spent the last few years realising its vision for Blaktasia, and working to create a game that represents a milestone achievement for Australian game development.

Notably, Blaktasia was announced with the launch of NAIDOC Week – an early July celebration designed to spotlight and uplift First Nations culture and stories. What better opportunity to celebrate the work of Guck, and its push toward creating more authentic, mindful representation for Indigenous culture?

After years of misrepresentation, misappropriation and ignorance of this culture in video games, Blaktasia looks to be a salve, elevating Indigenous artists, writers, and game developers in its design. For now, only the cover name and artwork for the game has been revealed, but we’re likely to see much more about it in the coming months. Per Guck, it’s set to release as a free game by late 2024.

Read: Guck share their favourite games of 2023

Once Blaktasia has launched, the team behind the project will disband. Wherever developers go, they will spread their expertise and experience – although Guck has made clear its impact should and will continue long after the studio splits up.

For years, Guck has advocated for better representation for Aboriginal people in games, providing educational resources, speaking at conferences, and outlining protocols for other studios, funding bodies, and the government.

“Once we release and pack up, any industry structures, bodies, festivals and orgs that have been coasting along and letting us do all the heavy lifting …. You’ve had years to come up with actions or strategies or changes,” the studio said on Twitter / X.

Going forward, there’s hope Guck’s message will sink in – and that studios in particular do much better in representing Aboriginal people and their culture in future projects. As Guck makes clear, representation is not about lip service or vague consultancy, it’s about tangible, meaningful representation, with Aboriginal people given the scope, funding, and spotlight they deserve.

To learn more about Blaktasia, you can keep up to date on Twitter / X.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.