Indie digital storefront Itch.io has released a new bundle supporting Palestinian aid which features more than 1,000 games, soundtracks, books, and more for a minimum price of $5. All funds raised by the sale of the bundle will go to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (opens in new tab) (UNRWA), which will provide food support and health services for people in Gaza.
"Indie games are unique in that they can tell stories not seen in AAA or other games. We pour our life experiences into our games and share a piece of ourselves with the world," bundle organizer Alanna Linayre wrote. "Palestinian game developers are no different in this aspect, but have the added challenges of limited access to basic services, like clean water, electricity, medical care, and food security. They live under Israeli authority that discriminates and subjugates Palestinians to the point of persecution and apartheid, simply for being Palestinian. Furthermore, they develop games without all the resources that come with being in a western hub for game development."
In May, the UNRWA issued a "flash appeal (opens in new tab)" for $38 million in funding to support "immediate food, non-food, health, psychosocial, WASH and emergency response capacity needs" arising from Israeli airstrikes that killed more than 250 Palestinians in Gaza, including 66 children (opens in new tab), according to the UN and local health officials. The UN says that nine hospitals and 19 clinics in Gaza were damaged, along with 1,026 houses and commercial buildings. 13 people in Israel, including two children, were killed by rocket attacks, according to the Times of Israel. A ceasefire was declared on May 21.
The centerpiece of the bundle is Liyla and the Shadows of War, a 2016 narrative platformer based on the 2014 Gaza War by Palestinian developer Rasheed Abueideh. But in totality, the bundle covers a lot of ground: Other highlights include The Church in the Darkness, The Stillness of the Wind, Gnog, Sokobond, Pikuniku, Minit, Anodyne, Nuclear Throne, Signs of the Sojourner, VVVVVV, and Super Win the Game, for starters. The bundle also includes soundtracks, development tools, digital comics and books, and asset packs.
The Indie Bundle for Palestinian Aid (opens in new tab) goes for a minimum $5, and is available until June 11.