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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, 2011

Browser Game Pick: Transmover: New Generation (Polygon Gmen)

March 31, 2011 3:03 PM | Michael Rose

A sequel to the original block-swapper by Polygon Gmen, Transmover: New Generation provides thousands of new puzzles to pull your hair out to.

The idea is that your little guy must grab the key and exit through the door on each level. However, he can only climb up steps that are one block high, hence sometimes he may need to move surrounding blocks around or shift his own position. Armed with a laser, he can shoot at green blocks to swap places with them. It's a clever concept that makes for some insanely difficult puzzles, especially later on.

The main campaign has 100 levels to play through, but that's not the end. There's a level editor for creating your own conundrums, which can then be uploaded for others to play. There are currently thousands of levels available to play online, so you may find yourself losing a good few hours to this game.

Make sure to give this a try (you can select English from the Options menu), and while you're at it, why not check out Glen Forrester's Ssshifty from last year too - it follows the same concept. (Cheers Marcus!)

Indie Game Links: Best Games of 2010 and 2011

March 31, 2011 3:00 AM | Tim W.

Today's collection of independent game links includes more indie game previews, a couple of development updates, the usual round-up of interviews with developers from around the 'net. (image source)

The Joystiq Indie Pitch: Guns of Icarus
"We're giving indies the chance to sell you, the fans, on their studios and products. This week we talk with Howard Tsao, Founder of MuseGames, about his steampunk airship title Guns of Icarus." Games Work ‘Neurological Magic,’ Says QWOP Creator
"Bennett Foddy, deputy director of the Institute for Science and Ethics at Oxford University, makes games about embodiment, and the 'neurological magic' in gaming which allows us to inhabit the heroes on screen. But unlike most artsy, experimental games with a point to make, Foddy’s free Flash games are hilarious, alarmingly addictive and eminently playable."

The Great Gatsby: The Great Gatsby for NES Soundtrack (audio)
"We've been thrilled by the response to Gatsby, so as a bonus, we've uploaded the original soundtrack for free download at If you like it, be sure to check out some of its influences: Billie Holiday's early tune 'It's Like Reaching for the Moon,' Chopin's Nocturnes, and of course, the classic soundtracks of Mega Man, Ninja Gaiden, Castlevania, et al."

Matt Chat: Interview with Agustín Cordes (video)
"This is the first installment of my extensive interview with Agustín Cordes, designer of the award-winning Scratches and the upcoming Asylum. In this episode, Cordes and I discuss Asylum, the engine formerly known as Kinesis, Scratches, horror, indie development, puzzle design, and plenty of other topics. Cordes also gives me several scoops, preview footage, and exclusive insider information."

Mobcast: Indie developers speak out (audio)
"In this week's indie-themed episode of the Mobcast, Area 5's Matt Chandronait, Cryptic Sea's Alex Austin, and Runt Inc.'s Richard Horne join Bitmob's Brett Bates. The crew discusses their most anticipated indie titles, how consoles limit creativity and distribution, what consumers look for in a non-mainstream game, and whether the term 'indie' indicates a genre or a design method."

distractionware: Games of 2010
"Better late than never. Here’s a selection of games released in 2010 which I absolutely loved. They’re all amazing games and I recommend you check out as many of them as you can." 101 Free Games 2011
"Times are tough and the unemployment rate keeps rising, but maybe it's some consolation that the increasing scarcity of cash money doesn't mean you can't get your gaming fix. Free games just keep on rolling in, to the point that this twice-yearly feature can't actually begin to encompass them all. Nevertheless, we've tried to condense them down to the 101 best of the last half year or so."

8-Bit Funding: Jerry McPartlin - Episode 1

March 31, 2011 2:00 AM | Cassandra Khaw

I remember once reading in a book somewhere that heroes came in all shapes and sizes. For some reason, I don't think that the author would have put Jerry McPartlin in that category. Looking better suited for the titular role in Grease, Jerry McPartlin will apparently be the only thing standing between humanity and unspeakable evil from dimensions beyond mortal ken.

