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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 February, 2008's Best Freeware Shoot 'em ups 2007

February 29, 2008 1:21 AM | Tim W.

The final 2007 Best Of Features here on the, we're proud to present twenty of the best freeware shoot 'em ups released in 2007.

Horizontal, vertical or hybrid 2D and 3D shooters. Whatever your fancy, you'll find everything here as we unveil another twenty noteworthy shoot 'em ups from last year.

Best Freeware Shoot 'em ups 2007

  1. Varia
  2. MinishoterRS
  3. Garden of Colored Lights
  4. Return to Sector 9
  5. Prototype II
  6. Storm Assault
  7. Arcanacra Black Label
  8. Echoes
  9. Sonic Ironstorm: Fatal Attack
10. Honeyblaster
11. Fraxy
12. XED
13. Exception
14. Axion
15. Genetos
16. Kamiha
17. Gaism
18. Blast Force
19. Dotechin
20. Reincarnation

Freeware Game Pick: Stargirl and the Thief (Bernie)

February 27, 2008 8:07 PM | Tim W.

Stargirl & the Thief from the Exploded Moon is a new platformer by Bernie, developer of Darkside Adventures and Reactor 9. The game features plenty of secrets, hidden items and occasional boss battles as well.

Press the C key to jump, or hold the V key to increase running speed when available. The same button can also be used to grab and throw objects found in all levels. Press the return key to pause at any time.

Name: Stargirl and the Thief from the Exploded Moon
Developer: Bernie
Category: Platform
Type: Freeware
Size: 2MB
Direct download link: Click here

Trailer: Ookibloks

February 27, 2008 7:30 PM | Tim W.

Two new gameplay videos added to Ookiblok's official web site.

Freeware Game Pick: An Untitled Story (Helix Games)

February 27, 2008 4:52 PM | Tim W.

An Untitled Story is a shareware platformer which was recently released as freeware by Matt Thorson, developer of the popular but frustratingly hard Jumper series. The game world is expansive but players with anything less than incredible reflexes would find it difficult to progress very far, since most of the challenges revolve around precision jumps and a knack for perfect timing.

Switching between full screen and windowed mode is only possible once a new profile has been created. Press the space key to bring up a pause menu, then choose the options tab to find this well-hidden feature.

Name: An Untitled Story
Developer: Helix Games
Category: Platformer
Type: Freeware
Size: 20MB
Direct download link: Click here

Freeware Game Pick: Raider and Repeler (Yukito Shirotama)

February 27, 2008 3:42 PM | oranda


Raider and Repeler is a rather creative take on the shooter genre in which the player doesn't actually do any shooting. Instead, you must intercept the enemies fire and send it back at them. However, unlike other versions of this concept I have seen, you have to intercept ALL of the enemy fire. Any bullets or enemy ships that manage to escape off of the screen will cause your ship damage.

The visuals may not astound, but the game is simply a blast once you get the hang of it. Highly recommended.

(Note, the author's last name might not actually be Shirotama, that's my best guess as to the reading of his last name.)

Name: Raider and Repeler
Developer: Yukito Shirotama
Category: Shooter
Type: Freeware
Size: 8MB
Direct download link: Click here

Interview: The Making Of Dwarf Fortress

February 27, 2008 3:01 PM | Tim W.

From Gamasutra: There have been few indie gaming success stories as big as Dwarf Fortress, an ASCII freeware simulation game in which the player helps to establish and govern a colony of dwarves, as they construct a Moria of their own.

The scope of the game defies belief: it contains an extensive world generator, a three-dimensional cellular automata system for simulating fluids, naming languages for all major races, an economics simulation, and even a complete Adventure Mode in which the player can explore abandoned fortresses.

It's so detailed that large web communities have sprung up around the game, both on the developer's forums and Something Awful, where players trade stories about what happened in their games. Some of these stories have even become popular outside the game's community.

Amazingly for a game as rich as Dwarf Fortress, it remains the work of just two people, programmer Tarn "Toady One" Adams and his brother Zach. Tarn supports himself primarily with donations from Dwarf Fortress enthusiasts. In this interview, Tarn talks about the inspiration and origins of the game, and some of the finer points of its construction.

This interview was originally held over a private IRC conversation, and edited into a more traditional interview format.

