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Dive into the latest titles from Brisbane and Queensland’s creative indie game scene at the Queensland Games Festival 2023!

Over the last decade, indie games have become a staple of the game development scene here in Australia. Featuring a thriving culture of small teams focusing on their own creative endeavours, indie games have showcased the brilliant potential of our home-grown talent.

Last year we explored some of Brisbane and Queensland’s upcoming titles at Game On 423/GO423 (which you can read all about here). This year, indie games return in force at the lovingly-renamed Queensland Games Festival, dedicated to all things indie gaming right here in our Sunshine State!

Queensland Games Festival event pictures

Made local, this event brought us up close and personal with the Brisbane indie gaming community and the passionate projects on the horizon. So if you weren’t able to attend the Queensland Games Festival this year, or you just love yourself some brilliant indie games, check out some of the games from the showfloor below!

Queensland Games Festival 2023 – Indie Game Showcase

Crash Course Builder

Genre: Arcade / Racing / Rhythm
Developer: Wombat Brawler

Kicking things off with a bang and a crash! Crash Course Builder was one of the standouts from the Queensland Games Festival, sporting a sleek, addictive, and simple arcade experience that anyone could easily pick up and play.

The developer, Wombat Brawler, describes Crash Course Builder as “an intense, quick twitch, rhythm racer filled with screen rattling explosions and hilarious rag doll physics“. And honestly, that’s pretty damn accurate. Although punishing, every level encouraged you to push onward further and further, often requiring numerous attempts.

Crash Course Builder indie game Queensland Games Festival

The game was playable on PC, mobile, and even Nintendo Switch, and ran beautifully on each platform. This was all accompanied by a vibrant and upbeat soundtrack, perfectly matching the mood of the game. If you’re a fan of sleek arcade games and enjoy music in games as much as I do, you’ll definitely want to keep Crash Course Builder on your radar!

Find out more: Crash Course Builder on Steam

Verbal Void: Neurodiverse Adventure

Genre: Action / RPG
Developer: EnderLost Studios

Last year at GO423 we caught up with EnderLost Studios, a solo dev working on his passion project of the last 6 years. This year, we got to see his latest game in action, Verbal Void: Neurodiverse Adventure! Building upon his previous creation with a sleek new UI, refined story, and creative gameplay, Verbal Void addresses neurodivergence through its character-driven narrative to inform and engage the player.

Verbal Void Neurodiverse Adventure indie game Queensland Games Festival

Similar to last year’s build, the conversation combat between the autistic main character and NPCs felt more intuitive than ever, requiring the player to enter a literal back-and-forth ping-pong battle to initiate conversation. Expanding its themes of neurodivergence, a new character with ADHD was introduced, adding new mechanics to dive deeper into a differently structured brain.

Verbal Void is a fascinating game that left me wanting more at the end of the demo. And I’m eager to discover what awaits as the game’s content is polished and refined closer to completion.

Find out more: Verbal Void on Steam


Genre: Fighting
Developer: Tournameta

One of the most intriguing titles at the Queensland Games Festival, in Sumorbit, planets become formidable fighters, facing off in a cosmic arena where they attempt to fling each other out of the ring.

Sumorbit indie game Queensland games festival

At its core, Sumorbit is an arena-based multiplayer game that brings an innovative twist to the traditional fighting game genre. Instead of pitting characters or warriors against each other, it sets celestial bodies – planets – as the combatants.

Each planet can be modified with a wide variety of distinctive characteristics, appearances, and playstyles, allowing players to choose their preferred playstyle to ring-out their opponent as quickly as possible. Environmental hazards, such as unpredictable black holes, add an extra layer of challenge while keeping things frantic and entertaining.

Find out more: Sumorbit on Steam

Montrose Games

Genre: Online / AR
Developer: Montrose Games

We caught up again with the lovely team at Montrose Games, who are dedicated to online art, creative games, and contributing to one of the internet’s most influential creative hubs: Newgrounds. Their games are often accompanied by eye-catching, distinct character art (which totally gives me Shantae vibes) and definitely don’t take themselves at all seriously.

Montrose Games indie games newgrounds Queensland Games Festival

Their latest creation is, wait for it… a drag racing dating-sim!? This unheard combination of two genres was conceptually shown off in its very earliest stages, with the Montrose team building a simple AR slot-car track pitting two cars against one another. After discussing their upcoming idea, the concept of a racing/dating sim game has me curious and eager to hit the track at some point in the future.

Find out more: Montrose on Newgrounds


Genre: Platformer / Fighting
Developer: Domarius Games

You hop, you squash. That’s all there is to it! This adorable multiplayer title features a cast of woodland creatures (all of which are capable of hopping) jumping about in a frantic arena setting to hop it out for supremacy. Supporting up to 8-players, this simple gameplay means you can quite literally jump into the action immediately.

Hopsquash indie game Queensland Games Festival

After playing a few rounds of Hopsquash with other QGF goers and the devs themselves, it was immediately obvious that the game is perfectly suited to couch multiplayer. With fast-paced rounds and even two players able to play on one controller, this is the ideal game to bust out for some simple fun at a party night with friends.

If you’d like to give Hopsquash a go and find out when the Nintendo Switch version of the game goes live, be sure to sign up for the Domarius Games mailing list! Go hop on and check it out.

