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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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West of Loathing - Ridiculous Stick Man Old West RPG Adventures Are on the Way

May 28, 2016 9:00 AM | Joel Couture


The developers of ridiculous stick man comedy MMO The Kingdom of Loathing have taken to the old West in West of Loathing, a cattle-rustling, gun-slinging, snake-oil selling RPG. If delivering hot justice to sarcastic bandits as a Beanslinger sounds good to you, you have a mailing list to subscribe to.

West of Loathing continues in the developer's silly style, letting players shoot varmints in turn-based combat, comb caves for gear, and negotiate with ghost accountants in spooky abandoned towns. From the combat to the items to the conversation, everything about this game is designed to make you crack up at least a little. I mean, you have a Moxie stat. And a book that teaches you how to 'Walk Stupid'. The only unfunny thing about this game is that it's not due out until 2017, so I'll just have to content myself with drawing stupid cowboy pictures myself until I can play as goofy stick man Cow Punchers upon its release.

Gremlins, Inc. Adds Steampunk Automatons - What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

May 27, 2016 2:58 PM | Thomas Faust


Malice, mischief, money - that's what digital board game Gremlins, Inc. is all about. It left early access a few months ago, but those crafty little gremlins and industrious devs at Charlie Oscar have been busy in the meantime. Automated Competitors, the second DLC for the game, has just been released, together with a big patch for all players. While the new purchasable content offers merely cosmetic changes - more character portraits, emoticons, new insults friendly messages to hurl at the competition, and some other neat stuff - the patch is a game changer indeed. It introduces special skills for all the different gremlins, which allow you to, for instance, make extra money as merchant, or pick your rivals' pockets as thief. Sneaky!

Meet the Residents & Savor the Sights of Goldenleaf

May 27, 2016 7:30 AM | Joel Couture


Goldenleaf is in trouble. Not the kind of trouble you need to rush to solve, though. You can kick back and take a walk through its Autumn fields, chatting with the local residents about their days, as you relax and take in its soothing atmosphere. Still, somewhere behind all the picnics and orange leaves, the town and its people do have some problems. Maybe you can lend a helping hand in this short, charming first person exploration adventure.

Goldenleaf won't take up much of your day, but will provide some calming locales to meander through for a little while, as well as some endearing people to speak with. Meant to relax while also exploring common mental health issues, the free game gives a sense of peace as it subtly teaches.

Robots Must Die! Dual Core Out On PC And Wii U

May 26, 2016 1:38 PM | Thomas Faust

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Dual Core is a vibrant, futuristic, twin-stick style shooter that has you playing as a super-intelligent AI core stuck in the body of an outdated security drone. Shoot your way through a spaceship overrun by evil robot hordes, find out what happened to the human crew and make a lot of stuff go boom. The game is built around a solid co-op experience and allows up to four players to play together... or battle against each other. If you have no friends on hand, your robot buddy Corby joins you in the campaign. He has the tendency to stand in your way quite a bit, but he comes in handy when there are puzzles to be solved or unfriendly robots to be atomized.

There's a surprising amount of content to be found here. While the campaign is slower-paced, with a bunch of puzzles and cutscenes thrown in for good measure, arcade mode is an all-out fast-paced arena shootfest. It's a lot of fun and worth the price of admission all by itself. Just consider campaign and versus modes the icing on this colorful, explodey cake. The relatively slow projectiles take some getting used to, and sometimes there's a bit of slowdown, but overall, Dual Core is excellent stuff for fans of retro-style twin stick shooters!

Enlist Online Allies to Brave the Challenges of EPOCH

May 26, 2016 7:00 AM | Joel Couture


EPOCH's dangerous worlds are meant to teach as they mercilessly beat on players. The top-down action game, which mingles inspirations from The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, and Dark Souls, will show players how best to approach a given situation by killing them as they explore the game's areas, making them pick up gameplay tricks as they pick up on bits of storyline from characters and the environments.

The game's harsh world, which you'll be able to try on May 22, isn't without kindness. Players can bring in online companions to help them out in combat and hopefully not screw them over in some unexpected way. You know, since online folks tend to always be helpful. Still, maybe they can play nice for a little bit while you explore lost cities and old dungeons, working together to take down enemies while singing songs about friendship. It could happen! At least the exploring part.

