Indie developers in India are channeling their history into exciting new games
Updated: Jan 10, 2019
Raji: An Ancient Epic
Considering that Raji: An Ancient Epic has been in development by a team of just eight people over a period of 10 months, it has absolutely no right to look or play as brilliantly as it does. By far the best-looking and most polished game at the conference, it's an action game that channels God of War but with a distinctly Indian flavor.
The premise is that Raji, a young girl, is imbued with elemental powers and chosen by the gods to defend humanity from an onslaught of demonic creatures. Everything, from the environments to the demons themselves, are inspired by Ancient India, and painstakingly hand-painted.
Raji doesn't reinvent the wheel—the standard enemy encounter goes something like: roll to dodge incoming attacks, attack with combos when the opportunity arises, hit button prompt to activate finishing move when sufficiently weakened—but Raji's combat has weight and impact that indies often struggle to capture. Plus, you can throw spears around, which is surely one of the most satisfying ways to take out an enemy in a game.
Having already taken on a massive challenge in creating an action game with a small team and limited resources, the developers are aiming to create a single-player experience that clocks in at around four hours long. That sounds like the sweet spot for this kind of game, and my early experiences with it have more than convinced me that the developers could cram an exciting and varied campaign into this time—though right now that hope rests on there being a positive outcome to its Kickstarter campaign.