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About The IGF is presented by the UBM TechWeb Game Network, which runs the Independent Games Festival & Summit every year at Game Developers Conference. The company (producer of the Game Developers Conference series, and Game Developer magazine) established the Independent Games Festival in 1998 to encourage innovation in game development and to recognize the best independent game developers.

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Archive For November, 2005


November 30, 2005 9:23 AM | Tim W.

Sedge is a short preview of an unnamed project developed by Bernie, the same person who brought us 'a Game with a Kitty'. The story begins with your character waking up from his sleep and finding a knife stuck in a very uncomfortable place. Unravel the mysteries surrounding his predicament by means of exploration, solving puzzles and conversations with suspicious individuals.

The interface is similar to the ones used in classic Lucasart games. Click on an action and an item on the screen to interact with it. The story and dialogue is well-written, leaving players wanting more by the end of the demo.

Information on other upcoming projects can be found here.

Name: Sedge
Developer: Bernie
Category: Adventure
Type: Demo
Size: 2MB

A Game with a Kitty

November 29, 2005 4:17 PM | Tim W.

A Game with a Kitty is an excellent platformer developed by Bernie in two weeks. The premise is simple, guide Kittey on a quest to investigate the mysterious tower that has magically appeared on the outskirts of his hometown.

The cute little protagonist can jump on enemies to eliminate them. Collect coins to unlock special skills and access unexplored areas, while health can be restored at save points.

Name: A Game with a Kitty
Developer: Bernie
Type: Platform
Category: Freeware
Size: 2MB

Academy of Magic

November 28, 2005 9:07 AM | Tim W.

Academy of Magic is the latest release from Total Eclipse Games, which is another great addition to a line of excellent independently developed word-based puzzlers published this year.

The objective of the game is to make the longest words from a collection of alphabets found on the playing field. Tiles can be selected by left clicking and linking them together. This will eliminate the letters from the board and increase your mana accordingly, which can be used to cast spells for some magical assistance in sticky situations.

Magic gems will appear on the board from time to time based on your performance, and extra points are rewarded for making words using these tiles. An option to watch a demonstration on how to use a spell is available to the player whenever new one is unlocked.

Name: Academy of Magic
Developer: Total Eclipse Games
Category: Puzzle
Type: Demo
Size: 20MB


November 27, 2005 9:02 AM | Tim W.

R.I.P. is the latest release from White Elephant that plays very much like Crimsonland, with some slight differences. Probably the first one that most would notice is that the player now controls a stationary turret instead of a central character that is able to move freely.

The turret has two shot options. A single accurate shot is fired everytime the left mouse button is pressed, and holding down the right button will activate the rapid fire mode. To reload, just tap the middle button.

Enemies will use the landscape and it's surroundings to their advantage, as they hide behind rocks and boulders to avoid your shots. Most obstacles can be blown away, and the playing field is often peppered with highly volatile explosives and barrels containing unstable substances. Some skeletons carry items and destroying them will yield collectible power-ups. The effects usually lasts for a short while, enough time for you to clear the area of hostile units.

Gain experience from kills which can be used to trade for a special upgrade. Health and accumulated experience points are shown on the right side of the screen. Avatar selection will affect the choice of unlockable skill sets, in addition to the basic skills that all characters have access to.

Name: R.I.P.
Developer: White Elephant
Category: Action
Type: Demo
Size: 10MB


November 26, 2005 9:24 AM | Tim W.

Flapper is another excellent release by Lazrael that is easy to learn but difficult to master. The objective of the game is to direct a bat to the top of a dark cave by using the arrow keys. Tap the up arrow key repeatedly to stay afloat, else lose altitude and fall down a bottomless pit.

Like most classic arcade titles, there is actually no ending to aim for. Score points by collecting bonus items while you avoid falling rocks. Touching the spikes on these things means game over.

Getting a good score will unlock items that can be used in subsequent sessions. Most sprites have a set of skins that can be selected from the main menu. To go into fullscreen mode, just press the F4 key.

Name: Flapper
Developer: Lazrael
Category: Action
Type: Freeware
Size: 1MB

Lost Labyrinth

November 25, 2005 9:17 AM | Tim W.

Lost Labyrinth is a freeware RPG that uses a round-based combat system, meaning that your character will trade blows with enemies until one combatant loses all remaining life points. Attacks are initiated by pressing the corresponding arrow key that points to your opponent's direction.

There are plenty of skills that you can choose from the character generation menu. Strangely, experience points are not rewarded for monster kills. Your stats can only be improved by descending levels.

Items are scattered around the dungeon which can be picked up and equipped. Treasure chests can be opened to reveal gold coins or rare objects, but be on the lookout for traps. Health and mana can be restored by either using special items or standing on pentagrams found somewhere in each level.