Find out more: Hopsquash on Steam


Genre: Metroidvania
Developer: ArkanPixel

That’s right, it’s one frog game after another with the Metroidvania-inspired amphibian adventure of Frogreign. This style title draws upon the best of the genre, with ArkanPixel showing off a detailed demo of platforming, combat, and creative puzzles. Its eye-catching environmental art and character design harken back to the golden era of Castlevania, while injecting quirky through its characters and enemies.

Frogreign indie game Queensland Games Festival

Platforming felt super tight and responsive, with many areas only accessible by using your freakishly-long frog tongue to grapple or boost your jump. But it was the environmental puzzles that put my brain (and my reflexes) to the test. Frogreign is only in its early stages of development, but has me hungry for more!

Find out more: ArkanPixel on Twitter


Genre: Platformer
Developer: Lil’ Elephant Studios

Not one, not two, but THREE frog-themed games this year at Queensland Games Festival! All these indie developers must have gone hopping mad… But don’t get me wrong, Ribbet is an excellent game and well worth your attention. Take on the role of a frog desperate to escape the kitchen before his legs are made into a delicious dish!

Ribbet indie game Queensland Games Festival

Despite its simplicity, Ribbet is surprisingly addictive, requiring the player to jump, swing, and dive through a kitchen obstacle course in order to escape in the quickest time possible. You’ll be hooked as you figure out strategies to improve your times and compete for the high score! I managed to place second overall, but the world record of 25 seconds is still a hop skip and a jump away…

Find out more: Lil’ Elephant Studios Website

Scarlet Pages

Genre: Visual Novel
Developer: Scarlet Page Studio

We’ve all heard the story of Little Red Riding Hood before, but Scarlet Page invites you back into the whimsical fairytale with a grim and chilling visual novel adaptation. Featuring a branched storyline and eight different endings, this interactive storybook offers simple gameplay approachable for anyone wanting to test the waters of the visual novel genre.

Scarlet Pages indie game Queensland Games Festival

Its stunning and stylistic art really stood out, with the entire game presented in monochrome with brief pops of colour. The scarlet on screen as the main character moves closer to her demise will draw you in and encourage you to read on. Her fate is in your hands in this dark and disturbing fairy tale brought to life once again…

Find out more: Scarlet Page Studio on Instagram

Bears in Space!

Genre: FPS / Action / Adventure
Developer: Broadside Games

Prepare for an out-of-this-world indie gaming experience with Bears in Space, a thrilling first person bear shooter that combines action, humour, and absurd adventure. You play as Maxwell Atoms, a Marine accidentally fused with a bear who now has newfound bear-like abilities and an arsenal of wacky weapons.

Bears in Space indie game Queensland Games Festival

You’ll blast and smash through an army of enemy robots, platform a path to escape, and maybe even rescue your stranded crew (if you’ve got the time). This ridiculous and lighthearted FPS provides a fresh take on the genre, with a delightful combination of action, humour, and inventive and ungradable weaponry akin to that of Ratchet & Clank.


I embraced my inner bear and played through the first level, and loved every moment of its hilarious design and gameplay! So if you’re a fan of funny games that don’t take themselves seriously, then you’ll bearly want to pass this one up.

Find out more: Bears in Space! on Steam

On Point

Genre: VR / Shooting / Arcade
Developer: Actuator Digital

What do you get when you combine classic quintessential light gun gaming with VR? You get On Point, the thrilling fast-paced shooting experience from Actuator Digital!

This thrilling arcade-style shooting title takes you straight back to the ’90s in a nostalgic blast that’ll have you feeling like you’re in an arcade right at home. Blending the light gun gameplay we all know and love with the modern technology of virtual reality, On Point is the perfect game for VR.

On Point VR game Queensland Games Festival

Our writer, WindyCornerTV, getting his game face on.

For fans of classic games like Point Blank, On Point is the game we’ve all been waiting for. I smashed out several of its simple challenges and can’t wait to play more when the full game launches soon on a headset near you.

Find out more: On Point on Steam

Go-Go Town!

Genre: Simulation / Town-Building
Developer: Prideful Sloth

Our last game on the list, and certainly not the least, comes from one of my personal favourite Australian indie devs, Prideful Sloth (the team behind Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles and Grow: Song of the Evertree). Their newest title, Go-Go Town!, draws upon the cosy and approachable DNA of their previous titles, while adding distinct new gameplay elements in this approachable yet in-depth town-building sim.

Tasked with bringing a town back to life, players take on the role of mayor of Go-Go Town, bringing the once vibrant tourism hotspot back to life. Featuring cosy visuals and laid-back gameplay you can take at your own pace, Go-Go Town is the perfect stepping stone into simulation games and will appeal to any fan of Animal Crossing.

Go-Go Town! indie game Queensland Games Festival

With adorable art-style and gameplay that any player can easily enjoy, Go-Go Town! looks to be the perfect title to chill out with and create a community of your own. Speaking with the devs, it seems the game also includes more complexity than it gives away, with automation and strategies to help your town truly thrive.

Find out more: Go-Go Town! on Steam

And that’s it for our Queensland Games Festival indie games wrap-up! If your game was at Queensland Games Festival and wasn’t featured on this list, please Contact Us here and we’ll be more than happy to help showcase it.

While we unfortunately weren’t able to get around to every single game at the event, we strongly encourage you to attend in-person next year and be sure to follow Queensland Games Festival and join the Qualbert Discord community for more updates. The Qualbert team would love to see you there!

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