Montreal video games

We checked out four free Montreal video games on, the Bandcamp of game dev

From an adorable maze game to whimsical bridge-building to mystical interactive fiction to dark dates in the city, these games offer a range of ways to play local. is full of risky clicks. Unless something pointed you to a game, you really have no idea what sort of experience you’re getting into. Could be anything. Could be a wordy, overly complex and therefore inaccessible RPG. Could also be a fetishized, porn-adjacent anime dating sim. Ya just really never know. is the Bandcamp of game development. It’s a relatively barrier-free, open marketplace for independent digital creators with a focus on independent video games. It’s a platform that enables anyone to publish and, if they want to, sell the content they’ve created. 

I decided to take a chance and see what I could find on based on the following criteria: The games had to be published or updated on in the past three years, the developer had to be verifiably based in Montreal (at least at the time of publishing) and the game had to be free. 

Bonus points were given if it was playable in-browser, which definitely limits the complexity. I was also considering year-end school projects and game jam submissions — in my opinion the most random, most fun segment of indie games. 

And full disclaimer: this is not a “best games” list, nor is it an exhaustive report by any means. It’s simply an examination of the city of Montreal, as it appears thematically and in the consciousness of indie devs.

The games

Grumpy is an adorable pixel-art 2D game where you have to help a curmudgeonly octopus named Jo through a maze. Don’t forget to collect the soda cans (Jo’s favourite beverage) and not upset the locals. Put on your mask to please them and stop your old man grumbling. Shake your tentacles at those crazy kids! Ultra cute.

Grumpy was made during the 2022 GAMERella game jam hosted in collaboration with Concordia University’s TAG research centre. GAMERella invites women (cis/trans), trans men, non-binary/genderqueer folks, LGBTQIA2S+, BIPOC and any others who feel they haven’t had a chance to make a game to participate in a weekend of game-making events. 

A Bridge Too Far is a whimsical, ragtime 2D physics puzzler about creating a bridge with a bunch of random junk. Can you get Mr. Burns’ Roadster over the crevasse? Think Poly Bridge meets Red Dead Redemption 2. Super simple and fun. Made with Unity for Global Game Jam 2020 by Jongwoo Kim, Clement Marthe, Louis Sciannamblo and François-Xavier Bilodeau.

Montreal Unchained is a French-language, text-based interactive fiction from a local writer who goes by the username MoonlyMay. Made in Twine and published in 2021, this is a highly poetic work that takes you throughout the city as you are onboarded into a magical society called the SMVM (La société Mystique de la Ville de Montréal).

Another text-based interactive fiction made in Twine, Online Dating: An Adventure in Montreal is a dark yet flirty experience made in 2020. You step off your bus to Montreal and romance ensues. Maybe you’ll live through your date, maybe you… won’t?

This is the DIY, underground, zine-esque indie sleaze I live for. Sometimes unfinished, unpolished or undercooked, this is the punk rock of game dev. ■

Game Jam is a monthly column about the video game community in Montreal. Are you a Montreal studio releasing a game soon? Please contact me here.

This article was originally published in the April 2023 issue of Cult MTL.

For more Montreal arts coverage, please visit the Arts & Life section.