Name: Lost Labyrinth
Developer: Markus Doebele
Category: RPG
Type: Freeware
Size: 3MB


November 24, 2005 9:02 AM | Tim W.

A7Xpg is another gem among many by Kenta Cho, although the gameplay would surprise a few people because technically it's not a shooter. The objective of the game is to collect all the gold bullions found in each level and avoid crashing into any of the enemies. The task could have been carried out at a leisurely pace if it wasn't for the fact that you have to complete the stage before the allocated time runs out. A timer is shown on the top right of the screen that will count down the number of seconds left.

Your ship is equipped with a boost function that can be used repeatedly, although this may work against you especially when the playing field is overcrowded with hostile units.

Like other ABA titles this is one to add to your collection.

Name: A7Xpg
Developer: Kenta Cho
Category: Shooter
Type: Freeware
Size: 5MB

Bone: Out from Boneville

November 23, 2005 9:09 AM | Tim W.

Bone: Out from Boneville is a faithful videogame adaptation of the original book series by Jeff Smith. It follows the tale of Fone Bone and his two cousins, Smiley and Phoney, as they try to find a way back to Boneville.

A mouse interface has been implemented for just about all of the actions that the player can carry out. Right-click to cycle through the available options and left-click to execute it. Inventory is easily accessible by moving the mouse pointer to the lower left of the screen. There's a hint feature to help players out should they get stuck in certain parts of the game.

The game itself is beautifully rendered and animated, especially the main characters. Fone, Smiley and Phoney are a joy to watch as they speak, argue, bicker, cajole, persuade and interact with each other. Jeff Smith would approve, and probably did. The adventure portion contains some puzzles which most veterans shouldn't have much difficulty with, and there are several mini-games to relay the action that the graphic novel potrays.

Fans of the original source material will not be disappointed with this effort. It offers long-time readers a chance to experience Fone's adventures from a different perspective. Also, there's nothing to worry about if you have not read Jeff's book. The story is retold from the very beginning and you won't feel like you've missed out on anything at all.

There's a lot of bonus stuff made available on the site as well. Particularly noteworthy is the free download of the entire soundtrack and a 'making of' video found here.

Name: Bone: Out from Boneville
Developer: Telltale Games
Category: Adventure
Type: Demo
Size: 60MB

Pozzo - Jello Crusade

November 22, 2005 9:08 AM | Tim W.

In Pozzo - Jello Crusade, you play the role of a janitor named Pozzo who works for a jello restaurant. He dreams of saving up enough for a well-deserved vacation on some tropical island paradise. Unfortunately, his manager has found out that the local health inspector is dropping by for an unscheduled check.

You're given the task of cleaning up the entire premise ridden with rotten jellos before the law enforcer finds them. Fail and Pozzo can kiss his planned holiday goodbye. A lousy job indeed, compounded by the fact that Pozzo is stuck with no limbs and has to eat all the jellos that he finds.

With the story out of the way, let's get straight to the actual game. As mentioned earlier, most levels require the player to eat a lot of jellos before being allowed access to the exit. Pozzo cannot retrace his steps once he has eaten jellos off a tile. Not a very innovative concept, but Lazrael has managed to craft a superb puzzler that showcases imaginative use of tile design and graphical effects.

New tiles are introduced from time to time, which include a variety of colored blocks, switches, teleport pads and many more. Later levels provide tougher challenges as you need to plan ahead every move your protagonist has to make.

One drawback is that it uses ripped music, only because the developer could not get hold of an original music composer. The game features forty levels and two unlockable endings based on your score.

Name: Pozzo - Jello Crusade
Developer: Lazrael
Category: Puzzle
Type: Freeware
Size: 1MB

Curator Defense

November 21, 2005 9:27 AM | Tim W.

Curator Defense is an excellent freeware title coded entirely by one person, which is already an amazing feat by itself. Think of it as a modern day Dungeon Keeper that offers a new take on real-time strategy.

As the website states, the player must defend a museum from being invaded by modern art, implanted with some sort of device that allows them to be remotely controlled. Install sufficient defensive structures to destroy the offending art items before they reach the storeroom and ending up on your museum's walls.

Weapon placement is an important element of the game. By locating them on strategic points, you will be able to fend off waves of modern art with ease. New enemies will be introduced as you progress, forcing a strategy rethink from time to time. With some proper planning, a maze-like construction can cause enemies to slow down considerably and allow for more pot shots.

Curator Defense may be a little difficult to grasp at first, but with some perseverance the player will be rewarded with innovative gameplay and quality to match many commercial titles.

Name: Curator Defense
Developer: dbh studios
Category: Strategy
Type: Freeware
Size: 50MB

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