Needless to say, this also means that the upcoming point-and-click adventure is probably going to be a heck of a romp through old-school diners, decadent temples and everything in between. In development by Ed Venture Studios, Jerry McPartlin - Episode 1 recently made an appearance on 8-bit funding with a request for $5000. There is no explanation as to why they need the donation but the developers have promised to complete their maiden project regardless of whether the goal is met or not.

Unsurprisingly, given that production only began last month or so, there's little more than the introductory trailer to behold. I'll admit that most of my excitement stems from a lingering, nostalgic fondness for Full Throttle (Anyone else remember that?) but that's irrelevant!

Either way, those interested in investigating the project further might want to drop by their 8-bit funding page and slap a virtual book-mark there.

Freeware Game Pick: Viriax (locomalito)

March 30, 2011 8:00 PM | Tim W.

locomalito's new release Viriax is a procedural-generated 2D arcade game set inside a human body, where you must guide a deadly virus from organ to organ as you make your way towards a medical research chip called N.A.S. (Nanobot Assembly System) located somewhere inside the host's brain. Along with the chip, scientists have planted a variety of tiny nanobot machinaries inside each organ in hopes that they will be enough to stop the rapid spread of the virus and cure their patient.

The virus loses a bit of energy after every jump in mid-air (there's no penalty for attempting a jump from a flat surface), so health must be replenished constantly by consuming the red cells that float freely or are left behind by the enemies that you defeat. Besides being able to float around, you can also dive downwards and infect or damage any living object or cell that lies below the virus. Power up items can be found inside blinking cells, although you might want to avoid collecting any grey-coloured specials that will only cause detrimental effects to the player.

Each of the six main stages features eighty short levels to play through, and a guardian boss has to be beaten at every twentieth floor before you are allowed to proceed further with your mission. Completing one of the main stages and successfully infecting a core cell will reward you with a permanent ability, and you can acquire up to half a dozen of these to use during your adventure.

Viriax is available to download from locomalito's site. (Windows, 2.66MB)

Indie Game Links: The Gold Rush

March 30, 2011 7:30 PM | Tim W.

Today's collection of independent game links includes more indie game previews, a couple of development updates, the usual round-up of interviews with developers from around the 'net. (image source)

A Hardy Developer's Journal: Cockroach Inc.
"I had a chance to chat with Erik Zaring and Anders Gustafsson, the two brilliant minds behind The Dream Machine, and pick their brain about their game, their influences, and their dreams. This is the result."

Gamasutra: Rolando Dev HandCircus On Moving From iOS Gold Rush To PSN
"Following the groundbreaking success of Rolando and its sequel on iPhone, London-based HandCircus is turning its back on mobile dev for its next release, Okabu. Gamasutra's Simon Parkin asks founder Simon Oliver what inspired the move."

GameSetWatch: Spaces of Play on Spirits and the Creative Uncommon
"GameSetWatch correspondent Jason Johnson talks with the heads of Berlin-based indie Spaces of Play about their enchanting iOS puzzler Spirits, their different lifestyles and approaches to level design, and more."

tsumea: Interview with Matt Comi and Big Bucket Software
"The success story of The Incident was instrumental in persuading Matt Comi, the main developer behind Big Bucket Software, on finally making Big Bucket Software a full time venture in game and productivity app production. We contacted Matt to find out more about his company and The Incident."

DIYGamer: Greg Kasavin of Super Giant Games on Bastion
"Greg Kasavin spoke with us at GDC 2011 about changes to action RPG Bastion since PAX Prime 2010. While Bastion is being published by Warner Bros on XBLA this summer, Greg adds that he wants the game to be on both console and PC."

Rock, Paper, Shotgun: Jakub Dvorský Interview
"Machinarium creator Jakub Dvorský was at this weekend’s GameCityNights event, announcing not one, not five, but three new games to come from Amanita Design. Dvorský tells us how he plans to rescue the adventure genre, his views on piracy, and what we can expect to see in the new projects."

increpare: Bfxr
"Bfxr is an elaboration of Sfxr, the program of choice for many people looking to make sound effects for computer games. Bfxr has moved in the direction of increased complexity and range of expression. All the buttons that you know and love are here, but there are some new things as well."

