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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 August, 2009

Browser Game Pick: Canabalt (Adam Atomic)

August 31, 2009 4:24 PM | Tim W.

Canabalt is a simple one-button action game where you are in control of a well-dressed man who can't stop running, leaping from the top of one building to another as the city is being attacked by giant robots and futuristic-looking ships.

You can control the height of your jumps by holding down the button for a longer or shorter period. Running into obstacles will slow you down, and they could be dangerous to crash into if you need all the speed you can get to clear a long gap between buildings.

Canabalt was created by Adam Saltsman for Experimental Gameplay Project's August theme, 'Bare Minimum'. Music was written by Daniel Baranowsky. (source, screenshots, 3x mega version for 1080p and high resolution displays)

Browser Game Pick: Pretweeting (Gabe Smedresman)

August 31, 2009 11:57 AM | Michael Rose


Here's something a little different from my normal posts, but bear with me for a second. Pretweeting is a bit like buying and selling shares but in Twitter form (hence if you don't use Twitter, you might as well stop reading now).

Every word has a value depending on how often it is being mentioned on Twitter at that moment. So the idea is to buy up lots of words which aren't being talked about right now but you believe will soon be popular - that is, pretweet them. For example, if you know a big event is coming up, you might want to grab the name of it so that you can sell it on the day.

There are other factors that come into play. There is a maximum number of words that you can own at one time, and certain words take up more 'slots' than other words. For example, 'lol', 'the' and 'RT' are all understandably worth more than lots of other words since they are said so often.

Sounds pretty complicated, but there are some nice features to help you out when deciding which words to choose. Entering a word into the search box will bring up a graph showing how popular your chosen word has been over the last week. If you see there is a pattern in its popularity, you can use that to your advantage. There's also a word list to show the top most popular words at that moment.

If you do a lot of Twittering, it's worth checking this out - it's actually a good bit of fun. Plus there are prizes for the winners each few days! Sign up over at

Gratuitous Space Battles Available for Pre-order

August 31, 2009 10:59 AM | Michael Rose


Positech Games, Cliff Harris' UK-based one-man games company, have opened their upcoming title Gratuitous Space Battles for pre-order.

The game is now available for pre-order at a price of £19.95 (£13.18) + VAT. While there is no release date set for the game, all pre-orders will receive a beta version of the title which, while not the final product, apparently has a good portion of the finished release in there. Here's the blurb from the GSB site for those who don't know what it is:

"It's a strategy / management / simulation game that does away with all the base building and delays and gets straight to the meat and potatoes of science-fiction games: The big space battles fought by huge spaceships with tons of laser beams and things going 'zap!', 'ka-boom!' and 'ka-pow!'.

In GSB you put your ships together from modular components, arrange them into fleets, give your ships orders of engagement and then hope they emerge victorious from battle (or at least blow to bits in aesthetically pleasing ways)."

Check here for one of the latest gameplay trailers for the game.

Freeware Game Pick: Beacon (Chevy Ray Johnston)

August 31, 2009 8:59 AM | Tim W.

Depending on how good you are at overcoming difficult challenges, Beacon can be a rather lengthy platformer that will take some time to beat. Shadows are lurking in every corner waiting for our protagonist to make a wrong move, but as luck would have it a beacon of light appears out of nowhere to help him illuminate the way forward.

The beacon will occasionally take a branching path that is out of your reach, and you would have to rely on the light from blue and red crystals just as often to progress. This Ludum Dare competition entry is for Windows only. (updated version with save feature)

Browser Game Pick: Tower Climber (Skipmore)

August 30, 2009 12:35 PM | Tim W.

In Tower Climber, a princess has been turned into stone and held captive at the top of a tall tower. And as the hero of the kingdom, it is up to you to save the day by collecting all one hundred gems inside the tower and casting a spell to turn the fair maiden back to her beautiful self again.

This one-button arcade game doesn't get difficult until after the thirtieth floor, when a row of spikes will appear to hurry you on your ascent towards the prize. Monsters have the same petrifying spell that was afflicts the princess, so you'd do well to avoid them or get yourself frozen for a couple of precious seconds.

Browser Game Pick: Labyrinth Hero (Skipmore)

August 30, 2009 12:21 PM | Tim W.

Labyrinth Hero is a bite-sized roguelike game where each floor consists of only two enemies, a treasure chest, a switch and a hidden staircase. You can play with either the keyboard or mouse, but your hero will only travel at half speed because every living creature on the floor will have their turn just after you've made your move. Once you've dispatched both enemies, the movement speed will then be restored back to normal.

Your maximum hit point is increased by one whenever you put down an enemy. If you lose at any stage you can begin from the first floor with your previous hit point stats, simply by selecting yes to the question asked after you've clicked on the play option. There are only ten floors to explore, and the quest is completed once you've discovered the magical crystal ball somewhere in the final level.

Browser Game Pick: Synopsis Quest (Skipmore)

August 30, 2009 12:18 PM | Tim W.

Synopsis Quest is a collection of puzzle and arcade-based side quests, where the hero can be trying to save a princess in one minute and attempting to loot treasure from the enemy's lair in the next. You are free to play the missions in any order, although nothing new is unlocked even after you've beaten all seven of them.

Preview: Cosmop (Andy Wolff)

August 30, 2009 11:37 AM | Michael Rose

A shmup WIP by Andy Wolff. Loving the blur effect coupled with a feeling of serious speed.

Indie Game Pick: Little Space Duo (Jugilus)

August 29, 2009 9:39 PM | Tim W.

In Little Space Duo, you play as a young girl named Lucy who was captured by an alien cargo ship after being wrongly mistaken for an Earth specimen. She befriends a small robot on the ship (which she nicknamed Sunny), and the both of them set out to fix things and find a way to send Lucy back to where she came from.

Players have to switch between both characters frequently throughout the game in order to solve some of the more difficult puzzles. Cargo robots that patrol the corridors must be avoided, else you risk being transported back to the start of the level and having all of your good work up to that point undone.

Save points can be found in certain areas as well, and they come in very handy whenever you feel the need to experiment with a couple of possible solutions for any puzzle segments.

There are five levels to play in this beta demo version. (source)

Browser Game Pick: Guardian Rock (Stefan Ahlin)

August 29, 2009 6:32 AM | Michael Rose


Guardian Rock is a great new browser game title that makes full use of [EDIT: Zelda things excised!] sliding block puzzle fun. Stefan Ahlin (or Torpedolab, as he calls himself) has, however, taken the idea a lot further and there are some truly difficult solutions to be found here.

The idea is to slide the 'Guardian Rock' around the levels and crush all the explorers. Problem is, once old G Rock starts moving, he can't stop until he's crashed into something solid. He's then got to reach the goal once all the little men have been walloped! It's a hard life, this 'protecting the ancient temple' thing.

Give it a blast over on Torpedolab. Oh, and while you're over there, give Super Briefcase a quick go, too. I meant to give it a mention a while back but it slipped my mind. (Thanks to Alex Shen for the recommendation!)

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