If you are still looking for a reason why to travel to Russia (if the rich history, Trans-Siberian Rail and Lake Baikal are not good enough reasons…) imagine that Moscow is not only the greatest tourist destination but also the birthplace of one of the most recognizable video games in the world. Extremely simple, oddly satisfying, and completely addictive…Tetris!
But what may surprise some people is that Russian developers and game designers have kept busy at work beyond just releasing Tetris in 1984! Here is a brief list of some of the popular and some perhaps lesser known highlights developed by Russian studios:
Genre: Puzzle game
Year Released: 2010
With over 100 million downloads Doodle God is a popular casual game where the player simply matches elements to create something new. There is no real story to speak of and it is definitely a more casual game but the core hook lies in how addictive it is to craft all kinds of items thinking through some logical and other perhaps surprising combinations. Due to its popularity Doodle God is available on nearly every platform and phone and has spawned a number of various “sequels”.
Developer: Owlcat Games
Genre: Role-playing game
Year Released: 2018
Raising nearly $1,000,000 on Kickstarter Pathfinder Kingmaker is modelled on the popular Pathfinder role-playing tabletop game. The story, following on the written modules for the tabletop game, finds the player being offered a chance to rule their own part of the kingdom in exchange for their help. This leads to both epic adventures and strategic kingdom building. Otherwise Kingmaker follows the core principles of all old-school RPGs: you customise a character, you build a team of companions, you go on quests and your decisions have consequences.
The Wild Eight
Genre: Open world survival
Year Released: 2017
After a much smaller but still successful Kickstarter, The Wild Eight is a survival game where eight people rely on their individual skills and wits to survive after a plane crash strands them in the middle of an Alaskan forest. Playable in single player or with a number of friends online, you must survive the cold winds and aggressive wildlife while finding a way to escape. Mysterious ruins, mutated wolves and survivors turning against each other add to the intrigue and danger players will find.
Genre: Role-playing game
Year Released: 2000
The oldest game on our list, Sea Dogs filled a niche in video games that few have managed before or after. As one might expect, in it you play the captain of a ship that can either belong to a European power or make their own fortune as a pirate. Following a mission to uncover your fathers' story and legacy the player will be able to captain their own ship and crew, roam towns to recruit crewmembers or collect quests from various governors, make money as a merchant or engage in epic ocean battles either as a protector of trade ships or an opportunity seeking pirate!
Obviously there are many many more, as well as many talented Russian developers having a hand in international studios and releases.