by Kim McMinn
Kim McMinn is a fantasy writer who masquerades as a librarian by day while she completes her first novel. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English and Creative Arts from Murdoch University and lives in Perth, Western Australia with her husband and three world-domination-plotting cats.
On a rooftop bar, on a warm Wednesday evening in Perth, local game developers Stirfire Studios, hosted by AFK, held their official launch party of Freedom Fall: a diabolical down-scrolling platform game.
Over one hundred close friends and fans celebrated the successes that the game has so far achieved since its launch last year at PAX Australia on July 19. They huddled on the couches, playing the newly released levels of the game, avoided the wrath of the eerily beautiful Princess in attendance, and imbibed the game’s custom cocktail, the Elicksir of Life.
Freedom Fall’s creative director (Art, Story, Level Design), Lisa Rye, created the delightfully twisted fairy tale adventure three years ago as a personal project. From there, it was pitched to Let’s Make Games, a non-profit association that works to support the game development community of Perth, where it sparked the interest of Stirfire Studios. Freedom Fall was launched initially for iOS, Android, Ouya, and Desura platforms, and in January this year it was given the green light for Steam, where it has already sold thousands of copies. Freedom Fall has been nominated for several awards and won Best Game at the WA Screen Awards in 2013.
Freedom Fall follows the trials of Marsh, the hero, as he attempts to escape a prison tower. But this is no ordinary prison; the beautifully creepy Princess, who finds the prison dull and dreary, has made some alterations for her own amusement. Marsh must avoid spikes, fire balls, and other devilish traps, while collecting bolts and cogs to create items that will help him through the labyrinth and find freedom. The walls of the prison are splashed in graffiti written by the Princess, delivering the darkly humorous backstory of her life. This is a Princess that you need to be rescued from!
Along with the reveal of two new levels to the game, and a door prize raffle of one of three collector’s editions of Freedom Fall, Stirfire Studios announced two more surprises for 2014. The first was the reveal of a new game called Dead End Alley that is in production with Meijer Creative. The second was a collaboration, still in its very early stages, with an Australian science fiction author who used to live in Perth, but is now based in Brisbane. It was all very mysterious and exciting, and we’ll have to keep our ear to ground to find out more about that!