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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 May, 2006

Kaptain Brawe: A Brawe New World

May 27, 2006 8:08 AM | Tim W.

Kaptain Brawe: A Brawe New World is a new adventure series from Naphtalite Productions, featuring a slightly absentminded titular character, his sidekick and an accompanying robot.

Graphically reminiscent of classic 2D LucasArts titles, a verb coin called The Badgotron is used for interaction with objects and characters. The story kicks off with a rescue mission, but soon after Kaptain Brawe finds himself branded as a fugitive from justice for a crime he did not commit.

It's interesting to note that the entire game was made by one female developer, with a little help from a musician.

Name: Kaptain Brawe: A Brawe New World
Developer: Naphtalite Productions
Category: Adventure
Type: Freeware
Size: 20MB

Bullet Candy

May 25, 2006 8:18 AM | Tim W.

reviewed by dessgeega

formerly CG_01, bullet candy is a single-screen area shooter in the style of robotron: 2084. which is to say that the player can move and shoot in any direction, and moving and shooting are independent of one another.

as such, the game was clearly designed for a dual-stick controller. i couldn’t get my playstation2 pad to work with it, so i was forced to use the less desirable default control scheme: keyboard for movement, mouse for aiming. this is somewhat awkward, though it does allow a 360-degree range of shooting, which the developer seems to feel is essential to the game: there’s no keyboard-keyboard setup (if there was i could at least use joy2key to map the controls to my pad manually).

the game’s agenda is reflected by its final title, chosen late in development. a seeming allusion to “eye candy”, the game makes use of a number of tempest 2000-like screen and particle effects. (a bonus game mode, “minter mode”, is even named for llamasoft’s YaK.) though the sprites themselves are somewhat bland, the graphical effects are pleasing to look at, even if they sometimes add to the confusion on-screen.

the waves of the game are varied in an arcadey sort of way, refreshing when most developers think “next stage” equals “current stage plus ten enemies”. the waves contain the prerequisite hapless victims, who are hunted by invincible enemies and captured by others for defender-style upgrades, and the player attempts to balance rescues with dodging and returning enemy fire. bullet candy also - hinted again by the title - attempts to introduce a manic bullet-dodging element to the genre. it’s hard to navigate bullet curtains when you’re using one hand to move with the keyboard and the other to aim with the mouse (especially when bullet-like particle effects are exploding across the screen).

i can see this game being quite desirable to someone with a compatible controller. i, however, am not that person.

Name: Bullet Candy
Developer: Charlies Games
Category: Shooter
Type: Demo
Size: 10MB
Reviewer: dessgeega


May 24, 2006 8:58 AM | Tim W.

Chronon is the latest effort from Flash game developer Eyezmaze, famous for his popular Grow series. Your objective in this one is to assist the protagonist of the story to escape before his captor returns home for dinner. Much like ON's previous releases, the end result is achieved by selecting items in the correct order to solve the puzzle.

Current time can be changed by clicking on the buttons at the top of the screen. The weather changes depending on the hour, allowing the use of certain items to produce different results.

Walkthrough can be accessed by clicking here.

Name: Chronon
Developer: Eyezmaze
Category: Puzzle
Type: Flash
Size: 1MB

Nearly Departed

May 24, 2006 8:18 AM | Tim W.

Nearly Departed is an adventure game made using a relatively new scripting engine named LASSIE. As a professional illustrator working for Disney, John Green has done an amazing job with the graphics for this upcoming release.

The final version will include voice acting. A short walkthrough can be accessed by clicking here. No full screen option for the demo, unfortunately.

Name: Nearly Departed
Developer: John Green
Category: Adventure
Type: Freeware
Size: 20MB

Ether Vapor

May 24, 2006 8:08 AM | Tim W.

Ether Vapor is a 3D shooter that looks very impressive, with plenty of special effects and cutscenes to set up boss fights. The action switches from vertical to horizontal halfway through the demo, practically offering two types of gameplay for the price of one.

Three weapons are available to the player but only one can be used at any time. Enemies do look a little bland with gray as their primary texture color but credit to Edelwiss for squeezing in so much into a 10MB trial version.

