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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 March, 2006

Mosaic: Tomb of Mystery

March 21, 2006 9:08 AM | Tim W.

Mosaic: Tomb of Mystery is the latest puzzler from Reflexive Entertainment featuring tile-laying elements made popular by Puzzle Lab's Inlay series.

Your task in each stage is to fill a Glyph with shapes from the Drop Zone on the left side of the screen. Press the left mouse button to pick up or drop a shape and right click to rotate.

There are a few new tricks to use, for example folding out a shape by holding down the left mouse button while placing a tile. You can use this technique to fill up spaces more quickly. Place unwanted shapes in the Crusher to destroy them. Shapes charged with electricity can be placed on both ends of the Glyph to fill the empty spaces between them automatically.

Falcons can be used to remove pieces from the Drop Zone or the Glyph. Charge up the Obelisk on the right to earn bonus shapes.

Name: Mosaic: Tomb of Mystery
Developer: Reflexive Entertainment
Category: Puzzle
Type: Demo
Size: 15MB

Treasure Tower

March 19, 2006 9:08 AM | Tim W.

Treasure Tower is a game by David Newton that mixes a bit of WarioWare gameplay with platforming elements. Guide a noble knight through twenty rooms to reach the top of a tower and collect the treasure.

Most of the actions available to you can be carried out by using the arrow keys. Press up to enter doors or activate switches. Tap the left shift key to jump. Run over items to collect them.

You begin each game with 36 seconds on the clock, which can only be replenished by collecting food. Running into obstacles such as spikes or ghosts will cause you to lose valuable seconds.

Name: Treasure Tower
Developer: David Newton
Category: Platform
Type: Freeware
Size: 3MB

Barfer Sickmess Online

March 18, 2006 9:08 AM | Tim W.

Barfer Sickmess Online is an updated version of the Christmas-themed horizontal shooter by Zapper that feels more like a shmup from Japan thanks to it's difficulty and bullet pattern similarities.

A major change introduced in this release is the online cooperative mode. To initiate a game, it's as simple as selecting online mode, typing in a name and choosing connect. You can even chat by pressing T followed by your message, then enter.

Controls are mapped differently depending on whether you're using Santa or Saint Nick. For Saint Nick, hold the shift key to shoot (F for Santa) or press the control key (G for Santa) to activate your special weapon, but only if you have some beer in your belly after drinking a few. Move Santa around by using the W, A, S and D keys.

Some enemies will leave behind alphabets, which can be collected to form the word Christmas for an extra life. Other new features include unlockable secrets and a harder survival mode.

Name: Barfer Sickmess Online
Developer: Zapper
Category: Shooter
Type: Freeware
Size: 5MB

Shmester 5000

March 18, 2006 9:02 AM | Tim W.

After impressing Ludum Dare competition judges with Jackie and the Beanstalk, DrPetter is back with Shmester 5000, a horizontal shooter slightly influenced by the cartoony sprites featured in Alien Hominid.

Enemy sprites do not shoot, but you do lose a life by touching any of them. Some will leave behind flashing power-ups when destroyed, which can be collected to add to your sphere total. These spheres will circle around your character, and can be spent on upgrading your firepower by pressing X and the up arrow key at the same time. This action costs four spheres, although you can trade back for them by pressing X and the down arrow key.

The spheres act as a shield as well. Yellow spheres indicate that you can take one hit, red means two.

Name: Shmester 5000
Developer: DrPetter
Category: Shooter
Type: Freeware
Size: 1MB

Grid Assault

March 17, 2006 9:08 AM | Tim W.

Grid Assault is another PC version of the popular Xbox 360 game, Geometry Wars. Made by Wiebo de Wit, this release is much more similar to Bizarre Creation's surprise hit than Mark Incitti's GridWars, although both versions are fun to play in their own way.

For players who do not own a joypad, keyboard and mouse controls are supported as well. Your ship can be moved around using the arrow keys. Aim using the mouse, hold the left mouse button to shoot and right click to detonate a bomb. Press the P key to pause.

Currently there are no power-ups to collect. Your weapon is automatically upgraded every ten thousand points.

