- Remedy Entertainment Oy
When thinking of videogame developers, most will immediately imagine massive US companies like Activision Blizzard and Electronic Arts with hundreds of talented staff trying to come up with the next big thing. Many popular and well-received titles however, have come from much humbler beginnings and less-known places. Like Finland.
To shed light on the booming sector (two of Finland’s most highly-valued tech companies, Supercell and Rovio, are gaming giants) we have compiled a Top 10 list of hit videogames to come out of the Nordic country.
The list ranges from vintage classics like Death Rally and Hill Climb Racing all the way to recent mobile game hits like Clash of Clans. Regardless of their platform — console, PC or video — all have become big hits around the world. Here they are.
10. Hill Climb Racing
This simplistic 2D racing game was launched by Fingersoft on Android and iOS in 2012. Many dismissed the game’s simple gameplay and cartoonish graphics at first, only to come back and give it a go – and end up getting glued to it. During its first year of release Hill Climb Racing was downloaded over 100 million times, with the game passing the 200 million mark in July 2014. The sequel, Hill Climb Racing 2 was released in late 2016 to even greater acclaim.
9. Alan Wake
- Remedy Entertainment
Alan Wake is an action-adventure game developed by Remedy Entertainment and released on XBOX 360 (2010) and PC (2012). The story follows best-selling thriller novelist Alan Wake, as he tries to uncover the mystery behind his wife’s disappearance during a vacation in the small fictional town of Bright Falls, Washington, all while experiencing events from the plot in his latest novel, which he cannot remember writing, coming to life. The game took over five years to create, but the result paid off – the game was often praised for its visuals, sound, narrative, pacing, and atmosphere.
Alienation is an isometric shooter and role-playing video game developed by Housemarque and released in 2016 as a PS4 exclusive title. The game features a single-player mode, local co-op and a multiplayer mode that allows four people to play at once, with each player controlling a heavily-modified soldier from one of three available character classes. Reviewers universally agreed that the game had some of the best twin-stick shooting gameplay available.
Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but it’s hard to imagine any beholder finding Frozenbyte’s Trine to be anything but beautiful. It’s an impressive, modernized take on the sort 2D action adventure games that dominated through the 16-bit console era. The game originally came out in 2009, was re-released in in 2014 as Enchanted Edition featuring online multiplayer and improved graphics and spawned two sequels. The Enchanted Edition is available on PC, PS4 and Wii U.
6. Death Rally
- Remedy Entertainment
Death Rally is a combat racing video game developed by Remedy Entertainment and originally released for MS-DOS back in 1996. Its slick gameplay earned it cult status and the game has seen a remake and several updated re-releases over the years for PC and the major mobile platforms.
5. Legend of Grimrock
- Almost Human
What started in 2001 as a Dungeon Master clone hobby project by a former demo scene code wizard eventually lead to four industry veterans from Remedy and Futuremark banding together to form Almost Human in Espoo, Finland. The company launched the Windows version of the game in 2012 and followed up by releasing the game for MacOS, Linux and Apple’s iOS. An editor was later included which allowed the creation of user generated dungeons & content and led to the development of a vivid modding community.
- Colossal Order
Cities: Skylines is a modern take on the classic city simulation from Colossal Order. The title introduces new gameplay elements to the genre whilst expanding on well-established tropes of the city building experience. Skylines has a fully realized transport system and includes the ability to mod the game to suit your play style. Playing as the mayor of your city you’ll be dealing with balancing education, water, electricity, police, fire fighting, healthcare and much more along with your city’s economy system.
3. Clash of Clans
Supercell’s massive hit Clash of Clans barely needs an introduction. Launching for iOS in August 2012 and Google Play in October 2013 this massively multiplayer online strategy game proved to be one of the few mobile titles with true staying power. In 2015, the game was the top grossing app on both the App Store and Google Play, with an estimated revenue of 1,5 million dollars per day.
2. Max Payne
- Remedy Entertainment
Launching in 2001, this gloomy noir third-person shooter brought worldwide fame and recognition to Remedy Entertainment and firmly put the spotlight of attention on Finland as a home to some serious game development talent. The title introduced the concept of “bullet time” to action videogames and its overall tone, narrative, action sequences and voice actor work have all received universal acclaim. Max Payne won a BAFTA for “PC Game of the year 2001”.
1. Angry Birds
- Rovio Entertainment
The biggest of them all, Angry Birds has basically redefined the concept of a franchise. The game’s massive success has spawned nearly 20 sequels and spin-offs, several animated series, a movie, various merchandise and even several theme parks.
According to Rovio, Angry Birds was the first-ever mobile game to reach one billion downloads. On September 5, 2017, Rovio announced its intention to become a publicly-traded company.