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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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Archive For March, 2007

Soup ver 0.9

March 27, 2007 8:08 AM | Tim W.

Soup ver 0.9 is a production loosely based on LSD, a trippy dream recollection available only on the Playstation console. Choose the first option to play in full screen mode. A different part of the adventure is unlocked for each new game attempted by the player.

Hold the left shift key to look around, and touch a wall to exit any room. Describing the game any further is equivalent to providing possible spoilers.

Name: Soup ver 0.9
Developer: Unknown
Category: Adventure
Type: Freeware
Size: 10MB

Gems

March 26, 2007 2:08 PM | Tim W.

Gems is a new puzzle game made in Game Maker, and one of the better puzzle games I've ever played. Gems can move in any direction, but they keep moving until they hit something, much like some of the dungeon puzzles in Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

But the variation of the gems is much greater than in that game: there are gems that can only be pushed a limited number of times, gems which have a count-down before they explode, gems which can only travel on a particular line, teleportation tiles, gems which explode when hit and have to be deactivated by other gems, and others. There's an element of timing to it too, as the most dangerous part of the game are gems which explode and bounce back and forth between two points.

There are over sixty levels, although each is short enough that if you're good at puzzle games you can finish the game in 3-6 hours. There's also a level editor, and you can upload the levels you create and download the levels of other people. The level editor doesn't allow everything the game itself has (such as teleportation tiles) but that's my only problem with the game.

One note: this isn't mentioned in the manual, but to skip the slow-scrolling tutorial text you can press the shift button.

Name: Gems
Developer: GameCave
Category: Puzzle
Type: Freeware
Size: 7 MB

News

March 26, 2007 9:08 AM | Tim W.

Pictured right, a new screenshot from Crazy Patterns. [Clean Asia review, past projects by cactus]

Here's an excellent article about roguelike games by The Codex, entitled Rogue Like Treasure.

A page with screenshots and descriptions for each playable entry in the latest 3Punge competition can be found here. Unfortunately most of the games require the installation of RPG Maker XP. [RPG Maker XP download page]

Trouble in Cloudland updated to version 1.1. [Trouble in Cloudland download page, a selection of Autofire 2007 compo entries]

Two screenshots from both the upcoming Raid on Bungeling Bay remake and original.

Top 20 Freeware Shmups 2006, Part 1

March 25, 2007 9:18 AM | Tim W.

Twenty of the best freeware shooters released in 2006 and early 2007, ordered alphabetically.
[Top 50 shmups page 1, page 2, page 3, page 4, the entire list]

1. Ablation
2. Blue Wish Resurrection
3. Clean Asia
4. Demolition Gunner
5. End Effector: Accomplished Edition
6. Ether Vapor
7. Gamma Bros.
8. Mogura 2
9. Titanion
10. Vacant Ark

1. Ablation

Ablation is basically a four color vertical shooter with an interesting concept. Touching a white bomb neutralizes all projectiles, while activating a black one destroys every object in range. Collect power-ups for a firepower upgrade. Controls are:

Left CTRL, Z, Space - shoot
F5, F6 - change window size
P - pause


Black pixels do no damage, though contact with a white pixel will cause your ship to lose one power-up degree. Destroy an enemy's weak point for a special core bonus.

Name: Ablation
Developer: Nenad
Size: 7.50 MB
Direct download link: Click here

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2. Blue Wish Resurrection

Blue Wish Resurrection is a vertical shooter by x.x that features two ships to choose from, three difficulty levels and five stages with obligatory end-level bosses.

There's an autobomb option in the config screen, and pressing space will bring you back to the main menu even when you're playing. The Heaven difficulty is probably too easy for most players, while Normal is the best one to start with. Health indicators are shown for large enemies to help you gauge the amount of damage they can take.

Name: Blue Wish Resurrection
Developer: x.x
Size: 56.5 MB
Direct download link: Click here

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3. Clean Asia

Part Warning Forever, part Tumiki Fighters, all style. In Clean Asia, the eyes of mankind has decided to leave their hosts and take over the earth. Their first move was to escape to the moon, where they developed their hostile weapon technology. Ten years later they return and forcefully take over some prominent countries in Asia. Thailand and New Korea has both succumb to the hostile threat, while China insists on dealing with the eyes themselves and refuses any helping hands from around the world.

America sends a pair of pilot twins with extraordinary sixth senses to battle against the evil eyes. They both have designed their own space ships that seems to be about the only thing in existance that can be used to battle these terrible fiends.

It has three levels and two selectable ships with distinct controlling differences and abillities, fourteen bosses and ten regular enemies.

