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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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Does Microsoft's acquisition of MinecraftEdu signal the return of educational games?

February 1, 2016 10:00 AM | Tim

image.jpgGames may have just overtaken textbooks as the method of choice for students to learn in school. Educators around the world have been using MinecraftEdu - a version of Minecraft built for classrooms - since 2011, with an adoption rate of over 40 countries already and increasing.

Headlines were made when Microsoft bought over Mojang for a sum of USD $2.5 billion in September 2014. But it was only after Microsoft announced the acquisition of MinecraftEdu recently did people begin to realize why the tech giant would spend a large sum of money on acquiring a Swedish company.

Temporarily Turn to a Turn-Based Life of Crime In the Urban Pirate Demo

January 29, 2016 7:00 AM | Joel Couture


Urban Pirate sounds a little more dangerous than it actually is. While many crime games tend to have you exchanging gunfire with police and running people over with stolen vehicles, turn-based sim Urban Pirate is more into shoplifting cans of pop, buying weed, dumpster diving, and skateboarding in the park. It's all still crime, though, so you'll have to be careful as you live out your life as a hardened public nuisance, dodging cops, detectives, and an overly-zealous swat team.

A demo is available now for those who want to feel the thrills of managing a petty criminal career and hanging out with digital ne'er do wells.

Gunscape Coming March Second

January 28, 2016 9:20 AM | John Bridgman

The FPS toolbox Gunscape, from Blowfish Studios, will be coming on PS4, XBox One, Windows, Mac and Linux on March 2, 2016, according to the Australian developer. A WiiU release is scheduled to come in the second quarter of the year.

The Witness, The Maze and The Island

January 28, 2016 3:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

Witness1.pngThe Witness is, at its simplest, an exploration puzzle game. Then again, at its simplest, it also is a game by Braid's Jonathan Blow, but just as its crafting involved a team of talented programmers, artists, designers, actors, sounds specialists and architects, so is this game so much more than a great puzzler. It's a master class in environmental storytelling, puzzle design, interactive beauty, UI elegance and mazes. Hundreds of glorious, surprisingly different and fiendishly clever mazes.

Death Can Be Your Ally in the Brutal DarkMaus

January 27, 2016 7:30 AM | Joel Couture


Cats and mousetraps are the least of a mouse's worries when a red-eyed rat with a battle axe is rushing toward them. DarkMaus is designed with vicious, but strategic, challenge in mind, placing a lonely wandering rodent in dangerous territory loaded with archers, poisonous spiders, and sword-wielding wildlife. Should you arm yourself well and take your time, you'll live through the day, but if you don't, you might find yourself with another ally: your own spirit. Death creates a ghost of yourself that can be armed to fight alongside you, creating an opportunity in failure.

Maybe playing carelessly isn't so bad. Still, when most folks summon an army of ghosts, they're not their own dead spirits.

Life & farming sim World's Dawn now complete and available on Steam

January 26, 2016 8:35 PM | Lena LeRay

7GyrOUx.pngWhen World's Dawn, a farming/life sim in the vein of Harvest Moon, first came to my attention in May of 2014, it was only partly done. Developer Wayward Prophet had just released the first episode, the spring season, as freeware. They released the summer and fall seasons, then ran a Kickstarter to fund improved aesthetics and quality assurance. Now the winter season is available, completing the experience, and although it's no longer freeware, it is available on Steam and has a demo.

The Order of the Thorne: The King's Challenge (and a bard's tale)

January 26, 2016 6:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

OrderOfTheThorne.pngInfamous Quests, the point-and-click focused studio that dared to take the Quest for Glory formula and do amazing, modern things with it in Quest for Infamy, has just returned to the fantasy lands of Uir, pixel art and classic adventuring with The Order of the Thorne: The King's Challenge. It's a brand new adventure game with a very clever music system, a lovely setting, excellent atmosphere and a truly intriguing plot involving Finn The Bard and a (capitalized) Challenge that might just change his fortune.

D├ętournement and the experimental joys of urban exploration in New Lethes

January 25, 2016 7:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

NewLethesIG.pngBeauty is in the street. The Situationists knew this. They were also aware that power structures have always been embedded in the urban tissue and yet were cunning enough to employ play and exploration and the hijacking of art and space as tools of understanding and change. And now, many years after the death of Guy Debord, a game has been released to remind us of those brilliantly wild ideas and practices. It's called New Lethes and it will delight itself in letting you explore its experimental environment as it examines the role of the built environment in human life.

Trailer Roundup for January 25, 2016

January 25, 2016 5:25 AM | Lena LeRay

Zombie.jpgToday's trailer roundup includes an hour long mystery, mech battling, an AR game using a printed book, a local multiplayer game in which everyone is invisible unless they mess up, a mystery set in a snow-covered landscape, a rhythm game about two kids on a journey, a block-dropping robot base builder, the sequel to Rocketbirds, an RPG in which dragons are suplexed, and a body-swapping adventure about getting a band back together.

Jon Ingold on the sorcery of Sorcery! and the crafting of modern interactive fiction

January 22, 2016 5:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

jon-ingold.jpgJon Ingold, co-founder of inkle, wearer of many hats, occasional trombone player, conjurer of authoring tools, former teacher of young humans, writer of words and game designer, is currently preparing the launch of the PC version of the excellent Sorcery! series and is here to talk about things. And words. And interactive fiction. And games and the ways they are created too. Oh, and I do believe he also mentions 80 Days and Sorcery! a couple times or so.

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