Interview: The Making Of Dwarf Fortress

Freeware Game Pick: Nanosmiles (Yaruhara)

February 27, 2008 12:34 PM | Tim W.

In Yaruhara's arena shooter Nanosmiles, players have to collect inactive options scattered around each area and use them to inflict damage on the enemies. Hold the Z key to activate your targeting system. Your weapons will automatically fire at targeted enemies if the same button is held down. Press the X key to make your ship travel quicker.

Note: This new version features sixteen levels, twelve more than the original demo released shortly before Comiket 73.

Name: Nanosmiles
Developer: Yaruhara
Category: Shooter
Type: Freeware
Size: 10MB
Direct download link: Click here

Trailer: Blast Works (Wii)

February 27, 2008 10:07 AM | Tim W.

Blast Works (Wii port of Kenta Cho's Tumiki Fighters) will be released on May 1st of 2008. Unlockable goodies include rRootage, Gunroar, Torus Trooper and the original Tumiki Fighters.

Nine Paths To Indie Game Greatness

February 27, 2008 4:59 AM | Simon Carless

- Aha, a quick side note to point out a new Gamasutra article by David Marsh, who you may know as the creator of DevBump, but is also a former big-budget and current indie game developer - which is why he's in a good position to write the feature 'Nine Paths To Indie Game Greatness'.

As he postulated in his intro: "Many game studios are crippled by the amount of resources they require to keep operations going. I have seen plenty of companies that operate "contract to contract" with little hope of ever breaking out of the cycle. The studio growth required by the increasingly resource intensive modern crop of games is many times unsustainable. In fact, the problem seems to be getting worse.

According to a report by the BBC, "Back in 1982, the Japanese company Namco produced Pac-Man for $100,000. Now, the average PlayStation 3 title is estimated to cost $15m. Even after adjusting for inflation, that is still a significant rise. While production costs have tripled in recent years with the introduction of next-gen consoles, sales and revenue have hardly changed." [EDITOR'S NOTE: Well, game industry revenue has gone up a tad in aggregate, but we abstractly take the point, the BBC!]

Independent developers usually operate with very limited initial resources. By operating without a loan of resources, they create a development environment for themselves free from outside influences or restrictions. The only obligations they hold are to themselves as developers and the people who play and purchase their games."

In any case, the full feature on Gamasutra lists a number of specific ways indies can innovate and create with less, including 'Procedural Content', 'Avoiding Photorealistic Art Direction', and by "utilizing existing free, cheap, or open technology". All fine points (and sorry I had to use the Little Miss Sunshine graphic again!)

Mega64's 2008 IGF Award Skits Hit The Web

February 27, 2008 12:50 AM | Simon Carless

- So, the full IGF Awards show will be coming in due course, but in the meantime, the gods at Mega64 have posted up their three specially commissioned IGF skits, and they are really, happily ridiculous.

All three of the videos are rather 'special', but rather than trying to redescribe them, I'll just quote what they said on their official website:

"So as you may have heard, Mega64 once again provided videos for the big awards show at the Game Developers Conference. This year, though, their videos instead focused on the independent games. Was the Mega64 crew indie enough to do the game industry justice! Watch these new videos to find out!

First off, watch our Intro video, featuring a pleasant greeting from Dan Paladin, the award-winning artist behind the characters of games like Alien Hominid and Castle Crashers! And if that's not enough for you, there's even a bonus Behind the Scenes video!

Then watch our next indie game video, "I Am Independent," where the Mega64 crew speaks candidly on their independent gaming views!

And then finally, watch "Independent Inspirations" to prepare yourself to be an indie winner!"

Ah yes, and one more things from the Mega64-ers - a little vignette, if you will: "My favorite thing about GDC is how every time we go, we seem to have one defining moment that makes us realize, 'Wow, this was totally all worth it.' This year, for me, it was Jason Della Rocca, after winning his Ambassador Award, coming down to tell us that Ralph Baer, the father of modern video games, apparently looked like he was going to have a heart attack during our awards intro video.

Now of course we love Mr. Baer and everything he's done for video games, and would never wish any ill will unto him. But just the fact that we even heard that spoken to us was just a mindblower- How the hell did we get here? I mean, really? (Love you, Ralph)."

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