Name: Clean Asia
Developer: cactus
Size: 5.62 MB
Direct download link: Click here

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4. Demolition Gunner

Think Under Defeat, but with 2D sprites. Demolition Gunner: In Search and Destroy was originally developed for a three minute gameplay competition, then turned into a complete production featuring seven stages and obligatory boss encounters.

These battles last only twenty seconds each, so there won't be much of a struggle beating them assuming that you're good at dodging an insane number of bullets. Press the Z key to shoot, or hold the X key for a few seconds before releasing the button to launch a napalm bomb.

Name: Demolition Gunner
Developer: DHC
Size: 11.2 MB
Direct download link: Click here

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5. End Effector: Accomplished Edition

End Effector Accomplished Edition is another superb freeware shooter from Japan that actually showcases 3D graphics for sprites and backgrounds, although gameplay is still very much on a flat 2D plane.

Textures are poor but that's practically the only drawback of an otherwise excellent shmup. The Z key is assigned as the cancel/secondary button, while the X key is used for selection and shoot. Pressing the C key will bring up a menu. Hold the Z key for a few seconds to charge your special weapon.

No power-ups to collect as you're already equipped with a powerful charge weapon that can be used like a slingshot. The first level is quite plain, but things do pick up after the initial boss battle.

Name: End Effector: Accomplished Edition
Developer: KMC
Size: 69.1 MB
Direct download link: Click here

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6. Ether Vapor

Ether Vapor is a 3D shooter that looks very impressive, with plenty of special effects and cutscenes to set up boss fights. The action switches from vertical to horizontal halfway through the demo, practically offering two types of gameplay for the price of one.

Three weapons are available to the player but only one can be used at any time. Enemies do look a little bland with gray as their primary texture color but credit to Edelwiss for squeezing in so much into a 15.5MB trial version.

Name: Ether Vapor
Developer: Edelwiss
Size: 17.9 MB
Direct download link: Click here

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7. Gamma Bros.

The name Gamma Bros sounds like a platformer but it is in fact a shooter. Use the W, A, S or D key to shoot in any of the four directions. Collect coins to purchase upgrades or health, and get close to an enemy to fire rapidly. You can change characters by touching your partner's ship when it appears on the screen.

A password save function is available, allowing players to continue from the last stage attempted. Access it by pressing the arrow keys while viewing the main menu. There's a Mac version as well.

Name: Gamma Bros.
Developer: Pixeljam Games
Size: 19.5 MB
Direct download link: Click here

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8. Mogura 2

Mogura 2 is an excellent shmup by Krobon Station, featuring two characters with different abilities and weapons. Both gets a standard shield which can be activated using the X key. Hold the Z key to shoot, and tap the C key to initiate a special attack. Press the left control key to change the way your weapon operates.

A tutorial can be accessed from the main menu by selecting the third option. The second offers a difficulty setting. After picking a character, you can choose to either start from the first level or continue from the last stage attempted.

Note: Installation can be a bit of a hassle but the effort is worth it. Rename the largest executable and cca file to the same name, then repeat for the smallest file. For example mogura2.exe, mogura2.cca, config.exe and config.cca.

Name: Mogura 2
Developer: Krobon Station
Size: 15.8 MB
Direct download link: Click here

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9. Titanion

In Titanion, the ship you pilot has a capture beam that can be used to coax enemy craft to your side. These deserters will form a line formation and act as options, increasing your firepower in the process.

There is a standard level progression implemented, with all captured enemies retained from one stage to the next.

Name: Titanion
Developer: Kenta Cho
Size: 5.29 MB
Direct download link: Click here

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10. Vacant Ark

Vacant Ark is a strange departure from standard horizontal shooters, featuring excellent sprite designs by Buster but employing a slightly awkward gameplay system. You can only store and use up to six bullets at any time, although this supply can be replenished by collecting blue gems from vanquished enemies.

You lose all your energy stock if an enemy bullet grazes your on-screen character. A life is lost if you have no energy left when receiving damage. Your pod can also turn enemy bullets into gems when not in use for a few seconds.

Each end level boss requires a different strategy to beat. Some weapons are more effective in certain situations. You can only progress to the next zone if none of the bosses escape.

Name: Vacant Ark
Developer: Buster
Size: 9.83 MB
Direct download link: Click here

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Crazy Patterns

March 25, 2007 9:18 AM | Tim W.

Another one for the shooter fans, Crazy Patterns is a bullet dodging simulator with randomly generated patterns. Use the Z key to shoot, and the counter will increase accordingly when damage is inflicted. Hold the X key to activate the slow motion mode.

Name: Crazy Patterns
Developer: cactus
Category: Shooter
Type: Freeware
Size: 1MB

News

March 25, 2007 9:08 AM | Tim W.

