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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 November, 2009

Trailer: Mon & Bot (Imwill Games)

November 4, 2009 11:42 AM | Michael Rose

Trawling my way through the list of IGF entries for this year (seriously, there's a lot!) I came across Mon & Bot, a "physics based ambient platformer game" from South Korean developer Imwill. The above gameplay footage shows the work in progress. Apparently a beta will be available next week. That'll be nice!

Gratuitous Space Battles Released, Demo Available

November 4, 2009 10:24 AM | Michael Rose

Gratuitous Space Battles, the epic space battle sim from Cliff Harris aka Positech Games, has now been released. The game has been in beta for a few months, with pre-orderers gaining access to it, but now the full version is available for purchase.

Available through the Positech site, the game weighs in at $26.44 (£16.09) and features a full campaign mode, online multiplayer with online scoreboards and free-play modes. There's also a demo available for anyone who hasn't given it a go yet.

Trailer: The Black Forest (Pixelate)

November 4, 2009 10:02 AM | Michael Rose

Coming this December, The Black Forest has an interesting setup. A series of 4 'episodes', one part will be released each week and feature completely different gameplay mechanics compared to the rest. Players will simply be given a small ghost-like character, which controls to use, and left to discover what game design is on offer.

Each episode of the project will not aim to be a full game, but rather "an effort to create emotional experiences that are more personal and different from the ones traditional game design has to offer".

Freeware Game Pick: The Black Heart (Andrés Borghi)

November 4, 2009 5:02 AM | Tim W.

The Black Heart is a versus fighting game which took Argentine developer Andrés Borghi seven years to create using Elecbyte's M.U.G.E.N. engine. There are six playable characters to choose from, each with their own set of special moves that can be executed using simple key press combinations. In addition to the basic attacks, players can also charge up their energy gauge and perform a powerful fatal move to finish a duel in style.

The game also features a couple of gameplay modes separate from the main story campaign, with support for hotseat multiplayer also included.

Trailer: Flipper (Goodbye Galaxy Games)

November 4, 2009 12:04 AM | Michael Rose

Flipper has come a long way since we first featured it back in April - now at completion and even sporting a publisher! Still headed for the Nintendo DSi, Flipper is the story of one boy's quest to be reunited with his goldfish. Available sometime very soon!

XBL Indie Game Pick: SYNSO 360 (Andy Noble and Rob Fearon)

November 3, 2009 5:02 PM | Michael Rose


If you have yet to play Squid Yes! Not So Octopus or its sequel Squid Harder, then you are clearly immune to games with silly names. If a game has a ridiculous name then I, for one, feel compelled to play it. Sometimes I regret this decision, and other times, like in the case of SYNSO, I am very glad I did.

An arena shooter, your job is pelt your squidy friend around the screen and survive for as long as possible, blowing the bad guys away in a constant stream of incredible flashing colours and bright lights in the process. SYNSO360 is a buffed-up port of the original game for the Xbox Live Indie Games service. It's no secret that Rob is a huge fan of making his games highly accessible for anyone to play, and this is reflected in all the different options you can mess around with - auto-fire, one-switch mode etc.

Costing but a mere 80 MS Points ($1), if you're a fan of the SYNSO series or just like arena shooters in general, this is essential Xbox-ware. There is of course a timed trial version available for those who'd like to make sure it's an experience they'd appreciate first.

Eurogamer Indie Game Arcade: Happening Game (increpare)

November 3, 2009 2:39 PM | Michael Rose


I briefly mentioned Stephen Lavelle's Happening Game in my Indie Game Arcade Roundup, but it more than deserves its own post. The game itself is downloadable from Stephen's site but honestly, if you're going to download it, you're going to have to imagine you're at the Eurogamer Expo and there are tons of other people who have given it a go besides you.

Happening Game makes no sense as a home-played experience, but in an exhibition environment as last week, it's just fantastic. Playable only with 2 people (attempting to start 1-player will result in the game telling you to find someone to play with), it's more of an experiment than anything. Each pair of players are given a keycode, then given tasks depending on how well they know each other. As tasks are completed, more really ridiculous tasks are provided until they get so horrendous that you feel too embarrassed to continue.

It's based on the idea of Happenings (art performances in which active participation from the audience is a must), hence the name. Initially I gave it a go with Terry Cavanagh and we chose the 'strangers' option from the menu. The first few tasks were simple 'Shake Hands' and 'Introduce Yourselves' commands. The game then asked us to meet back at that spot in an hour's time. Then we were asked to introduce two other people to the game. Finally it began to ask us to do things with each other than strangers just would not do, so we stopped there.

I also gave it a playthrough on the 'Friends' mode with someone I'd come along with, and we were given different tasks which were more to do with interacting. I didn't give the 'Family' or 'Lovers' modes a try, but according to those who did, I really didn't want to, as they ended rather vulgarly.

It was the idea, however, that I really liked. The thought that many others will have walked by, started a game, and then either passed it off as a silly concept and moved on, or maybe stuck around and really tried to get as far as possible. Now there's a set of results I wouldn't mind having a gander at.

[Again, photo courtesy of Rob Fearon - my photos coming as soon as I get my camera back!]

2010 Independent Games Festival Gets Record Main Competition Entries

November 2, 2009 10:42 PM | Simon Carless

The organizers of the 12th Annual Independent Games Festival -- the longest-running and largest festival relating to independent games worldwide -- are proud to announce record entry numbers for IGF 2010's Main Competition, for which entries closed last night.

This year's Main Competition -- just one of the three IGF competitions taking place this year -- amassed 306 game entries, many of them new titles from leading indie developers.

Information, screenshots and videos on each of the IGF Main Competition entries are now available on This total entry tally comprises 35% more games than last year's record 226 Main Competition entries, itself a 30% increase on the previous year -- showing the continuing popularity of independent games and the IGF.

This year's IGF entries will be checked and distributed to the more than 150 notable industry judges for evaluation, before finalists are announced in January 2010 and winners awarded at the IGF ceremony during Game Developers Conference 2010 in San Francisco next March.

IGF 2010 organizers are reminding that games are due for submission in the free to enter Student Showcase category by November 15th, 2009, and entries to the IGF Mobile competition -- encompassing iPhone, mobile phone, PSP, DS, Android and other handheld games -- are due by December 1st, 2009.

Browser Game Pick: JetTrek (Ben Baird)

November 2, 2009 6:05 PM | Tim W.

JetTrek is a two-button game in which you can only move upwards and downwards with your jetpack, shooting at enemies for points while trying to keep your heart count above zero. New obstacles are introduced after you've scored a certain amount of points, and you can replenish health by destroying asteroids and collecting the hearts stored inside. (source)

Browser Game Pick: MonsterTime (Mockery)

November 2, 2009 4:04 PM | Tim W.

MonsterTime is a Halloween-themed BurgerTime remake in which players have to build monsters by walking over their body parts repeatedly until every piece reaches the bottom of the screen. Modern horror movie monsters are on your tail, but you can use acid to burn them away or stun them for a couple of seconds with your tasers.

There are only ten levels to play, and the game loops back to stage one once you've completed all of them.

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