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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 June, 2012

Ask IndieGames: What makes a good free-to-play game?

June 30, 2012 1:00 PM | John Polson

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Ask IndieGames is a monthly feature that takes a range of topics relating to indie gaming and development and poses them as a question to the editorial staff.

This month's topic is free-to-play (F2P) games. Love them or loathe them, F2P games are gradually taking the video game industry by storm, in the web browser, on mobile devices and now even on home consoles. What elements should indie developers look to include or avoid when building a F2P game? What can indie developers do differently?

Best of Indie Games: From Pocket Planes to Thomas Was Alone

June 30, 2012 12:00 PM | Tim W.

This week on "Best Of Indie Games," we take a look at some of the top independent PC Flash/downloadable titles released over this last week.

The delights in this edition include a pair of arcade shooters to tests your skills and reflexes with, an old school beat 'em up of sorts for the iOS, the latest offering from Tiny Tower creators Nimblebit, plus an abstract puzzle-platformer that's been called the Portal 2 of the indie world.

Here's some recent highlights from IndieGames.com:

Game Pick: 'Super Counterfeit Gaiden' (01010111, browser)
"Created for the 7DFPS game jam Super Counterfeit Gaiden is a simple shooting gallery offering with wonderfully pixelated graphics, a gloriously silly title and some fun and straightforward mechanics."

Game Pick: 'Wages of Darkness' (Baron, freeware)
"Set within the innards of a top secret military facility, Wages of Darkness will have you stepping into the shoes of a soldier named Marina. Determined to get to the 'Shelter' before Protocol 13 is evoked, Marina will discover a variety of unpleasant things along the way."

Game Pick: 'Scylla Starfighter' (Josepho, browser)
"Scylla Starfighter is a simple yet taxing shmup that only lets you move right or left and shoot, while traveling on a pre-set path through 3D cel-shaded environments and being exposed to a most enjoyable story."

Indie Royale Debuts the Summer Bundle

June 30, 2012 10:49 AM | John Polson

indieroyale.jpgThe IndieGames co-created Indie Royale game bundle site tempts you to stay inside during the warm summer months with the Summer Bundle, featuring eight brilliant independent games available at a bargain, fluctuating price.

First up is award-winning arcade real-time strategy game from Oxeye Game Studio, Harvest: Massive Encounter, co-created by current Minecraft lead coder Jens Bergensten, and downloadable for Windows, Mac and Linux on Steam, Desura and DRM-free. In this RTS/tower defense title making its first-ever bundle inclusion, offering battles of epic proportions with a unique style of resource management and exploration. According to IGN, "Harvest is a tower defense game with a goal of achieving high scores rather than a congratulatory, 'You've triumphed! The galaxy is safe again,' followed by a 'Game Over.'" So it's a perfect way to while away the summer days inside!

Next up is a brand new update of a classic point-and-click adventure game from SkyGoblin Games, The Journey Down: Chapter One available for Windows, Mac and Linux on Desura and DRM-free. Play Bwana and his trusted sidekick Kito who struggle to make ends meet at their run-down gas station, as they embark on a spine-tingling adventure far from home and into a twisting plot of corruption and danger. Kotaku describes The Journey Down as a "delightful change of pace... (the) Afro-Caribbean setting is one that's very rarely used in video games, and comes with a great palette of colors and art to pull from."

Thomas Was Alone Released!

June 30, 2012 7:30 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

thomas was alone.pngMike Bithell designed and coded it, Danny Wallace handled the narration, David Housden composed the music and now Thomas Was Alone has been launched and everyone will finally discover what an utterly wonderful game this small team created. I really don't want to sound overly enthusiastic, but I just can't help it. Thomas Was Alone has earned its place among such classic platformers as Manic Miner and VVVVVV. Yes, it's this good.

What's more, it's a game about friendship and jumping and puzzles that comes complete with 100 levels and an eclectic selection of playable characters. A visually simple yet downright beautiful and endearing game starring Thomas (a rectangle with more personality than a dozen ultra-detailed FPS stars) and an assortment of equally stylized and geometrically simple friends each with a unique set of abilities, that allow for some brilliantly varied level design.

