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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 January, 2013

Cave Story dev's Ikachan now on 3DS

January 31, 2013 9:10 PM | John Polson

ikachan.jpgCave Story developer Pixel (Daisuke Amaya) created a light diversion for free called Ikachan back in 2000. Over 12 years later, he and publisher Nicalis have re-released Ikachan on Nintendo 3DS for $5.

Ikachan is very much the underwater action adventure equivalent of Pixel's more popular Cave Story, compacted into a 1-2 hour experience. The player-squid builds up life through eating fish and bashing enemies and earns new powers to get further in the game. I usually hate the swimming environments in games, but controlling Ikachan feels rather effortless. It's almost a relaxing game, save a couple boss battles.

I have no complaints with the length of the game; the world was charming enough to make me play until the end. The price will meet some friction, for sure, though. I just hope whatever Amaya makes will motivate him to finish RockFish, because I'm ready for another, longer dip in the Pixel pool.

XBLIG Trailer: Aliens vs Romans (Sick Kreations)

January 31, 2013 6:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Nuclear Wasteland and End of Days: Infected vs. Mercs developer Sick Kreations is putting the finishing touches on Aliens vs Romans, a slick-looking competitive first-person shooter for the Xbox Live Indie Games service.

Aliens vs Romans pits sword-wielding Roman soldiers against heavily armed alien forces in a series of single-player, cooperative, and competitive online multiplayer gameplay modes. Sick Kreations' previous titles ranked among Xbox Live's biggest-selling indie games in 2011 and 2012, and judging from the footage above, Aliens vs Romans looks like it will be a worthy follow-up.

Aliens vs Romans is currently in peer review, and Sick Kreations notes that XBLIG fans can expect to see a public release "very soon."

Release: Antichamber (Demruth)

January 31, 2013 3:00 PM | John Polson

Alexander Bruce (Demruth) has released today the mind-melting masterpiece, Antichamber, for Windows. As of this writing, it's already the top seller on Steam, marked down 25% to $14.99 for the first week.

The game's received a lot of love from the press, and I thought it would be interesting to share some of the indie love floating around Twitter. "Antichamber is a fantastic mind-bender," says Spelunky creator Derek Yu. "[P]repare to have your minds destroyed ha ha ha," Steve Swink cackles madly. "I think Antichamber goes in places FEZ couldn't dream of going," says FEZ programmer Renaud Bedard.

I didn't find anything negative in my search, aside some performance issues and Mac release wishes. While Bruce hammers away at the former in the short term, he says "one thing at a time" for the latter. It remains to be seen how many players will ask for their sanity back. For now, Windows owners can go play.

Little Inferno Ignites on iPad

January 31, 2013 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Following up on its recent launch for the Wii U and PC platforms, Tomorrow Corporation's firebug sim Little Inferno is now available for the iPad, giving you more freedom to burn your virtual possessions than ever before.

An interesting aside: despite the game's many explicit and thematic warnings regarding the dangers of playing with fire, the National Fire Protection Association believes that Little Inferno is a significant threat to child safety -- so much so that it's calling for a ban from the Wii U's eShop. Be safe; don't let your kids play indie games.

The iPad version of Little Inferno is priced at $4.99.

[via @simoncarless, Eurogamer]

Erica Reed meets The Wise Monkey in the second Cognition episode

January 31, 2013 9:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

Supernaturally gifted FBI agent Erica Reed, having already dealt with the Hangman in a point-and-click thriller we loved, is now facing a new adversary and, should things go wrong, another major personal tragedy. The second (of four) episode of Cognition, you see, has just been released for both Mac and PC and is pitting Erica and her stretched resources against The Wise Monkey; a serial killer who enjoys mutilating his victims.

Interestingly, and despite keeping to a tight schedule, the developers have managed to not only live up to the first installment's many promises, but have actually improved on the game's design and have trimmed away almost all the padding and the kind of puzzles that feel both tedious and unnecessary.

You can grab Cognition, episode 2: The Wise Monkey for $9.99, the complete series for $29.99 or upgrade your episode 1 purchase to a season pass for $19.99.

Semi Secret's Hundreds Sells 100,000 Copies

January 31, 2013 9:00 AM | Danny Cowan

130129_hundreds.png

Semi Secret Software's minimalist iOS puzzler Hundreds is officially a hit. In a recent blog post, jubilant developer Adam Saltsman announced that the game has sold more than 100,000 units as of this week.

