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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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Archive For February, 2009

Browser Game Pick: Avalancher (Sinister Sea)

February 22, 2009 9:22 PM | Michael Rose


Avalancher is a strategy game involving lots of snow and a fearless eskimo. Players are invited to choose a spot for our freezing hero and then given the chance to build a small igloo around him before unleashing the avalanche.

Of course the game follows the recent trend of 'physics is cool', so expect the little guy to go a-tumbling about when the snow hits. It all starts off pretty simple but soon gets rather challenging. Cliff edges, lack of igloo pieces and harshly-placed trees will surely hinder your progress and cause our woolly-coated one numerous deaths.

Take to the mountains over at Sinister Sea.

Road To The IGF: Ace Team's Zeno Clash

February 22, 2009 3:37 AM | Simon Carless

[Continuing interviews with the 2009 Independent Games Festival finalists, Eric Caoili talks to Ace Team' Andres Bordeu about Zeno Clash -- a first-person action game set in a "punk fantasy" world and emphasizing hand-to-hand combat -- nominated for the Visual Art Award.]

Looking to separate its title from the dozens of other PC first-person game hitting the market this year, Chilean developer Ace Team set Zeno Clash, its first commercial title, in a punk fantasy world that's both beautiful and disturbing, populated with grotesque creatures that seem taken from The Island of Doctor Moreau.

Zeno Clash also stands out for its focus on up-close, hand-to-hand combat, allowing characters to punch, deflect, knockback, and grab their opponents, learning new moves and combos as they encounter new enemies with different fighting styles.

In the Source engine-powered game, players take on the role of Ghat, a member of his city's most powerful clan and the son of an aberrant, hermaphrodite creature named Father-Mother. Ghat seeks to escape his family and explore the world of Zenozoik as part of a quest that the studio hints could be driven by feelings of rebellion or revenge.

We spoke with Ace Team game designer and artist Andres Bordeu about Zeno Clash, nominated for the Visual Art award at this year's Independent Games Festival (part of Think Services, as is this website):

Freeware Game Pick: Pac-Man Physics (imwill)

February 21, 2009 10:37 PM | Tim W.

Pac-Man Physics is an experimental take on Namco's classic maze game, where the law of physics is applied to wall sections, dots and power pellets which are not anchored down to their original spots onscreen. Your goal remains the same and ghosts will still chase you, although collecting power pellets now creates a force of gravity pulling all objects towards one particular direction.

Click on the tiny green arrow just beneath the post date to display the download link.

Name: Pac-Man Physics
Developer: imwill
Category: Physics
Type: Freeware
Size: 1MB
Download mirror: Click here

Browser Game Pick: Green Terror (Karbaman)

February 21, 2009 6:11 PM | Michael Rose

Green Terror is a physics-based puzzle shooter where killing aliens is your goal. The object is to aim the cannon and fire to kill the alien, whilst making sure you don't hit the human at the same time.

It's a little trickier than a simple aim-and-shoot strategy, however. Magnets pull and push fired balls around, making aiming much harder work. Hitting certain body parts on both the alien and the human is a game in itself, as the cannonball will knock a number of different limbs off their little bodies. Managing to replace the alien's head with a ball is satisfying work.

Give it a blast at Newgrounds.

Freeware Game Pick: Typomagia! (Sol Games)

February 21, 2009 4:43 PM | Michael Rose


Typomagia! is a typing game in which you quickly enter words on your keyboard to build up magic power, which can then be used to conjure creatures to battle enemies.

While not exactly unique, it's presented nicely and even has a Story Mode, as well as the option to choose the types of words so you can practice specific sets. It's also (dare I say it) quite tactical in the way that your built up magic can be used to create a variety of monsters and even power-up the monsters already conjured - you could see it as a kind of typing/tower defense style mashup.

Grab Typomagia! from the Sol Games site.

World of Goo and Braid Win At the AIAS Awards

February 21, 2009 11:45 AM | Michael Rose


The 12th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards held by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences were held on the 19th February, and World of Goo and Braid walked away with an award under their belt each.

While it was LittleBigPlanet which mopped the floor with the competition, taking home 8 victories, World of Goo took home the Outstanding Achievement in Game Design while Braid nabbed Casual Game of the Year.

Read up on all the winners over at the AIAS site.

Freeware Game Pick: Tester Phase One (Isshiki)

February 20, 2009 10:34 PM | Tim W.

Tester Phase One is a fast-paced vertical shooter created by the developer of Made in Wired, where the player's ship is equipped with a standard issue primary firing weapon and a special reflect attack used to deflect projectiles fired by enemy ships. The reflect mode can be activated pressing the X key, although once the full charge is depleted there is a small delay before it can be used again.

Your progress is only saved after every tenth level, with all previously attempted stages available for selection from the main menu. (source: the2bears)

Name: Tester Phase One
Developer: Isshiki
Category: Shooter
Type: Freeware
Size: 2MB

Tester Phase One gameplay video

Browser Game Pick: Time4Cat (Megadev)

February 20, 2009 9:15 PM | Michael Rose

Time4Cat is the story of a stray feline who accidentally discovers a time-controlling collar. With its power, he sets out to do what he does best - eat leftovers off the street.

Utilizing a unique gaming mechanic to make time seem all bendery, the best use of which has been in last year's classic Braid, the player must collect food whilst dodging the people walking around. However, no-one will move a muscle unless the cat does. It works really smoothly and controlling with the mouse is spot-on.

Give the cat a hand over at Armor Games now.

Low Price Indie Pack on Steam

February 20, 2009 7:59 PM | Michael Rose


For this weekend only, Steam have an incredible deal on a pack of 5 indie games.

For just $9.99, a pack is now available which contains the following games: Eets, Gravitron 2, I-Fluid, Multiwinia and Trials 2. It really is not a bad collection at all, especially for the price, and definitely worth checking out.

Grab the pack from the Steam Store - you need to have a Steam account, of course.

Freeware Game Pick: Jumpman (Andi McClure)

February 20, 2009 6:38 PM | Tim W.

Jumpman is a retro 2D platformer which has been in production for over a year, where a variety of gameplay elements such as level rotations, infinite repeating patterns and physics are introduced after every couple of stages. The controls will take some getting used to, as friction is nearly non-existent and will be the main cause for plenty of frustration when it comes to timing the jumps right.

Levels are grouped into paths, with your progress saved automatically once you've reached the start of each path. One neat trick implemented by the developer is that you can see the next few maps which you will have to play shown in the distant background, as if taunting you with the difficulties and obstacles that you have to face next.

A level editor and playground feature is included, should you find yourself craving for more platforming action after completing the main campaign. There are nine paths to play in total, and a special bonus can be unlocked by completing all challenges. The game is also available for both Windows and Mac platforms, while Linux users should be able to get it working under Wine. (source: Trame)

Name: Jumpman
Developer: Andi McClure
Category: Platformer
Type: Freeware
Size: 2MB
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux (Wine)

Jumpman gameplay video

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