More Curly Brace fan art... [Pondwater's web site, past projects, desktop wallpaper by Kyle T.]

Kaptain Brawe was recently picked up by a publisher and will be released as a full game. [Kaptain Brawe review]

Escort Wing 2 announced. [Escort Wing review]

Arsecast 007 is out.

Charlie's next project will be a vertical shooter with an underwater theme. [Bullet Candy web site]

Here's a video from Trigger Heart Exelica, a recent Dreamcast release.

"The game involves playing one of two anthropomorphic fighters to battle against five stages of enemy ships. Players can fire anchors to catch enemy ships, then use the caught unit as a shield or throw it to inflict more damage." [Trigger Heart Exelica front cover, back cover]

A collection of gameplay videos from Karous (Hard Mode) can be found at the Shmups Forum.

The playable demo for Die Feen should be out on the 31st of March.

mentisworks is currently developing a new game.

Veck 2 will be out next week. [latest post on smayds.com]

DROD: The City Beneath is set for a release next month.

Phantasmagoria of Flower View

March 23, 2007 8:18 AM | Tim W.

Phantasmagoria of Flower View is a versus type shooter with Reimu, Marisa and Sakuya as initially playable characters, but the list adds on as the player progresses in the storyline. Playing as one of sixteen characters, you must battle your way through nine difficult encounters to uncover the truth behind an unnatural spring season.

The game most resembles Twinkle Star Sprites, where two equally matched characters fight head to head within individual and separate play areas. Upon meeting certain conditions, players are able to unleash a variety of character-specific Spell Attacks upon their opponents in an attempt to whittle down their remaining health points, in a manner not unlike a versus puzzle game such as Puyo Puyo.

ZUN's offering also features a Match Play Mode in which the player may face off against individual AI opponents or compete against other human players, as well as observe AI versus AI matches. With the netplay patch, multiplayer is also possible through LAN or over the Internet, although it has proven to be unstable, at best.

Name: Phantasmagoria of Flower View
Developer: Team Shanghai Alice
Category: Shooter
Type: Demo
Size: 30MB

Sub Atomic

March 23, 2007 8:08 AM | Tim W.

Sub Atomic is a reimagination of Taito's The Electric Yo-Yo, but to access jph's remake the arcade classic has to be beaten first. Complete the game or use the insert and page up key combination to skip all three stages. A Sub Atomic executable file will be unlocked, decompressed and placed in the same game folder.

In the original, your objective is basically to clear the entire screen by moving your Yo-Yo over each block to remove them. Both creatures must be avoided, unless you've gained temporary invincibility by looping an energized brick. Earn more points by maximizing the distance travelled between two blocks.

The new version features six levels, with the additional ability of launching seekers bestowed upon your electric yo-yo. Use the control key to spawn a seeker at the cost of one charged dot, and they will target your nearest adversary. Press the shift key to make the seekers follow your yo-yo for a short while. Hold a directional arrow key to chase the nearest dot. An orange line at the top of the screen indicates the number of dots that you're required to collect in order to advance. The next phase is triggered when this line touches the word 'goal'.

Name: Sub Atomic
Developer: Jph Wacheski
Category: Action
Type: Freeware
Size: 10MB

A Message from Bizarre Creations

March 22, 2007 3:18 PM | Tim W.

Veck 2 gets two thumbs up from the creator(s) of Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved. Here's an excerpt from the article:

....we'd like to call out a really nice example of exactly what we were talking about.

The game in question is Veck2, a rather kick ass top down shooter. You can see it here. I love the crazy particles flowing around the screen in the background. The enemy types are interesting, and there's generally been a lot of thought put into the concept.

Our hat is off to Smayds, good job man.


[Veck review]

The MAGI

March 22, 2007 8:08 AM | Tim W.

The MAGI is a game about dueling wizards; you begin the game by creating a character, and you go through a series of battles, learning new spells and gaining more experience, until your ultimate battle with Death -- and chances are unless you gained a lot of experience along the way and lived for many years, you won't beat Death.

Its gameplay can be pretty addicting, particularly trying out new combinations of spells and stats; there's a deep strategy to it. The interface and what all the stats mean and what all the spells do can be a bit overwhelming at first, but there's a tutorial and help boxes so I managed to pick it up after a battle or two. It also has some of the best particle effects I've ever seen anywhere, and the game overall is very polished. I'm hoping for a more story-centric sequel to reveal more of the game's background setting and world, I find the idea of wizards fighting Death to find immortality dramatic.

Name: The MAGI
Developer: Tomek Grochowiak / TeeGee
Category: RPG/Strategy
Type: Shareware
Size: 14MB

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