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Breaking Down Ventana Sur’s Las Maquinitas – Let’s Play Video Game Projects

Las Maquinitas
Credit: Ventana Sur

Ventana Sur 2021 will host its first ever dedicated video game sidebar this year when Las Maquinitas – Let’s Play kicks off later this month.

Las Maquinitas was established to “bring together representatives of the Ibero-American video game industry in the same place, in order to promote production and build bridges to showcase talents from the region,” according to its organizer.

Gaming companies, film and TV production companies, indie developers and programmers, artists, composers, animators, students and fans will come together and have access to a wide range of activities including conferences with video game experts, a series of masterclasses, several showrooms and dedicated networking events.

On Nov. 30, Las Maquinitas will host pitching sessions for 13 Latin American projects in front of major industry players from across the region, including distribution experts Digital Plug-In, award-winning screenwriter Patricio Saiz (“We Are the Nobles”), audio design and production studio Zvook and production and editing company La Corte Editores, each of which is contributing one of this year’s awards.

Below, brief profiles of the 13 projects pitching at the inaugural Las Maquinitas – Let’s Play:

Al Camote (Francisco Hidalgo)

This Guatemalan rogue-lite has you playing as Rocco, an ex-mobster who also happens to be a broccoli floret. Players will create a salad of their enemies en route to Rocco’s family, kidnapped by mafia boss Al Camote. Blending top-down shooting action with power-ups and movement perks, Al Camote brings an action focused comic-book aesthetic to the popular genre, as well as an innovative weapon system which employs Rocco’s remaining health (skinned as his hair) as his ammo pool. Al Camote boasts multiplayer action, and is created by game studio Acroviu.

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Al Camote Credit: Ventana Sur

Heart of Artemisa (Edson Aguilar Velázquez)

Mexican studio Camacebra Games, run by GameDev Edson Aguilar, brings mobile rogue-lite “Heart of Artemisa,” in which Artemisa, a half-demon who has lost her heart, works to escape a dungeon without her companions. Players will advance through procedurally generated dungeon floors, slaying randomized beasts and avoiding traps whilst looting chests. Heart of Artemisa boasts a beat driven chiptune score and retro graphics which will satisfy fans of Canadian 2015 release “Crypt of the NecroDancer” (Brace Yourself Games).

Evil Wizard (Gonzalo Martínez)

An action-rpg from Rubber Duck Games in Uruguay, “Evil Wizard” takes a playful and comedic approach to storytelling, putting you in control of a recently bested bad guy intent on winning back his castle from the heroes. This steam release accents a retro and pixelated art style with modern lighting and spell effects, and makes for a flashy and flavorful game.

Fata Morgana: Cities Beyond Clouds (Fernando Córdoba)

MeNic Games expands on the peaceful serenity of aerial base-building in “Fata Morgana: Cities Beyond Clouds.” This Argentinian city-builder is set in a cyberpunk post-apocalyptic world, and has players building towers and infrastructure high into the atmosphere.

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FataMorgana Credit: Ventana Sur

Ha_Bits (Andrés ParraDark)

Dark Quixote Studio (“Hell A Fun”) brings “Ha_Bits,2 a neo-noir cyberpunk adventure and platformer for Windows and Mac. Players will play as a disgraced Admin named “Lead” as they delve into the mistakes of the past against shadow organizations bent on destruction.

Hack Wars (Carlos Enrique Bautista Salas)

As its title implies, “Hack Wars” focuses on attempting to infect your opponent’s computers with viruses to reduce their hit points to nil, knocking them out of combat. Players are offered a range of computer-themed, character-specific abilities to be used during matches. Additionally, each match will roll out in a random dynamic stage, creating an unpredictable experience each time around. The first project from Mexico’s Ectoplasma Game Studio.

I’m Not Jelly (Diana Limón)

This colorful rogue-lite has players hacking and slashing through plant foes in missions as they conquer planets for the Nojellian empire. “I’m Not Jelly,” by developer 1 Simple Game, became a finalist in accelerator Global Top Round 2021, and will bring its vibrant action to Ventana Sur’s Let’s Pitch 2021.

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I’m Not Jelly Credit: Ventana Sur

Just Let Me Go (Sergio Rosa)

Salvadoran game studio The Domaginarium brings “Just Let Me Go,” a horror game where players take the role of Amelia, 23, who has been kidnapped and taken to a terrifying house. She must avoid the sinister residents of the house as she plots her escape or meet a fate worse than death.

Kain Cobra The Y Version (Juan Carlos León Rendón)

From Brazil’s 67 Bits, a studio with more than 100 micro games to its name, comes this sci-fi runner/shooter featuring a cuddly Mega-Man-style protagonist tasked with saving the two most powerful protectors of Planet Blue, fighting off an alien invasion and maintaining a precarious balance to the new world order.

Noir Storm (Iván Jesús Mastrandrea)

Argentina’s Diskeletton Studios delivers a classic private eye tale in this side-scrolling 2D point and click graphic adventure. Set in Buenos Aires in 1952, the game’s noir aesthetics and soundtrack match the title and theme of the game, which promises challenging puzzles and a character-driven storyline.

Soot (Rodolfo Mora-Zamora)

A simulation and strategy game from Costa Rica’s Ceiba Software & Arts, “Soot” is set around a cataclysmic event that threatens all humanity, with the only hope for survival resting with an ancient terraforming technology that can restore the planet’s balance. Players will control a scientist learning about the technology, solving puzzles to unlock its secrets.

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Soot Credit: Ventana Sur

Soulmoon (Jesús Ignacio Ortega Benavente)

Set more than 1,000 years in the future, “Soulmoon” unspools amidst a two-sided ideological war between the Soul and Moon factions. The game is produced by Mexico’s Bisper Studios, established during the pandemic by a group of programmers looking to make content anchored in art, unique designs, music and literature.

Talara (Elina Azcona)

This story-driven title is produced by Estudio Mauve in Argentina and features a color pallet to match the company’s name. Players control a young woman who journeys through the Patagonia region of Argentina, confronting a sometimes painful past.

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Talara Credit: Ventana Sur