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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 April, 2009

Cogs Released

April 14, 2009 2:53 PM | Michael Rose


[UPDATE: Cogs has now been released through Steam and there is a demo available]

Cogs, the puzzle game where players build machines from sliding tiles, is released later today through Steam.

It'll be available for $9.99 which, as I pointed out in my review, is well worth it, even if sliding puzzles aren't really your idea of fun. Check out the Lazy 8 Studios site for all the info you need on Cogs.

Freeware Game Pick: Judith (Terry Cavanagh and Stephen Lavelle)

April 13, 2009 11:01 AM | Michael Rose


Terry and Stephen aka increpare have been on and off creating Judith for quite some time, so it's great to see it finally released.

As we expected, you can really feel the input from both of their creative minds - it has the graphical look and feel we've come to expect from Terry and the story is exactly what you'd expect to come flowing from their combined thoughts (increpare especially).

It's also apparent why neither of them even gave the slightest description of what the game is about - even the smallest piece of information may spoil the game. Therefore I'm not going to say anything about it either - well, other than it's really brilliant.

One niggle I had - although I'm sure there's a perfectly good explanation for it - was that at certain points later on in the game, you begin to lose full control and many acts are done for you. It just felt like I was being made to watch rather than do things myself. Of course, I might just be completely misunderstanding something.

Judith is available to download from Terry's site.

RCTiger Now Completely Free to Play

April 13, 2009 10:35 AM | Michael Rose


You'd be forgiven for not giving RCTiger a try the first time we mentioned it - I'm sure paying cash for a 5 minute drive around put lots of people off.

But now you have no excuse. The 'World's First Remote Controlled Internet Battle' is now free as the wind, with battles happening 24/7. I do not exaggerate when I say this is a must to try - you get to drive real life toy tanks with your keyboard. If that doesn't excite you, you must be dead inside (note: now that was an exaggeration).

If you don't have the time right now but want to know what it's like, read up on when Tim and I gave it a spin.

Mini-Review/Comments: Braid's Windows PC Release

April 12, 2009 3:34 AM | Paul Eres

After many years and being mentioned in 211 entries in this blog (estimation based on a Google search) Braid is now out for PC -- you can get it on Steam as well as Greenhouse, Impulse, and GamersGate.

The best parts of the game for me were the puzzle design and the ending. The puzzles are the meat of the game, and they really do make you feel like a genius when you solve them, as opposed to most puzzles that are often more a matter of frustrating trial and error or multiple attempts until you get it right.

There are no really redundant puzzles, each one is important. It does feel as if there really was three years of work put into the puzzle design. As nice as the music and art are, the puzzle design stole the show for me. The puzzles also aren't just mental challenges, many of them make points about game design in general, referring to other games and suggesting how it could be done better, just through its puzzles.

The story may be a bit too obscure and require too much guessing for some, there's something of a metaphor between the mechanics of the game and the idea of being able to reverse things that you regret. And what it would mean to live like that, and what kind of person would wish for that.

The frame rate was a bit low for me, you probably need a strong computer to handle the game; if you don't have a pretty good video card, try the demo (119 MB) out first.

Although if the frame rate in the first world seems very slow don't lose hope, it (World 2) was by far the slowest for me, after that it ran fairly okay. I felt that there should have been more settings/options -- at least an option to lower the resolution or to reduce some of the particle effects for slower computers.

Preview: Light Of Altair (SaintXi)

April 11, 2009 8:38 PM | Michael Rose

According to the SaintXi site, Light of Altair, penned in for a Q2 2009 release, "is a sci-fi colony building game with a deep plot". If you ignore the generic dance music over the top, the game is looking pretty nice.

Gameplay will feature colony building, city management and over 30 weapons, buildings, and ship-mods to discover.

Popcap Hire Temp Worker

April 11, 2009 8:15 PM | Michael Rose

Popcap's Plants Vs Zombies is coming May 9th and they've recently hired a temp worker to help get all the work done before release.

Here's your disturbing yet brilliant video fix for the weekend!

50% Off at PlayFirst

April 11, 2009 12:02 PM | Michael Rose


PlayFirst are having a 'April Friends and Family Weekend Sale'. Every game on the site bar two can be bought for 50% off the normal price using checkout code APRILFRIENDS, with the sale ending tomorrow night.

I've only actually played one game from PlayFirst which is Emerald City Confidential, but that is easily worth the cut price of $9.95, so I would suggest checking that out. The rest of their games are obviously more 'casual' than 'indie' though, so if you are thinking of giving one a go, I'd say grab demos first.

[EDITOR'S COMMENT: Other notable titles that might be of interest to indie game lovers - Oasis (an IGF winner back in the day), Fizzball, an Breakout vs. Katamari title and IGF finalist from Grubby Games, plus Chocolatier 2 (IF writer Emily Short has done good critiques of this interesting trading game series.)

Oh, and there's Mr. Biscuits - The Case of the Ocean Pearl?!?! OK, skip that last one unless you want to play as a 'lovable pug' investigating a mysterious cruise-based crime. Heh. And incidentally, Gamezebo's Steals & Deals news page is handy for keeping up with casual site deals - Simon.]

Browser Game Pick: Kissma (Party-Tencho)

April 11, 2009 1:09 AM | Tim W.

Kissma is a score-based horizontal shooter with large blocky sprites and liberal use of vibrant colours, in which players must try to score as many points as they can under the strict time limit of sixty seconds per game. The mouse is used to move the disembodied female head around, kissing is done by left clicking, and pressing the K key activates the special attack that clears the entire screen for just one time only.

A kisskey bottle will appear twice in each game, and grabbing these will bestow a random kiss power-up that can be used to spread the love quicker than the basic smooching could ever do. There are only four rank classes to achieve, with three of them already named inside the high score table. (source, gameplay video, Party-Tencho profile page)

Browser Game Pick: Station's Golf (SKT)

April 10, 2009 2:08 PM | Tim W.

Station's Golf is a golf simulation game created by SKT Products (of Moai fame) which offers just one hole to play. Only three shots are allowed per game, and after you've used up all of your swings the session ends with a results screen showing the final score and grade achieved by the player. Two options are then presented to you, where you can choose to watch a pointless and long-winded replay of your last game or attempt to pocket the ball into the hole once again.

A swing can be broken down into two steps, with the first being determining how hard the ball is to be struck by left-clicking when the indicator is between the min and max marks. You would then have to left-click again the moment the white bar is right on the middle point of the green area to hit straight. The ball is pocketed automatically if it touches any part of the flag, so you don't have to aim for the hole specifically to gain a special completion bonus.

You also gain extra points for hitting several commuters in a row with a single ball, but a score penalty is incurred if the ball leaves the borders of the station.

Round-Up: Gamasutra Network Jobs, Week Of April 10

April 10, 2009 11:39 AM | Simon Carless

In this round-up, we highlight some of the notable jobs posted in big sister site Gamasutra's industry-leading game jobs section this week, including positions from Fuel Industries, Infinity Ward, THQ and more.

Each position posted by employers will appear on the main Gamasutra job board, and appear in the site's daily and weekly newsletters, reaching our readers directly.

It will also be cross-posted for free across its network of submarket sites, which includes content sites focused on online worlds, cellphone games, 'serious games', independent games and more.

Some of the notable jobs posted in each market area this week include:

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