Oh, and don't get me started on the quality of the script or the narration. Thomas Was Alone is the Portal 2 of the indie world and you wont be able to put the thing down before you get the whole plot delivered to you.

Thomas Was Alone is available for both PC and Mac and, as you may have already gathered, comes highly recommended!

Release: Ether Vapor Remaster (Edelweiss, Nyu Media)

June 29, 2012 11:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Nyu Media's has released its English-localized version of the Edelweiss-developed doujin shoot-'em-up Ether Vapor: Remaster for Windows.

Ether Vapor: Remaster is a "2.75D arcade shooter" that mixes gameplay elements from classic horizontally and vertically scrolling shooters. The boss encounters are especially intense, as you can see in the gameplay video above.

Ether Vapor: Remaster is priced at $7.99, and is currently available exclusively through Nyu Media's website. The game will launch at GamersGate, Impulse, GameTap, and Steam soon.

Maker's Tale Is A Tabletop Board Game Come To Life

June 29, 2012 6:30 PM | Cassandra Khaw

It's still way too early in the development phase to declare that Maker's Tale will be the next best thing since sliced bread. However, there's definitely something appealing about what they've presented thus far. According to the description of the game, Maker's Tale is the story of a tabletop board game that has sprung to life in the mind of a kid called Maker. It's a fantasy RTS sort of thing with a sandbox-y twist: you'll be able to rebuild the level as you go. I'm definitely curious about this one. No information about a playable version has been released as of yet but we'll let you know when we find out more.

IndieDB page is here.

Space Invaders, but More Extreme: Hyperspace Invaders I

June 29, 2012 4:30 PM | John Polson

Sure, Space Invaders Extreme and Galaga Legends were audio-visual treats, but my eyes really like all the manic flash of Hyperspace Invaders I for Windows. That's 248 invader waves of manic vertical shooting flash, to be exact.

Hyperspace Invaders I also boasts online leaderboards to extend the experience and 30 difficulty levels that adapt the experience. I'd love a demo to help recommend paying the $6.00 price tag (or £4.00 from IndieCity), but for now, I'm just giving everyone something shiny to look at before the weekend.

iPhone Game Pick: Unstoppable Fist ( Ragtag Studio)

June 29, 2012 2:20 PM | Cassandra Khaw

Unstoppable Fist hovers somewhere between the realms of awesome and unspeakably corny. An old school beat 'em up of sorts for the iOS, this modestly priced title will have you commanding a rather burly-looking, mullet-headed dude in a Miami Vice-like outfit. Instead of facing off against catastrophic doom and doomed romances, you'll be taking on zombie chicken and zombie fish in this one. Yes.

Want to know more? Check out the IndieDB page here.

Dynamite Jack Out Now On iPad

June 29, 2012 1:00 PM | Danny Cowan

After premiering for Windows, Mac, and Linux last month, Phil Hassey's explosive stealth title Dynamite Jack is now available for Apple's iPad.

Armed only with a cache of explosives, the game's protagonist Jack must stealthily take out guards and solve puzzles throughout 28 campaign levels. Players can also download dozens of user-created maps and make their own challenges using a built-in level editor -- there's a video tutorial here, if you want to put your design skills to the test.

Dynamite Jack is priced at $2.99.

World of Goo, Henry Hatsworth Devs Relight Their Fire, Announce Little Inferno

June 29, 2012 12:00 PM | John Polson


World of Goo's Kyle Gabler, Goo Wii programmer Allan Blomquist, and Henry Hatsworth's Kyle Gray of Tomorrow Corporation have announced their upcoming multiplatform title, Little Inferno, due this winter.

As for the radio silence, Gabler blogs that they wanted to "avoid being another lost adorable indie game that never materializes." However, they will reveal the "first bits of real info on Little Inferno in a few days."

The developers are currently asking, "What would you most like to set on fire?" Sounds like a good Friday topic to me!

[via Joystiq]

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