"I don't want to downplay, for us, the financial importance of this success; we basically went broke making Hundreds so it's a pretty big deal that it didn't flop," Saltsman writes. "That said, even if it was the kind of money where we could go buy sports cars or whatever (and it's not!), there is this other, at least for me way more important thing going on, which is less about finances and more about 'holy crap, one hundred thousand people have played Hundreds.'"

Saltsman continues: "I don't know, maybe it's just me, but this seems so crazy. I grew up in a pretty small town. I had to drive for an hour or more just to find a city that technically even had 100,000 inhabitants. So the idea that I got to work on something that has reached that many people feels... very good. The idea that a lot of the people this game reached are not 'gamers' (even though the game is legitimately challenging still) feels incredible."

To mark the occasion, Semi Secret announced that an Android version of Hundreds is in the works. The developer also revealed that new features will be added in future updates, though further details are not yet known.

Death Ray Manta bringing DRM fun to iOS

January 31, 2013 6:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

DRMios.pngRob Fearon's Death Ray Manta (a.k.a. DRM: The Game) was one of the games I played the most during 2012 and one of my favourite arena shooters of all time. Still haven't seen anything not made by Jeff Minter come close to its psychedelic pyrotechnics either. Anyway, good news is Jeff Murray has finally ported Rob's game to the iPad and iPhone in an almost sacrilegious but actually great way. Yes, it's really good too!

DRM is available as a universal app on the App Store for $0.99 (for a while at least).

Is Proteus a game -- and if not, who cares?

January 31, 2013 12:00 AM | Staff

proteus long.pngIt's typical, isn't it: You wait ages for a bus, and then three come along at once.

Antichamber has been in development for a few years now, and is finally getting a release later this week. But it's not the only notable indie game finally set free into the wild this week - there's also turn-based strategy game Skulls of the Shogun and, more excitingly for UK game development, the long-awaited Proteus.

Proteus, for those who have missed it, isn't your typical video game. Players wander around a gorgeously pixelated world, taking in the scenery and exploring every corner to find wildlife and other niceties.

There isn't a goal as such, leading a number of people to question whether Proteus can actually be classed as a game.

Top 10 Indie Platformers of 2012 (Paid)

January 30, 2013 9:45 PM | John Polson

dustforce.jpg[IndieGames is wrapping up its year in review, with lists including the Top 10 (Free) Platformer Games, Top 10 (Free) Puzzle Games of 2012, Top 10 (Free) Experimental Games of 2012, Top 10 Indie Adventure Games of 2012, Top 10 Indie Strategy Games of 2012, Top 10 Indie Horror Games of 2012, Top 10 Indie Shoot-'Em-Ups of 2012 and our Top 10 Indie Games of 2012 (+2!).]

Upon reviewing the top 10 platformers of 2012 that ask for your money, almost half of them actually started out wanting nothing more than your time. Whether they were on gaming portals or simply freeware experiments, they were there for us in the past to enjoy. Now, they've come back even fiercer and ready to take the money we've supposedly been throwing at their screens for years!

All that is to say free games aren't going anywhere, and we'll probably continue seeing more matured versions of free games in the future. We'll probably continue to see an equal amount of amazing commercial games based on new IP, too.

What will the next-gen gadgets offer us, and what will inevitably higher-powered PCs offer us months later? I can't wait to find out! But until then, let's celebrate the games that made us jump around in the funnest of situations. These are the best of 2012's indie platformers for pay.

Skulls of the Shogun Launches for XBLA, Windows 8, Windows Phone

January 30, 2013 6:00 PM | Danny Cowan

It's been a long wait, but at last, it's finally here! Indie developer 17 Bit has launched its debut title Skulls of the Shogun for Xbox Live Arcade, Windows 8/RT, Surface, and Windows Phone.

Skulls of the Shogun is a turn-based strategy game that ditches the hex/tile-based gameplay of many similar titles, giving troops a circular range of movement instead. The game's unique approach to the genre allows players to form advanced strategies -- troops can be closely lumped together to form blockades, for instance, in order to prevent enemies from threatening your more fragile units, like archers and generals.

The package is capped with some humorous dialogue and a unique setting in which undead ronin and samurai seek a shortcut to the afterlife. The game also boasts a variety of multiplayer options, including the local competitive Skulls on the Couch mode, the up to four-player Skulls Online, and the asynchronous, cross-platform Skulls Anywhere (only available for Windows 8/RT, Surface, and Windows Phone).

The Xbox Live Arcade version of Skulls of the Shogun is priced at 1200 Microsoft points ($15). The Windows 8 version is available for $9.99, while the Windows Phone edition can be had this week for $4.99.

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