Name: Grid Assault
Developer: Wiebo de Wit
Category: Shooter
Type: Freeware
Size: 5MB

Reaction III

March 17, 2006 9:02 AM | Tim W.

Reaction III is an interesting effort by nihilyst made using the AGS engine. In the game, your objective is to guide a grey dot to the exit while pressing the keys highlighted on the left side of the screen.

The grey dot must not touch the walls else you have to start all over again from the spawn point. Progress can be saved by touching a green square found in some levels. Fortunately, the game allows for unlimited retries instead of punishing the player for failing repeatedly.

Three difficulty levels are available for selection from the main menu.

Name: Reaction III
Developer: nihilyst
Category: Action
Type: Freeware
Size: 1MB

Cave Jumper

March 15, 2006 9:08 AM | Tim W.

Cave Jumper is a superb platformer featuring over a hundred levels, as you guide an explorer on a quest to gather lost treasures and precious gold from an underground network of caverns.

Besides running, jumping and throwing pick axes at enemies, your avatar can use ropes and dynamites to rappel down a cliff or blow up certain sections of a wall. The number of actions available can be overwhelming at first but all will be used during the course of your adventure.

There are a few minor drawbacks to this excellent effort, although most players would probably be having too much fun to notice. Certain executable actions are not explained during gameplay, for example your light can be turned off or a dynamite can be kicked after being placed.

Game is only automatically saved every five levels, which can be frustrating at times. Graphics are heavily pixelated in full screen but works surprisingly well as it makes the entire game feels like a classic console title.

Name: Cave Jumper
Developer: KNPMASTER
Category: Platform
Type: Freeware
Size: 30MB

Elf Brothers, The

March 12, 2006 9:11 AM | Tim W.

The Elf Brothers is an excellent freeware RPG that manages to resist the temptation of including too many collectible items and pointless side quests, yet retaining all the charm of turn-based battles.

A worthy winner of The Daily Click's Christmas Competition, the story can be largely ignored like most RPGs. Something about going on a quest to rescue Santa and saving Christmas, I suppose. The introduction seems awfully familiar but does a great job of setting up the scene nicely.

Your elves fight by assaulting their enemies, where a combination of attacks can be executed during that short period of time as indicated by a rapidly depleting gauge above the character's head. Press the left shift key for a light attack, and the Z key for a medium one. The X key can be used to execute a strong blow.

Instructions for special moves and character stats can be accessed by pressing the return key. The game doesn't drag on for too long and is relatively easy provided that your character engages in enough random battles to strengthen themselves for the final battle.

Name: The Elf Brothers
Developer: CYS
Category: RPG
Type: Freeware
Size: 10MB

Santasm 2

March 12, 2006 9:08 AM | Tim W.

Santasm 2 is a decent platformer by Radix featuring character customization, that is if you manage to collect enough coins to purchase the required parts. Elves are preparing to take over the world, and there's nothing that Santa can do about it as he is turned into a toy right before strangling Phil the mastermind.

With a bit of resolve, you set out to upgrade your parts and storm Castle Claus in an attempt to end his evil plan once and for all.

There's not a lot of levels and they're pretty short, but you do get to choose three of the five available stages to play in any order. Press the control key to shoot, and tap the shift key to jump.

The objective is to reach the pole at the end of each stage. If you happen to lose all your hearts, there's a chance that you could continue so long as you have in your possession enough coins to build a new toy.

Some parts bestow new skills, such as the ability to fly or hover. These attributes are indicated by the boxes below the toy parts, displayed in the customization menu.

Name: Santasm 2
Developer: Radix
Category: Platform
Type: Freeware
Size: 3MB

Santa Hanta

March 12, 2006 9:05 AM | Tim W.

Santa Hanta is a shooting game where the player gets to throw snowballs at santas on diet as an act of revenge for skipping your house last year.

The playing field can be scrolled left or right simply by moving the cursor to the edge of the screen. Left click to throw a snowball and right click to reload. Press the control key for a special move.

Name: Santa Hanta
Developer: Quick Fire Production
Category: Action
Type: Freeware
Size: 5MB

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