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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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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

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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

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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

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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.

Dino Run DX Introduces The Ultimate Indie-Mashup

May 20, 2016 10:09 AM | Thomas Faust

dinorun.pngDino Run has been out for a few years, but thanks to an innovative crowdfunding campaign that doesn't rely on third party website support, developer Pixeljam have been steadily adding content to the game. The latest update, dubbed The Indie Collection, is somewhat of an anomaly in the indie world, though. 60 characters from various indie games make their cameo appearance in the game in the form of hats & heads, all of which have been officially approved by the respective developers. That's some kind of indie game royalty meetup going on there!

Clumsy Moose Season Lets Players Build Interactive (and Dangerous) Playgrounds For Dumb Moose Friends

May 20, 2016 7:00 AM | Joel Couture

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It's moose season, but everyone's too stupid to notice as they construct motorcycle parks, shopping kart races, lethal saw-filled arenas, and pajama parties for the dopey moose people of Clumsy Moose Season, a sandbox building/action game out now on Steam Early Access.

Players are able to build a variety of arenas and playparks for the moose people, dictating rules and layouts while the other players are messing around the stages that are being constructed. What kind of park they wish to build is entirely up to the player, as they can build fighting arenas as easily as they can just create racetracks or houses. Players can also choose what sort of play style each map will use, freeing them to add combat or lighthearted elements as they see fit. Will you send them to Hell or just chop down some trees? That's all up to you and the group of players you bring to the game.

A Heartbreaking Game - Liyla and The Shadows Of War

May 19, 2016 12:35 PM | John Bridgman

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Released on mobile devices recently, Liyla & the Shadows of War is a very simple game, based on actual events of war in Gaza. Made by Rasheed Abueidah, this mobile game is powerful and heartfelt, and in every way worth your time to play.

Aliens Looking For A New Home In The Mims Beginning

May 19, 2016 9:38 AM | Thomas Faust

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On their intergalactic voyage, the Mims - a strange alien race with way too many eyes for my liking - are forced to crash-land on different planets. Your task is to get their new colonies up and running and ultimately rebuild their spaceship, so they can resume their journey. You'll have them constructing new builings, creating a fruit-based economy, as well as researching and breeding new species. The Mims Beginning straddles the line between city builder and god game, so apart from odering your underlings around you can also directly intervene with magi... I mean Psi powers.

A Curious Thing: Dungeon Crawling With The Power of Love

May 18, 2016 11:08 AM | Thomas Faust

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Stop me if you heard this one before: a lover's spat turns weird as you and your partner are dragged into another dimension and transformed into goatboy and... octobunny? Okay, so you probably haven't heard this one before, but it is the plot of Rat King's Power of Love, a quirky co-op dungeon crawler. You absolutely need to grab a partner for this one, since the game is unplayable all alone. You've got to make up and beat the forces of evil together, after all!

Making your way through the dungeon, twin-stick shooter style, you can perform cooperative actions to defeat your foes. Pressing the co-op button creates a shockwave that pushes enemies back or makes you rush towards each other for a high five. You can even create a laser to slice and dice those baddies with. The further you explore, the more you need to cooperate, otherwise you'll meet a grisly end at the claws of... tiny little birds and monsters that spew hearts? Well, this is a weird one indeed.

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