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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 December, 2010

Winter Uprising: Break Limit (Zombie Monkey Games)

December 2, 2010 1:11 PM | Michael Rose

A second Xbox Live Indie Game emerges from the Winter Uprising, and it's yet another fantastic effort. Break Limit is a fast-paced, hard-as-nails shmup that revels in destroying everything on the screen.

As you toddle along collecting score and shooting asteroids, you'll pick up blue orbs that add to your Break Limit bar. Hold left trigger, and you'll unleash the Break Limit, making you invincible and destroying anything in your path. However, the bar will deplete, and running out of power halfway through an obstacle is never a good idea, hence balanced use of the Break Limit is required.

It doesn't sound like that much of a twist, but in practice it's terrifying. Numerous times you'll find yourself in the centre of a minefield just as your power is about to run out, and the pace at which the action moves is incredibly challenging. There are a few different levels, each with multiple paths to go down that spin the action 90 degrees, and a whole leveling up system that provides new weapons, boosted stats and better powers. My only issue with the game is that it doesn't alert you when your Break Limit power is about to run out, hence you need to keep shifting your eyes over the top corner of the screen frequently, which can be disastrous when you're in the middle of mayhem.

Check out the trailer
to see it in action. At 80 MS Points ($1), you should definitely pick Break Limit up, or in the very least try the demo. [There's no link on yet, but you should be able to grab it direct on your Xbox 360].

Reminder: IGF China, Independent Games Summit @ GDC China

December 2, 2010 12:57 PM | Simon Carless

igfchina2k10.jpgIndependent Games Festival organizers are reminding that GDC China 2010 kicks off this Sunday at the Shanghai International Convention Center in Shanghai, China, and there are multiple IGF and Independent Games Summit-related events happening at the show.

As the latest official news on the event explains:

- The Indie Games Summit at GDC China takes place on Monday, December 6th, and centers on discussions around successful development and marketing tactics from leading independents.

Some of the featured speakers at IGS China 2010 include a lecture from IGF 2010 Grand Prize winner Andy Schatz (Monaco), acclaimed indie Erin Robinson (Puzzle Bots), an Osmos postmortem from Eddy Boxerman and Andy Nealen, insight from Joe Danger creator Hello Games' Grant Duncan, discussion on the experimental design of Shadow Physics from Steve Swink, and a Chinese indie-centric talk from

- The 2nd annual Independent Games Festival China will have finalist games playable on the GDC China Expo show floor on Sunday and Monday, December 5th and 6th.

- In addition, the IGF China Awards Ceremony open to all GDC China 2010 attendees on Monday, December 6th at 7pm on the 7th floor of the Convention Center, with the best of Asian indie titles honored.

GDC China's online registration has now ended, but in-person registration starts on Saturday, December 4th, the day before the show, and is available from 1pm to 6pm in the lobby of the Oriental Riverside Hotel, Shanghai (the hotel connected to the Shanghai International Convention Center).

Registration is also possible on-site from 8am on Sunday, December 5th, the first day of the show -- for more information on all aspects of GDC China in both English and Chinese languages, please visit the official GDC China website.

VVVVVV Socks Sell For $355, Total $600 Goes to Child's Play Charity

December 2, 2010 12:35 PM | Michael Rose

vvvvvv.jpgYou may remember the charity auction we posted about a month ago - Anders Ekermo knitted a selection of indie gaming socks and hats, and put them up on eBay for charity. You may also have followed the saga of the VVVVVV socks afterwards, in which Terry Cavanagh offered a free copy of the game to anyone who bidded on the socks, and the price quickly rocketed to a staggering $10,200.

Unsurprisingly when the auction ended, the winning bidder didn't pay up and none of the top ten bidders wanted to put money down either. A sad state of affairs, but this story does have a happy ending - Anders contacted us today to let us know that the socks finally sold to a bidder for $355, far from the $10k final bid, but still an immense amount for a pair of socks.

In total over all his auctions, Anders made roughly $600 for the Child's Play charity, which is very lovely indeed. Were you one of the auctions winners? We want to see pictures of you wearing your prizes please!

Freeware Game Pick: Popochi (DevilishGames)

December 2, 2010 12:09 PM | Michael Rose

I've spent far too much time playing Popochi this morning. It's a simple defense-style game, with popochi creatures and ghosts moving towards the centre of the screen - your job is to let the popochi in, and keep the ghosts out.

A barrier can be rotated via your mouse buttons, and anything that collides with the barrier will die. Every time a ghost reaches the middle you'll lose a life, and it's a case of three and you're out. However, you can also lose if you don't allow enough popochi in. There are also bonuses to collect, challenges to complete, special guys to grab who make the whole screen spins, and a sliding block puzzle behind the action.

It's enjoyable, addictive and worthy of your time. Plaaaaaay.

Freeware Game Pick: PaperPlane (ENJMIN)

December 2, 2010 5:00 AM | Tim W.

