PAX Aus 2023 is always busy and bustling, with one of the most excitable areas at all times being the indie games area. Particularly drawing our attention was Cyber Paradise.
Cyber Paradise is a 2D action roguelite game that features deckbuilding elements. Players control a skilled hacker-warrior by the name of Hayley. Taking place in a not-so-distant future, the world is all a computer simulation. One’s and zeroes. You’ll travel between digital realms where striking enemies take up the bizarre manifestation of the deceased’s fears and sorrows.
Hayley has taken up the role of establishing Cyber Paradise, a service designated to banishing these fears and sorrows. As you pop out into the digital realms, the 2D combat and platforming is tight and precise, every so often thrusting you into enclosed arenas that’ll have you fighting within an inch of your life. Dashing as a dodge to get iframes to avoid attacks is key to survival in between your old-fashioned sword flailing.
As you kill enemies, you’ll pick up cards that will add passive perks to your journey and make life easier. These can be as minor as adding extra damage to your attacks but also can change and erupt your environment. One curious and novel addition I received was whenever jumping, Hayley dropped large, Yoshi-like eggs to flood an area and deal extra damage.
Cyber Paradise is also already an incredibly gorgeous game. The pixel art is so succinct in detailing a digital world flourishing with technical quirks such as glitching imagery. Lighting is just as striking, with many neon colours reflecting off of surfaces just beautifully.
The game is developed locally here in Melbourne by DDMeow Games. It’s being made by a wife-wife dev team that is said to have a lot of queer themes when it fully releases. I can only imagine some of the exciting ways that enemies will manifest later in the game when it further explores these ideas.
DDMeow Games also seems already thoroughly skilled when it comes to delivering the rogue-lite goods. There’s a sweet hub world in the Cyber Paradise building where you can chill out, talk with other characters and even pet your adorable little dog ally.
Cyber Paradise releases sometime in 2024 for PC and is one well worth keeping your eyes on.