Name: Ether Vapor
Developer: Edelwiss
Category: Shooter
Type: Freeware
Size: 10MB

Within a Deep Forest

May 23, 2006 8:18 AM | Tim W.

reviewed by dessgeega.

the name alone convinced me to download within a deep forest. it was all i expected it to be. the game is emblematic of 16-bit game design--not the excess of unnecessary buttons and meaningless trinkets to find, but rather its abilty to create and sustain lush, moody worlds that deceive the player about their size through layers of mystery and detail.

the game is drenched in twilight, the horizons frayed with purple. small pixel creatures lend hints of life and detail to the game’s massive rooms. a downtempo soundtrack ranges from hushed to softly jazzy, and hovers at the fringe of the player’s perception. the game itself is about a ball, with small eyes that sometimes blink and a short mouth that never moves. the ball bounces naturally against the looming walls and ceilings - holding the A button makes the ball bounce further, holding the S makes the ball bounce less. it’s a simple command set, but lends enough nuance to the gameplay to keep navigation engaging and tricky.

like most games of the 16-bit school, progress in the game means finding power-ups which unlock new abilities, then finding places those abilities allow you to reach. but it never becomes lock-and-key--the game works you hard for each new ability, and each ability comes with its own little trick that must be mastered: your new ball bounces higher and faster, but is consequently harder to control. it is always skill and perserverence that determines your progress. expect to replay many sequences until you are capable enough to pass them. replaying is instantaneous and painless--the game keeps just above being frustrating.

in what seems like another homage to the 16-bit school, within a deep forest contains a needless mine cart sequence. it’s over quick--bear with it. it is worth seeing this game through.

Name: Within a Deep Forest
Developer: Nicklas Nygren
Category: Platform
Type: Freeware
Size: 20MB
Reviewer: dessgeega

Zero Hour

May 23, 2006 8:08 AM | Tim W.

Zero Hour is a decent shooter by pixeltheather, unfortunately it's also a work in progress featuring just one level.

Only two buttons are needed to play this game. Holding down the primary shot button will halve the speed of your ship in exchange for a rapid fire mode. Press X to launch your smart bomb.

Up to six power-ups can be collected to upgrade your firepower. It does have a nice Raiden feel to it, especially during the second half of the demo.

A Flash-enabled browser is required to view the web site. The development blog can be found here.

Name: Zero Hour
Developer: pixeltheater
Category: Shooter
Type: Demo
Size: 5MB


May 22, 2006 8:18 AM | Tim W.

Penumbra is an amazing achievement by a small development team with only four main members, although quite a few people have helped out during it's production. Termed as a horror adventure game, the graphics are actually on par with recent commercial FPS releases.

What's unique about this particular title is that most of the objects in the game are affected by physics. For example, boxes can be stacked on top of each other to access higher ground. Some puzzles require the manipulation of items in creative ways.

The flashlight battery runs out quickly, but fortunately a glowstick lasts forever. Alternate between both by pressing the F or G key for a little illumination. Game is saved automatically.

Worth a download if you have the bandwidth to spare.

Name: Penumbra
Developer: Frictional Games
Category: Action
Type: Demo
Size: 200MB


May 22, 2006 8:08 AM | Tim W.

Wrath by HardUserK.I is an excellent shmup that has more room for movement sideways than vertically, much like Capcom's Mars Matrix.

Unlike other shooters, your ship can take more than a few hits before going down. It's current health is shown on the upper left of the screen. Power-ups can be collected to upgrade your firepower or replenish the ship's energy level.

Both your bullet dodging and grazing skills will be tested here, because the only way to charge up your special weapon is by grazing enemy projectiles. Press the X key to activate it when the counter passes one hundred, else it won't work at all. Tap the same button twice to save it's energy while removing all enemy bullets from the screen.

Name: Wrath
Developer: HardUserK.I
Category: Shooter
Type: Freeware
Size: 5MB

Armadillo Run

May 21, 2006 8:18 AM | Tim W.

Described as a physics-based puzzle game, Armadillo Run plays like a combination of Jeff Tunnell's The Incredible Machine and Chrono Logic's Pontifex. The game requires you to carefully guide a brown ball towards the blue target area to successfully complete each level. This can be achieved by buying and placing different parts and pieces around a simulated 3D area, which can result in complicated contraptions all over the place just to achive a simple objective.

Experiment with structure length and object tension, even place a timer on any of the items to make them dissolve after a certain period of time. There is a budget to abide to, so going crazy with your designs can be rather fun although it won't get you anywhere quick. The full version includes a level editor, additional materials and downloadable solutions.

Name: Armadillo Run
Developer: Peter Stock
Category: Puzzle
Type: Demo
Size: 1MB

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