PaperPlane is an exploration adventure game in which you get to fly a paper aircraft around an open landscape, created by a group of students as their graduate project for ENJMIN. Similar to thatgamecompany's Flower, there are certain objects that you can fly your plane around or under to restore the colour and life into them. In your treehouse is a picture book that has children's drawings in it, and one of these sketches will turn into a photo every time an important memory is recovered by the player.

The game doesn't support anything other than an Xbox 360 controller for flying your plane, so be sure to have one already plugged into your PC before starting it up. (Windows, 191MB)

Freeware Game Pick: Face Time (Jonathan Whiting)

December 2, 2010 3:00 AM | Tim W.

Face Time is a short visual novel that consists of just two acts, made by Jonathan Whiting (Collateral, Love Letter) using the free Ren'Py engine. You play as a protagonist who had recently suffered through a break-up, looking to bounce back quickly when the opportunity presents itself as a masquerade party.

The game features a number of locations that you can visit, entertaining yet mysterious characters that you can chat with, and multiple endings for you to discover. Face Time is available to download and play on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux operating systems.

PETA Releases Super Tofu Boy

December 1, 2010 5:43 PM | Michael Rose

supertofuboy.jpg[Update: Team Meat have hit back at PETA by - get this - adding Super Tofu Boy as a playable character in the PC version of Super Meat Boy. Wow indeed.]

"Vegetarians make better lovers", apparently. Yes, you know you've made it big when animal rights organisation PETA parody your game for their own salad-chopping means, and this time they have turned their attention to Super Meat Boy.

Super Tofu Boy follows the exploits of Tofu Boy as he tries to save Bandage Girl from the evil, meaty Meat Boy. Gameplay is similar to the recently released splat-em-up, as are the visuals, characters, bandages, logo etc. The game screams 'tips' at you during play, including "Not only is Tofu Boy sexy, he tastes good too!" and "LOL@ Meat Boys bad breath.". It's charming stuff.

Of course, if PETA had done their homework and listened to the IndieGames Super Meat Boy podcast, they'd know that Meat Boy is in fact not edible meat, and therefore their message is rather wasted. Oh, they also completely skip over Dr. Fetus and fail to mention him, even though he pops up on the title screen. I wonder why that is?

You should play this anyway for the shits and giggles. [Source]

Browser Game Pick: Endeavor (Zillix)

December 1, 2010 5:26 PM | Michael Rose

Originally created for the October Ludum Dare competition but not released until now, Endeavor is the story of a small dwarf who sets out on an epic adventure, and ends up getting far more than he bargained for, as he stumbles on an ancient secret.

With some Metroidvania-style exploration and plenty of secrets to find, this is a great adventure. Tons of quests! Loads of collectables! Multiple endings! It's honestly just really, really wonderful and will keep you hooked for a good while.

Go play at Newgrounds!

Freeware Game Pick: The Sense of Connectedness (smestorp)

December 1, 2010 4:29 PM | Michael Rose

Michael Brough's The Sense of Connectedness is a game about trying to understand what the game is about. Well, technically once you've worked out what it is about, then it's about something else... look, I'm trying to avoid spoilers here, so why don't you go give it a play, and then we can talk?

Played it? Right, let's try to decipher what it all means then. The player takes control of an element that springs forth from the ego part of a brain, and you can move it around the different parts of the brain, from the cortex to the libido to some other spoiler-worthy areas. Venture too far, however, and you'll explode and appear back at the ego. However, there are other sparks firing out of the ego, and if you can coax one into the different areas of the brain, you'll be able to survive there too.

Guiding these other sparks is done by flipping neurons to create paths for the sparks to follow. Get enough sparks into certain areas and you'll push the story forward - although for a good while, there will be one particular part of the brain that proves quite the nuisance.

But now I've said too much, and I know some of you will have continued to read this without going to play the game first, so I'm not going to say anymore. Just go and have a gander and see what you think.

SXSW ScreenBurn: Independent Propeller Awards Submissions Now Open

December 1, 2010 2:17 PM | Michael Rose

You may well attribute music and film with the South By Southwest festival, but you may also be aware that there is an element of the festival dedicated solely to video games. SXSW ScreenBurn celebrates independent developers from around the world, and this year has teamed up with Indiepub Games to hold the first ever Independent Propeller Awards.

Any independent development outfit can submit their games for consideration in a number of categories - Best Art, Best Audio, Best Design, Technical Excellence and the Grand Prize - and the chosen finalists will be flown out to attend SXSW in Austin, and may well win part of the staggering $150,000 in total prizes.

Submissions are open until February 18, 2011, and the full contest rules can be found here. Note that Indiepub have held a number of these competitions before, and most likely this latest venture will pan out in the same fashion as previous ones did, hence if you want an idea of what the competition will be like, make sure you check out the past selections.

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