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IndieGames.com 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, Gamasutra.com 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 April, 2011

Freeware Game Pick: Grief (Magnesium Ninja Studios)

April 28, 2011 5:00 PM | Tim W.



Grief is a puzzle platformer that features twenty levels to play through, where the gimmick revolves around using special platforms to switch between light and dark worlds. The objective of the game is basically to collect the teddy bear found in every stage before guiding the young girl to the exit, although you can still complete the game without retrieving all of her lost toys.

The area layout will change slightly whenever you switch between the two worlds, and you'll either be able to jump higher or crawl under tight spaces depending on the current state of the level as well. Later on there will be boxes to push, ghosts to avoid and black orbs with special properties to gather.

Before you proceed to play Grief, it should be noted that the developers have purposely left out a progress save feature from their game. Be prepared to spend at least an hour or two beating all of the levels, since you'll have to start all over again from the first area if you quit halfway through.

You can download Grief from either GameJolt or YoYo Games.

Demo: Phantasmaburbia (Banov)

April 28, 2011 3:00 PM | Tim W.



Fresh from the success of launching his pirate-themed RPG Dubloon, Banov is now hard at work on a new project titled Phantasmaburbia. The story is about a young boy who overheard some loud noises in his house, and since he doesn't want to wake his parents he decides to investigate the source of the disturbance by his lonely self.

Banov expects to sell Phantasmaburbia when it's done, and an early demo (roughly thirty minutes to play through) had been released so that he could solicit for feedback before proceeding further with the development of the game.

Get the Phantasmaburbia demo here.

Guess The Dunks, Win a Copy of Capsized

April 28, 2011 2:00 PM | Michael Rose



[The contest is now over! I've dunked just the once, and that was on purpose - I'm just that good. Winners are prikolics, Techgnome, boule and CandyFace - congrats!]

Capsized is here! It's finally here! We've been waiting for this jetpack-enabled exploration shooter for quite some time, and it even featured in our 10 Indie Games To Watch Out For In 2011. I played this game thoroughly as an IGF judge, and can divulge that it's wooonderful.

The game is released tomorrow via Steam for $9.99, which is a more than reasonable price. Above is a recently released interview with the team behind it. But now let's get to the part you're really waiting for - how can you win a copy? Why, it's incredibly easy! All you have to do is guess how many times I have capsized a kayak. Flipped it right upside down with me sitting in it. I'll give you a clue - it's a number between 0 and 3 (0 and 3 included). Simply put your guess into the comments, and we'll pick winners tomorrow!

As always, here are some quick rules: You can only enter once per email address, and anyone entering multiple times will be disqualified. Please make sure to supply your email address when you enter so we can send you your prize - and don't worry, it won't be shared publicly. The contest will close tomorrow at 9pm GMT, or when the game is released on Steam - whichever comes last. Happy guessing!

Indie Game Links: A Rock and a Hard Place

April 28, 2011 11:00 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)

Ludum Dare: Welcome to Ludum Dare 20
"It's just about time for the big two-oh, kicking off our 9th year with the first event of 2011. 2010 was an amazing year for Ludum Dare, with over 800 games created by the community."

reddit: I am Joshua Nuernberger, and I made Gemini Rue. Ask me anything
"Hello, I am the developer of an independent adventure game just released this past February 2011 called Gemini Rue. I started the game for fun in my last year of high school and released it independently during my junior year in college."

Unity Technologies Blog: GLiD developers win Independent Propeller award
"The developers of GLiD, Marco Marino and Matthew Thomas Woolven are a true indie developer story, having quit their university courses in the UK to focus solely on the development of GLiD, thanks in part to their rapid development in Unity."

Indie Game Pick: Your Doodles Are Bugged! (Spyn Doctor)

April 28, 2011 10:00 AM | Michael Rose

doodles.jpg

Your Doodles Are Bugged! was originally released via Xbox Live Indie Games just over a year ago, and while it was a cracking good time, it did seem rather odd that a game about drawing with a pen was being released for use with an Xbox controller. Now the game is finally available for PC, and all makes sense in the world.

There are lots of little bugs jumping all over a series of hand-drawn levels, and you need to help them escape into the pot at the end by drawing with your mouse. You can draw stairs, walls, ramps, whatever you like, just as long as the bugs have a means of getting to the exit. There's also a Doodle Studio for creating your own levels and sharing them with friends, and online leaderboards that rank your times against the rest of the world.

Considering that the original game was 80 MS Points - or $1 - it seems a little mad that this new version is £7/$10, even with the level editor and extra doodles. Still, you should at least give the demo a download and see what you think.