Create Life With Tyto Ecology

May 25, 2016 4:03 PM | Thomas Faust

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It's been a while since we last reported on Tyto Ecology, part educational simulation, part relaxing biological sandbox. The game has since been released on iOS and Steam and it allows you to create and manage your own ecosystems in small, self-contained "biodomes." The goal is to create rich, densely populated biodomes, based on life science principles, but of course you can just experiment to your heart's content instead.

The basic idea is to populate your biodomes with producers, consumers, and decomposers (such as plants, herbivores, carnivores, and fungi) without upsetting the delicate balance that keeps the ecosystem running. Introduce too many specimens of one particular kind into the system, and other parts might suffer or even collapse entirely. Tyto Ecology rewards experimentation and biodiversity and lets you unlock more organisms with time.

Everybody's Gone To The Robocalypse: Scrap Garden

May 24, 2016 10:09 AM | Thomas Faust


Little Canny is getting a bit rusty around the joints, so he's having his battery changed. Next thing he knows, his city is a bleak, desolate place, his robot buddies are all lifeless rust buckets, and he's the only robot left. This is how Flazm's cute platformer Scrap Garden begins. Of course, Canny needs to explore the robot world in order to find out what caused all of this and restore life to his city

Inspired by several famous console platforming franchises from days gone by, the game has you collecting diamonds and other whatsits, bop things on the head, and solve some easy puzzles on the way. It might lack the masterful execution of the games it tries to emulate, but Scrap Garden is still a neat and charming platformer. Granted, it feels a little rough around the edges and the voiced cutscenes would have greatly benefited from a livelier performance as well as some tighter writing. However, if some light platforming is what you're after, then look no further. Scrap Garden is just like its protagonist: it may look a little dented, but its heart is definitely in the right place.

One Jam To Rule Them All: The 2016 Adventure Jam

May 23, 2016 9:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

Advjam.pngWith an amazing 164 games on offer, an illustrious panel of judges comprising Natalia Figueroa of Fran Bow fame, inkle's Joseph Humphrey, Patrick Ewing of Campo Santo, and the creator of Dropsy Jay Tholen, a wonderful community, an excellent selection of resources for would-be creators, and a lovely voting system, one simply has to at least check the Adventure Jam 2016 out. And one has to thank organizers Cassie Benter and Stacy Davidson, as well as the legion of artists and developers who just provided us with a wondrous menagerie of free games.

What follows are a few suggestions to get you started; some of the best #AdvJam2016 entries I've played so far. Keep in mind though that I have so far merely scratched the surface of this rich and impressively varied selection of games.

WOLFLAME Is A New Doujin Shooting Star

May 23, 2016 3:08 AM | Thomas Faust


Nyu Media has been tirelessly bringing fine Japanese shoot 'em ups to western audiences for a while now, and their latest release, Astro Port's vertical shooter WOLFLAME, is no different. Reminiscent of genre classics such as Aleste, Twin Cobra, or Raiden in particular, WOLFLAME pits you against an alien robotic army in defense of your home world, before taking the fight to the enemy. While your ship's cannon is pretty weak, you can pick up a pair of upgradable satellite drones with varied attack styles that multiply your firepower.

With 10 varied stages, each one featuring a big, bad boss fight at the end, the game has a lot to offer. Four difficulty levels, a practice mode, achievements, and leaderboards should be enough to keep you playing for a while. You're even allowed to save your game, which is something of a rarity in this genre.

Undead Darlings Mixes RPGS & Visual Novels For Half-Zombie Fun

May 21, 2016 8:00 AM | Joel Couture


Reggie Happenstahnce finds himself in a rough spot after awakening to a zombie outbreak in Undead Darlings, a mixture of visual novel and RPG. Luckily, a group of half-zombie ladies take him under their wing, keeping him safe during the game's combat as they work together to find a cure, some useful loot, and maybe even a bit of romance along the way.

While exploring this ruined new world, players can chat with the other women, learning more about them and their pasts. They'll learn even more if they select those characters, many drawn from classic archetypes that the developers flesh out with deep backstories, and bring them in their active combat party for a given dungeon. Nothing makes a couple grow closer than killing evil eggs and living ashtrays together, right? Well, making the women do the killing, as Reggie is more suited for a lugging role. But Reggie's father does have an experimental antivirus, so he's kinda handy for them to have around.

Love and turn-based monster smashing coming together. It's beautiful, really.

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