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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 March, 2009

Preview: Cogs (Lazy 8 Studios)

March 21, 2009 1:16 AM | Michael Rose

Cogs is a sliding tile puzzle, where players must move pieces around a grid in order to align a series of pipes, cogs and mixtures of the two. While that may sound rather boring, it's the way Lazy 8 Studios have put it all together which makes Cogs so enjoyable.

And so difficult, too! The video above starts off by showing the simpler, linear-plane levels, but just check out some of the later, crazier puzzles to get an idea of what you'll be dealing with. It's extremely polished and brain-bogglingly good fun.

Cogs will be released through Steam "at the latest early april", most likely for $9.99 according to the Lazy 8 guys, so I'm going to play it a little longer before I give you my verdict. Head over to the official site to grab a few more details.

The Path Playthrough: Chapter One

March 20, 2009 11:15 PM | Tim W.

A playthrough of The Path using Ruby. Since there's no demo available for sampling yet, this video might provide a better idea of what the gameplay is all about. Note that very little is revealed in this playthrough, as the player doesn't stray from the path to discover other parts of the forest. (HD video)

Freeware Game Pick: Physical# (Kobe Institute)

March 20, 2009 11:06 PM | Tim W.

Physical# is a physics-based game where the objective is to roll a ball Marble-Madness style from the starting point to the checkered goal platform. Thing is, you only control the platform the ball is currently on, so to move it you would have to tilt the platform using the mouse and help the ball build momentum. If you're skillful enough, you can even bounce the ball across several platforms using quick back and forth movements.

Being a student game, it lacks the polish seen in most modern 3D games, and there are only three short levels to play in total. (direct download link)

Browser Game Pick: Online Front Lines (OFL Team)

March 20, 2009 9:42 PM | Michael Rose

Online Front Lines is an Advance Wars style war battler. If you've played this kind of game, you'll know what to expect - strategic movement, using certain units against others to gain the advantage, achieving extra cover in specific areas - it's all there.

What's great about this browser-based warmonger is the amount of online playability. Players can pick out those who are also online to play against, and can make clans, join together and take on the world.

Unfortunately the player count appears to be a little on the low side, but if you can scout out a couple of people to play (or maybe get a few friends to join you), potential fun awaits.

Play it over on the OFL site now.

More Details on Behemoth's Next Game

March 20, 2009 12:52 PM | Michael Rose

With the recent release of a trailer for their next project, Anoop Gantayat has given a demo of the game a go at the Tokyo International Anime Fair and explains on his blog 4 different modes he played:

- Block painting game
As players run around the play field, they turn any blocks that they touch to their own color. The goal is to do this for more blocks than your rival. You don't have to do anything to the blocks to change their color -- just walk over them or bump into them from the side or below.

- Soccer game
Players attempt to knock a soccer ball into a goal. This is done by simply bumping into the ball or punching it.

- Gold collecting game
There's a giant goldfish floating about the stage. When struck, it releases gold. The goal is to collect as much of the gold as possible.

- Soul collecting game
In this mini game, when an enemy is defeated, his soul floats away. Collect an opponent's soul, and you get big points. If you lose your soul, you can chase after it once you've respawned, assuming it hasn't already been taken.

He also notes that the demo which he played was on an Xbox 360, although Behemoth have stated that they are not discussing which platforms the game will be released on yet. So you can bet it will be at least on the 360, with most likely the PC getting a version. Don't count on a PSN store entry, though.

Head over to Anoop's blog for more details.

Zeno Clash 50% Off on Steam Today Only

March 19, 2009 9:08 PM | Michael Rose


[UPDATE: ACE Team have posted on their blog saying that once the day is over, the game will continue to sell for 25% off until release on April 21.]

Steam have an offer on Zeno Clash today, the upcoming first-person fighter from ACE Team. Anyone who pre-orders the game today will get a whole 50% off - a rather incredible offer, I'm sure you'll agree. This means you can grab a copy for just $9.99/£7.49/7.99€.

To be released on April 21st, the Steam description of the game explains:

Play the role of Ghat, a man banished by his own brothers and forced to begin a desperate journey past the forbidden desert and to the end of the world.

If you were planning on picking up a copy of this beast, today would be an extremely good time to do so. Of course, no-one actually knows if it will be any good yet, but many have their fingers crossed including ourselves.

Head over to the Steam store and check it out.

IGF, Direct2Drive Announces $10,000 D2D Vision Award Finalists

March 19, 2009 7:23 PM | Simon Carless

[As well as the $50,000 we're giving out at the IGF Awards next week, download partner Direct2Drive is kicking in another $10,000 for their own special award - here's the info.]

IGN's digital retail store Direct2Drive announced the four finalists for the Independent Games Festival's D2D Vision Award, which seeks to celebrate independent developers exemplifying innovation in design coupled with excellence in game-play.

The sponsored award will be presented at 2009’s Independent Games Festival on March 25 in conjunction with the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco.

The team behind the winning title will take home a $10,000 cash prize and will be recognized during the 11th Annual IGF Awards show taking place in conjunction with the Game Developers Choice Awards at GDC.

Freeware Game Pick: DungeonMinder (Adam Gatt)

March 19, 2009 2:22 PM | Tim W.

In DungeonMinder, you play as an invisible fairy tasked with assisting an adventurer as he makes his way into the catacombs in search of treasure. This requires casting spells which immobilize enemies, increase the adventurer's stats or even change the shape of dungeon walls and floors.

Casting spells require one of the three types of mana, with a list of nine spells readily available for review at the press of the tab key. You regain mana by staying in close proximity to the hero, and whenever you are out of range the power text will change color from white to red.

DungeonMinder is actually one of the more innovative games to come out of the recent 7DRL challenge, but a bug that causes the hero to stop moving after opening a random treasure chest is the only reason preventing this roguelike from getting on the recommended list. (source:

Review: Kivi's Underworld (Soldak Entertainment)

March 19, 2009 1:32 AM | Michael Rose


Now and again I play a game that my brain tells me just shouldn't be my cup of tea at all and yet... I end up liking quite a lot. Kivi's Underworld definitely falls under this category. Reading exactly what it was all about while installing, it didn't sound like my kind of thing at all. So imagine my surprise when I booted it up and began enjoying myself an absurd amount.

I know, it's unprofessional of me to go into an analysis feeling negatively biased towards Soldak Entertainment's dungeon hack and slasher, but sometimes it's rather difficult not to. Kivi's Underworld leads with a simple premise - make your way through dreary dungeon after dungeon laying into every skeleton, zombie and undead being who happens to cross your path.

GameTunnel Under New Management

March 18, 2009 2:36 AM | Tim W.

Thought I'd make a small mention of this since GameTunnel has been around longer than most indie game-related sites, but has gone through some rough patches recently with the original owner Russell Carroll being unable to dedicate enough time to run the site while handling a busy day job and raising a family with kids.

Joseph Lieberman is the man in charge now, and based on his enthusiasm about the new direction of the site it does seem like GameTunnel deserves another chance in the spotlight. Expect to see some interesting changes to the site soon, starting with the February 2009 edition of the popular Indie Game Round-Up feature.

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