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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, 2009

Video: Top 20 Best Doujin Shmups

May 28, 2009 2:38 PM | Tim W.

A pretty awesome list of the best twenty vertical doujin shooters, with a collection of download links posted in the video description. Most of the chosen games are commercial releases with trial versions, but there are a couple of free stuff to grab as well. The great thing about this video is that the names of featured developers only appear on the list just once, even if they have more than a couple of fantastic shooters under their belt.

Freeware Game Pick: Sworrd Buster (Andrew Brophy)

May 27, 2009 10:45 PM | Michael Rose

I have no idea what the double r is about, but I do know that Sworrd Buster is rreally good fun.

Using the WASD keys to fly around, your character grabs the 'sacred magic sword' before being persistantly attacked by the guardians of the sword until death. Holding down the mouse button unleashes the power from the sword, but you'll need to recharge every few seconds.

I really like this game for a number of reasons. The movement feels great and blasting the sword's beam at enemies so powerful. The way the beams seem to bend in a spiral is also pretty cool.

A nice little timewaster. Grab it from the Overbored blog. (direct download link)

Browser Game Pick: Time Warp (Sophie Houlden)

May 27, 2009 11:00 AM | Michael Rose


Another Mini Ludum Dare entry and this one is a ton of fun. Time Warp is a Guitar Hero style rhythm game where small blocks fly at the screen along a path and your job is to take them out using your keyboard.

What starts off as quite a simple beat soon becomes more challenging and a lot of fun. Veterans of this type of game aren't going to find anything that difficult here, but since when was difficult enjoyable?

I went for the ASDF keys and it seems to work pretty well, although by the end cramp had taken over my hand muscles. I challenge anyone to beat my score of 750 (96%). For the Indie Games Time Warp crown!

Play it on Sophie's site.

Browser Game Pick: Bullet Time (Terry Cavanagh)

May 27, 2009 10:44 AM | Michael Rose


Created in 48 hours for Mini Ludum Dare #9, Bullet Time is your standard retro shmup with the added bonus of a 'bullet time' effect thrown in.

It's a short but sweet experience. Everything from the action-packed playing area to the accompanying dance (by DestroySound and Kontinuum) beat make it all feel very hectic, and the rank-through-survival system works well. Strangely, the score doesn't seem to do anything at all and shooting enemies seems quite pointless a lot of the time - in fact, killing certain bad guys unleashes even more obstacles, so simply dodging around might be your best option!

It's over at Kongregate.

Browser Game Pick: LaserBox (Dust United)

May 26, 2009 9:04 PM | Michael Rose


LaserBox is an interesting little puzzle game about guiding lasers through boxes in an attempt to uncover the hidden mirrors.

Lasers and 'Impulses' can be fired from one of four directions into the group of boxes and will proceed to bounce around and eventually come out somewhere else. Depending on where it pops out, you then need to work out where exactly it could have bounced and implement a Minesweeper-like removing/tagging strategy.

The number of boxes can also be increased to give more of a challenge for anyone finding it a little too easy. Give LaserBox a go at Newgrounds.

Swedish Game Awards 2009 Entries

May 25, 2009 10:06 PM | Tim W.


Lately I've been doing a bit of research on the entries submitted to this year's Swedish Game Awards, and had picked out a couple of notable submissions with interesting trailers that might pique your interest (or at the very least, amuse).

Bloodline Champions: Multiplayer action game.

Freeware Game Pick: Tomb of the Aztecs (Iain C)

May 25, 2009 5:25 AM | Tim W.

Tomb of the Aztecs is a roguelike with raytraced graphics and real-time combat, a change from the usual turn-based tile movement employed by other RLs. You play an adventurer who is on a search for the Orb of Popocatepetl, rumored to be hidden somewhere inside the lowest level (sixth floor) of the legendary warrior's tomb.

There are no items, weapons or armor to pick up, other than ammunition for your fireball cannon stored inside treasure chests. You can regain some health by walking over a chest and plundering its contents. The save function is accessible by pressing the escape key and bringing up a pause menu, although players will always resume their journey from the starting position of a level immediately after restoring a save game. (source, forum thread)

Indie Game Pick: The Thrill Of Combat (messhof)

May 24, 2009 11:16 PM | Tim W.

If you've played Messhof's most recent and excellent free offering Party Boat and thought to yourself "I'm not entirely sure helicopters really control like that" (and you'd probably be right, unless it's a helicopter on a string) then you'll be reassured to discover that the not quite as free The Thrill Of Combat seems to offer a far more normal feel to the helicopter control. Well, providing you're in a helicopter that's spiralling towards the ground at high speed. In a disco.

As with Messhof's previous work, you can expect to be taken a little outside your comfort zone. Ok, ok, perhaps a lot outside of your comfort zone. It seems a simple, if reasonably bizarre set up at first. Fly your little helicopter around, shoot people, slice up their organs and dump the organs in your boat. You know it's not going to be quite that easy though, right?

Designed for two players but fully playable by one if you choose (as I'm sure most people will do), it's quite an incredible experience. I've never played anything quite so intentionally (and successfully) disorientating before for one thing. The combination of the pulsing background, the quite wonderful music, the glitch aesthetic and well, the entire world spinning around you as you to try to pilot your helicopter to harvest the organs is exhilarating.

Considering it was only a few days ago I was lamenting in the RPS comments section that Messhof's tricks have so far had little effect on me, it was enlightening to discover that 20 minutes after closing down The Thrill Of Combat I was still getting flashes of a helicopter seemingly burnt into my retina. I think we can safely say that it definitely worked this time round.

It's a punishing game for sure but one hell of an experience.

The Thrill Of Combat is $4.99. There's a video to watch of the game in action, but really, it doesn't do justice to the craziness you'll endure whilst actually playing it. - Oddbob

Browser Game Pick: Cactus Poker (Nankyoku Tairiku)

May 24, 2009 10:55 PM | Tim W.

The objective of Cactus Poker is to win as much money as you can in under ten rounds of poker with three other computer-controlled players. At the end of the tenth round, your winnings will determine the cutscene shown as your reward for completing the game.

You can switch any or all cards in your hand before placing a bet, and cards are only revealed once the betting phase is over. The more chips you own, the more you can bet, but lose all of them and you won't be allowed to participate in the next round.

Freeware Game Pick: Constellation Chaos (David Scatliffe)

May 24, 2009 7:21 PM | Michael Rose


Constellation Chaos is an arcade offering from the editor of the MOUSE NO! blog. Using the Z and X buttons to spin a pointer, players must draw a constellation using the randomly-placed stars provided. Small, floating shooting and exploding thingys are everywhere trying to sabotage your attempt.

There's also the problem of completely missing all the stars and crashing into the side of the level, ending your run. It's good fun and quite addictive, egged on by a great little ditty to compliment the gameplay. I was quite pleased with my high score of 1505, so please don't tell me if you manage to beat me. It will make me angry.

Grab it here.

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