Trailer: New Star Soccer 5 (New Star Games)

March 30, 2011 7:16 PM | Michael Rose

In all honesty, the New Star Soccer series has never really caught my attention.Yet this latest cheesy trailer for upcoming New Star Soccer 5 looks set to offer some top-down arcade style footballing fun.

Not only will you need to balance your team and score some goals, there's also socializing to be done, top of the range technology to dish out to your guys to make them play the best they can, and... well, lots of drinking to 'enhance' your game.

The game is currently in "the final stages of testing", and will be released soon. Head over to the New Star Games site for screenshots. Book Available For Pre-Order: 250 Indie Games You Must Play

March 30, 2011 3:00 PM | Michael Rose

250indiegames.jpgYou'd think we'd be content with providing all the best indie game news and releases every day via the blog - but then, you'd be mistaken. Next month, will be releasing a physical book, featuring 250 of the most influential and fun indie games available.

Titled '250 Indie Games You Must Play', the paperback is available to pre-order from Amazon now, with a release set for April 18, and features a mix of well-known, important and more obscure titles, complete with links to bang into your browser. Those gamers who are new to the indie scene can pick it up as a starter's guide, while veteran indie gamers can grab a copy to brush up on their knowledge.

There are also quotes from notable indie developers regarding the boom of indie gaming, and what it means to be an indie developer. If anyone has any questions about the book, feel free to ask in the comments! Otherwise, you can find it at either Amazon US or Amazon UK.

Microsoft Investigating Claims Of Ratings Manipulation In Xbox Live Indie Games

March 30, 2011 9:52 AM | Michael Rose

cl11.jpgMicrosoft is investigating charges of manipulation of the user ratings for Xbox Live's Indie Games Section in the wake of allegations that a group of users have been spamming the service with false ratings.

"We are investigating a possible misuse of ratings on XBLIG titles. We'll announce more information here as it develops," reads a recent tweet from the official XNACommunity twitter account.

Robert Boyd of Zeboyd Games -- makers of Xbox Live indie RPG titles including Breath of Death VII and Cthulhu Saves the World -- first noted the alleged manipulation last week, tying a surge of low ratings for many popular XBLIG titles to a March 24 post on the Facebook page for XBLIG game College Lacrosse: The Video Game.

The post urged fans to provide a 5-star rating to the recently released 2011 version of the title, and provided a link to the game's page, where anyone with a free account can provide a rating.

But Boyd alleges many of those fans went farther than that, providing the minimum 1-star rating to competing XBLIG titles to help improve the Lacrosse games' positions.

Freeware Game Pick: The Iconoclasts (Konjak)

March 29, 2011 10:00 PM | Michael Rose

Konjak has a number of abandoned games that we'd all like to see him finish one day. One such game is Ivory Springs, of which the incomplete version was released back in 2009. The Iconoclasts is Konjak taking another stab at the title, but it sounds like unfortunately he once again won't be going any further.

The general level layout is barely recognisable from the original release, while graphically it's... well, a bloody work of art. Absolutely gorgeous. There's also a little bit extra added onto the end of where the last version left off.

From his blog post, it sounds like he's stuck in a bit of a rut, and also running a little low on cash. Hopefully the positive comments that he will surely receive regarding this latest release will help raise his spirits, as it would be a serious shame to lose such a wonderful developer. Download The Iconoclasts from his site.

Nimbus Half Price on Steam

March 29, 2011 2:00 PM | Michael Rose

Nimbus was pretty much an unsung indie gem last year. A mixture of racing and puzzles, you bomb around levels fun of spikes and obstacles, bouncing off walls and using the momentum to dash across pits and through tricky courses.

In short, it's brilliant - watch this trailer if you don't believe me. Right now, the game is half price on Steam, so you can pick it up for $4.99/£2.99. This is what we in the industry call 'a very good deal', or 'a steal'.

If you're not convinced, here's a link to the demo that you should at the very least give a download.

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