Indie Game Pick: Collte's Spoon Devil (Q Handmade Games)

April 27, 2011 3:00 PM | Tim W.



Collte's Spoon Devil (Koruruto no Saju Akuma) is an arena shooter with an interesting gimmick: you control two characters at the same time, each with their own set of health meter and weapon. Both of them can get hurt, but you will only lose the round if the witch Collte loses all of her health. Collte and her pet creature (affectionately called the Spoon Devil) will regain health when they are standing close to each other, while enemies are targeted automatically with whatever weapons they currently have in hand.

Defeated enemies drop food and sweets for the player to collect from time to time. A sweet counter at the bottom of the screen displays how many points you can distribute to upgrade your weapons (hold the left shift key for Collte, left-click for the Spoon Devil), and you can drop your current weapon by holding down the secondary action button for a couple of seconds (space key for Collte, right mouse button for the devil).

The version that's available from Vector is the Japanese shareware build, and though Q Handmade Games had promised an English-translated demo it could take a while for that to materialize. The game is rather easy to learn even if you can't read a single word of Japanese, so don't let the language barrier prevent you from trying the trial version out.

Get the two-level demo for Collte's Spoon Devil from Vector or DLsite.com (click on the fourth blue button with three Japanese characters).

Browser Game Pick: UpBot Goes Up (Dom Camus, Craig Forrester and Luke Davies)

April 27, 2011 1:30 PM | Michael Rose

upbot.jpg
Created by Dom Camus, Craig Forrester and Luke Davies during TIGJam UK2, UpBot Goes Up is a grid-based puzzle game that will have you scratching your head rather furiously. Each coloured robot needs to end up in its appropriate square, but can only move in one direction.

However, robots can push each other - hence, the idea is to line robots up in such a way that they shove other robots into the correct row or column. Sometimes you'll have to push multiple robots along, and it becomes even more confusing when you factor in multiple robots of the same colour, as these can only move along at the same time as their buddies.

The puzzles are surprisingly entertaining, and if you get stuck, you can simply skip to the next one. 32 puzzles in total will test your brain, although you should definitely give yourself a pat on the back if you manage to solve them all. Play UpBot Goes Up at Kongregate now.

Freeware Game Pick: Pragmatica (HiVE)

April 27, 2011 11:00 AM | Michael Rose



The human race is useless. We moan, we get sick, we demand rights... Rights! No wonder Pragmatica is rapidly growing to be the largest industry leader of our time, powered entirely by robots.

Of course, to get the robots working in the first place, they'll need someone inputting the commands... and this is where you come in. On each level, you are tasked with creating a series of commands that will lead your robots to their preferred destination. As you progress, more robots need guiding, all with the same commands, and it becomes pretty challenging.

Pragmatica has a lovely Spacechem-esque vibe to it, from the storyline to the interface, and is really great fun once it gets properly going. Give this one a download - it's perfect for filling a lunch break.

Freeware Game Pick: One Curious Nightfall (Matthew Cangelosi)

April 27, 2011 8:00 AM | Tim W.



One Curious Nightfall is a short 2D platformer about a girl who discovers a magical pouch dropped by the mystical Bird King, so she decides to go on an adventure and return the item to its rightful owner. There's very little gameplay here to speak of, and most players should be able to breeze through the thirty rooms or so in under fifteen minutes. Though the game presents no challenge whatsoever, it's still worth playing just to watch the gorgeous animation work that Matthew had put into his year-long project.

The soundtrack is written by Flashygoodness, best known for his work on the musical score for Tower of Heaven. You can grab One Curious Nightfall from any of the three mirrors listed here.

Indie Game Links: A Sackful of Potatoes

April 27, 2011 7:00 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.

Dev.Mag: How are puzzle games designed
"As part of our series of interviews on puzzle game design, we asked Rob Jagnow about his approach. Jagnow is the founder of Lazy 8 Studios, and the designer behind Cogs, the steampunk-themed sliding-tile puzzle game."

GameSetWatch: Mount&Blade: With Fire And Sword Shoots, Sieges On May 3
"TaleWorlds announced that Mount&Blade: Fire & Sword, the new expansion for its medieval and open-world action RPG, has gone gold and will release on May 3 for Windows."

Opposable Thumbs: The story behind one studio's Portal 2 ARG adventure
"We spoke with Leo Jaitley from Dejobaan Games, the developer behind three of the games included in the Potato Sack, about how they came to be included in the bundle."

Gamasutra: Hide&Seek's Margaret Robertson Dissects SpaceChem
"Former Edge editor-in-chief and Hide&Seek design director Margaret Robertson takes a look at what makes SpaceChem tick in the latest installment of her 'Five Minutes Of...' series on Gamasutra."

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