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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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Halfway is essentially the indie XCOM

August 21, 2014 11:03 AM | Michael Rose

I've been playing Halfway lately, an XCOM inspired strategy game about a bunch of soldiers who wake up aboard their spaceship to discover that something is very, very wrong. You lead your companions through the belly of the ship, dealing death to aliens and zombie-like creatures in a turn-based style.

It's all very stylish and lovingly presented, and while it doesn't do much more than be another XCOM game, can that really be a bad thing? It's quite simplified compared to recent XCOM games, so if find all the crazy management stuff in those games to be a turn-off, perhaps Halfway will do it for you. You can find the game on Steam.

PWYW Pick: SanctuaryRPG blends old-school aesthetics and new-school mechanics

August 21, 2014 10:50 AM | Lena LeRay


Black Shell Games' SanctuaryRPG flew in under our radar back in April. It looks and sounds like a very old game, for the most part, though it has splashes of color that the games of yesteryear might not have been able to get away with. It's not the only game with such an aesthetic, and though it hopefully won't be the last, SanctuaryRPG distinguishes itself from seemingly similar games with a unique blend of turn-based RPG combat, exploration, humor, and modern game design choices that allow for the player to customize the game's level of challenge to suit themselves.

Freeware Pick: Meowgical Tower (Neon Deity Games)

August 21, 2014 4:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

meow.pngOur very own Anthony Swinnich, also a proud member of Neon Deity Games, is partly responsible for the excellent and excellently named Meowgical Tower; a freeware retro 8-bit action-RPG you can either play on your browser or download for Windows and Linux via GameJolt.

Mobile Pick: FreudBot (slash games)

August 21, 2014 3:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

freudbot.pngWith the help of the titular robotic psychoanalyst, FreudBot allows you to overcome your splendid UFOphobia psychosis, provided of course you grab it for your Android or Windows 8.1 machine; and lie on that lovely couch over there. The game is free and comes complete with innovative mechanics, lots of digital cards, 46 levels and some brilliantly cartoony graphics.

The Escapists dares you to break out of prison today on Steam

August 20, 2014 10:54 AM | Michael Rose

The Escapists dumps you in a prison, gives you a life sentence of 30 years, and dares you to try and escape. And escape you will try, try and try again, as you attempt to live a regular locked-up life, keep the guards happy, and dig tunnels when they're not looking.

But how can you escape? Well, you could dig a hole using a plastic spoon. Or perhaps cut a hole in the ceiling vents and go a-crawling. Or maybe you'll find the tools to create a make-shift key and simply walk out of the front gates. It's up to you how you go about beating The Escapists, and as more and more content is added during the game's Early Access phase, there's bound to be plenty of reasons to come back to it.

You can find The Escapists on Steam.

Glitchhikers dev has released ORACLE, the first of four games in his east van EP

August 20, 2014 7:48 AM | Lena LeRay


We covered Glitchhikers, an experimental freeware game, earlier this year. It was a short, introspective sort of game in which the player's actions were limited to controlling the speed of a car on a highway at night and making conversation with hitchhikers that randomly appeared in the passenger seat. ORACLE is similar in some ways, with an aesthetic and interface that Glitchhikers players will find familiar, but this game puts the player in the shoes of an oracle in the woods and asks them to interpret procedurally generated visions.

VA-11 HALL-A: the Cyberpunk Bartender Action (Sukeban Games)

August 20, 2014 4:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

valhala.pngThough post-dystopianism sounds way too postmodern for my still rational brain, the idea of serving outrageous cocktails to the people of a corporations-driven, nanotechnological future sounds simply brilliant. As brilliant as the freshly released VA-11 HALL-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action Prologue by Sukeban Games.

Chess 2 is out today... but does it work?

August 19, 2014 10:51 AM | Michael Rose

Lena covered Chess 2 back when it was released for Ouya earlier this year, and it was quite the thing. The game is out on Steam today, and looks to reinvent the original class board game with numerous strange twists.

Said twists include allowing you to win if you can move your king onto your opponent's side of the board; Allowing you to kill an attacking piece by spending stones; And playing with "armies" that feature pieces that can do some pretty messed up things, like teleporting and killing their own side.

Does it work? I'm not completely convinced, as you can see in the video above, but it's definitely interesting to see the various iterations that the development team has plugged into the original formula. If you want to check it out yourself, you can find the game on Steam.

Trailer Roundup: Gravity, platforms, platformers, RPGs, and battle

August 19, 2014 9:10 AM | Lena LeRay


Today's trailer roundup is an amalgam of games that are available for a very limited number of platforms and games that are available for everything but the electronic kitchen sink. We have a 2D platformer with unconventional movement, an RPG trying to combine the "heart and soul" of classic JRPGs with modern game advances, a serious GBAJam entry, a physics action puzzler gone Saturday morning cartoon, a cross between survival sandbox and isometric action RPG, a retro history inspired 2D platformer, a fast-paced multiplayer game with gravity mechanics, a free and open source shooter, and a pinball game with a dash of head-on battle.

Adventure Pick: Zotnip's retro-loving Bik

August 19, 2014 7:15 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

bik.pngShould have already covered the release of the lovely point-and-clicker that is Bik, but, well, better late than ever, eh? What really matters is that you now know of its existence and can do the wise thing and grab it for either Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android. Heck, there's even demo for you to try out and be certain you love this breed of sci-fi, low resolution, finely designed, alien infested adventures.

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