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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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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.

Top 10 Free Platformer Games of 2012

January 21, 2013 2:00 PM | John Polson

The indie universe continued to offer up in 2012 platformers of all types: auto-running, puzzle, exploratory, narrative-driven, and subversive. And even in this age where developers can easily charge money for their creations, some choose to release them for free.

This Top 10 Free Platformer Games of 2012 list celebrates those developers who keep pushing us forward, backward, or beyond, while sometimes asking us simply to change our perspective to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Yes, platformers can teach us about life. But for now, let's just enjoy some free indie games!

Top 10 (Free) Experimental Games of 2012

January 17, 2013 9:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

top10freeExperimantal.pngTen games and another fifteen honorable mentions and we still can't feel 100% happy with our Top 10 free experimental games of 2012 list. If there is one thing indie developers simply excel at, you see, is not just coming up with, but actually trying out and releasing games based on wild and at times radical ideas. Games so different, so innovative and so unique we can't help but describe as experimental.

The selection that follows hopes to showcase some of the very best of said games that you can play for free. Just don't expect it to cover each and every excellent new idea; there are simply far too many of them...

Top 10 Free Puzzle Games for 2012

January 11, 2013 2:00 PM | John Polson

Puzzles: so many games incorporate them well, but to create puzzles so masterfully that they can stand on their own is an art worth celebrating and maintaining.

In an age where indies have more options than ever to monetize and commercialize their work, it's also worth celebrating when developers release fascinating games for free, be it for practice, for fame, for fans, or for the love of their craft.

The Top 10 Free Puzzle Games of 2012 collects the year's finest freeware and browser-based puzzle games from the masterminds Michael Brough (smestorp), Stephen Lavelle (increpare), Mahdi Bahrami, Eyemaze, and more.

10 Indie Games Scene Shakers in 2012

January 10, 2013 4:00 PM | Staff

Thumbnail image for super hexagon long gama.jpgThe "scene" that envelops indie games has grown exponentially, as players are finding more freeware, browser, and commercial games than ever before. Accompanying the marketing, releasing, and making of such games naturally were bold steps and missteps.

Thanks to the mostly transparent nature of indie development, there is much more to learn than what used to stay behind heavily ironclad doors.

This feature takes a look at some of the most meaningful events in 2012 and reflects on their impact on indie games and developers, including bundles, Steam and IGF changes, Pirate Kart, and piracy.

Top 10 Indie Adventure Games of 2012

January 10, 2013 9:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

resonanceHeaderTop.pngAdventure games were never really dead; everybody knows that. Besides, the indie scene, even before the term indie was such a widely used word, was one of the main pillars of the genre and a wild incubator of new ideas, tools, sub-genres and practices. In our post Double Fine Adventure Kickstarter, Wadjet Eye Games and Telltale days then, during a most obvious genre renaissance, it's only natural that the indie adventure is blooming in all its forms and shapes.

Choosing the top 10 adventures of 2012 has thus been a most challenging task and we're sure to have skipped some rather brilliant offerings, but we are pretty confident the 10 games presented here are both excellent and representative of what indie adventures excel at:

Top 10 Indie Strategy Games of 2012

January 6, 2013 12:00 PM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

strategytop.pngStrategy gaming, despite being one of the most demanding genres for players and developers alike, is also one of the areas indie devs seem to excel at and gamers seem to love. What's more, 2012 was an excellent year for the tactically thinking masses indeed, what with its impressive selection of strategy offerings appearing on most platforms.

What follows are our picks of the very best strategy games of 2012 and, as you will soon discover, it's a list covering everything from RTS and turn-based games to tower-defense and rogue-like variants. It even sports some excellent freebies!

Top 10 PlayStation Network Games of 2012

January 4, 2013 11:00 AM | Danny Cowan

121231_retrocity.jpgSony continues to curate a top-notch library of independently developed titles for the PlayStation 3, and this year also saw the release of several standout indie games for the PS Vita. Better still, many of this year's best indie-developed PSN titles are playable on both the PS3 and the Vita -- an important trend that developers should observe carefully.

The PlayStation Network continued to deliver surprises up until the very last day of December, which saw the release of the excellent Jetpack Joyride. Many other excellent titles also premiered throughout 2012, resulting in what may be the service's strongest year to date. Here are my top 10 PSN releases of 2012.

Top 10 Indie Horror Games of 2012

January 3, 2013 7:30 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

horror top 10.png"The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown." (H.P. Lovecraft)

Horror, just like humor, is an ancient, fickle and hard to tame beast. Going beyond mere jump-scares and evoking the feeling of proper fear can be particularly tough, but more than a few indie developers seem ready to tackle such tasks.

This particular roundup hopes to cover the best and, well, most scary horror releases of 2012 and is featuring both freeware and commercial titles for a variety of platforms.

Here then are our favorite indie horror games released in 2012:

Top 10 Indie Shoot-'Em-Ups of 2012

January 1, 2013 4:00 PM | Danny Cowan


While arcade-styled shoot-'em-ups are practically extinct in the world of retail releases, the genre still has a lot of life left in it, as indie developers continue to prove year after year.

This roundup covers a broad spectrum of niches and tastes, and its featured titles showcase surprising ingenuity and innovation in a genre that's as old as video gaming itself. Here are my favorite indie shooters released in 2012.

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