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IndieGames.com 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, Gamasutra.com 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 January, 2011

Limbo, Minecraft, Super Meat Boy Among 11th Annual Choice Awards Nominees

January 12, 2011 2:03 PM | Simon Carless

Organizers have revealed the finalists for the 11th annual Game Developers Choice Awards, the leading peer-based video game industry event celebrating the industry's top games and developers.

Nominations for games released in 2010 are led by indie developer Playdead's Xbox Live Arcade hit Limbo. The evocative monochrome puzzle platformer, which was winner of last year's Independent Game Festival Awards for Visual Art and Technical Excellence, received seven Choice Awards nominations in all, including one for Game of the Year.

The indie stand-out is closely followed by two other Game of the Year nominees, Rockstar San Diego's western-themed open-world adventure game, Red Dead Redemption, with six nominations in total, and BioWare's emotionally-charged science fiction adventure Mass Effect 2, with five nominations.

Treyarch's Call of Duty: Black Ops and Ubisoft Montreal's Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood also received multiple nominations, including one each for Game of the Year.

And, showcasing the diversity of the 'for developers, by developers' awards, other retail and digital games receiving multiple nominations include Double Fine's Costume Quest, SCE Santa Monica's God of War III¸ Quantic Dream's Heavy Rain, Uber Entertainment's Monday Night Combat and Team Meat's Super Meat Boy.

Swedish developer Mojang's Minecraft was also a multiple nominee, receiving three Game Developers Choice nominations, particularly notable because of a concurrent-year first: the game is also a finalist for this year's Independent Games Festival, where it also received three nominations.

Browser Game Pick: Man In Gap (Kevin Resol)

January 12, 2011 9:30 AM | Michael Rose

man_in_gap.PNG
Man In Gap is a simple yet highly addictive platformer that plays on the 'stand in the space' idea. I've no idea where the idea first originated? [UPDATE: Thanks to a commenter for pointing out that the title is a clone of Ponos' Mr. Space! for iPhone.]

As you progress further, the gap becomes less and less obvious. Even when there is a dip to signify a place you might be able to stand, there's probably a big chunk in the ceiling too, ready to fall down and fill that gap. The worse moments are when you're sure you've found the gap, then as the ceiling falls, you realise at the last moment that you're about to die. It's one of those 'Oh s...' *SPLAT* ordeals.

Quick, simple, fun. Play over at Kongregate.

Gemini Rue Coming February 24th

January 11, 2011 6:58 PM | Michael Rose


It's about time! The excellent adventure game Gemini Rue is dropping next month for PC, and will be available as both a download and a limited edition CD version. I wondered why it was taking so long to get the game out, but the mystery is over - it's now got voice acting! VOICE ACTING! I am far too excited.

We first played the game back when it was an IGF Student Showcase winner in 2010 (and had the unpronounceable name Boryokudan Rue), and hopefully it hasn't changed too much since then, as that version was wonderful. The story follows an ex-cop called Azriel Odin and prisoner Delta-Six, as their futuristic lives become entangled. While the majority of the game plays out in classic point-and-click style, there are also plenty of action scenes during which your character can bite the bullet.

The downloadable version of the game will be available on February 24th for $14.99, and there will also be a special CD edition for $24.99. Check out the official site for more details, and to pre-order the game.

Jump below the cut to check out some of the gorgeous art.

Trailer: Koruruto no Saji Akuma (Q Handmade Games)

January 11, 2011 6:12 PM | Michael Rose


Marcus Richert brought the above game trailer to my attention, and after I'd heard the story behind the game, there was no way I wasn't posting it up. Koruruto no Saji Akuma (roughly translated to "Koruruto's Spoon Demon") follows the tale of a friendly witch called Koruruto and her Spoon Demon. I really do hope that's the final translation.

The Spoon Demon can turn anything it touches into candy. There's a nasty queen who wants the Spoon Demon all to herself (I mean, who wouldn't), so she sends waves of enemies to steal the Spoon Demon and kill Koruruto. Players control the Spoon Demon (I'm going to say Spoon Demon as many times as I possibly can) via the mouse, while Koruruto is controlled with the keyboard, and both shoot down as many baddies as they can. The Spoon Demon must protect Koruruto from being killed.

It looks absurd, and I very much like absurd. No release date as of yet, but we'll keep you posted. There's an official page that you can Google Translate all over if you so choose.

Browser Game Pick: Tealy & Orangey (FreakyZoid)

January 11, 2011 5:43 PM | Michael Rose

tealy.PNG
Tealy & Orangey plays around with the idea of controlling two different characters simultaneously - in this case, two balls oh so cleverly named Tealy & Orangey. Both need to dodge around spikes and bullets and reach their goals.

The twist here is that, in later levels, the balls can enter each other's areas, during which time they cannot be hurt by anything that isn't their colour. So for example, the orange ball can walk over blue spikes and touch blue bullets. However, there are still blue guns in the orange areas and orange in the blue, so you're not completely safe.

It's not the most unique or new experience you'll play, and it could really do with some sound and music, but it's still an enjoyable way to fill 1ten minutes of your time. Play at Kongregate.

100 Rogues Free on iPhone Today Only

January 11, 2011 2:14 PM | Michael Rose


The wonderful iPhone roguelike 100 Rogues is free today from the App Store. For those not fully acquainted with the title, it's a turn-based dungeon crawler with randomly generated maps, multiple classes and plenty of challenging monsters to keep you on your toes.

The idea is to see how far through the dungeon you can get on a single life, upgrading your weaponry and battling stronger enemies such at the Skybaby and the Gummy Rat. It's really marvellous fun, so make sure you grab it while it's free. It works on iPad too, of course!

Review: SpaceChem (Zachtronics Industries)

January 11, 2011 12:45 PM | Michael Rose


When Quintin Smith of Rock Paper Shotgun emails you with a subject line that contains an expletive plus the name of a new indie game, experience dictates that it's highly likely said game will be something a bit special. This most recent case was no exception, as the name SpaceChem followed the profanity.

A new release from Zachtronics Industries, SpaceChem is all about making chemicals in space - you know, just in case the title wasn't obvious enough. There are all sorts of strange words involved that you most likely learnt about in chemistry classes and then forgot about straight after the exam... but this is far from a science lesson. SpaceChem is a puzzle game that will smack you around the head, and leave you with a huge, very satisfied smile on your face.

Whether you know your atoms from your molecules or not, this is quite easily one of the most mind-boggling puzzlers you'll have ever played. Initially it's difficult to get into, as the tutorials feel mighty overwhelming with scary words thrown all over the place, but give it a chance and you'll find a thoroughly rewarding experience, with more 'holy shit!' moments than there are elements of the periodic table.

Freeware Game Pick: Beacon (randomnine)

January 11, 2011 11:00 AM | Tim W.


Beacon is another 2D platformer created for the recent Ludum Dare 19 competition, where you play as a spaceman who was forced to crash land his ship on an uncharted alien planet. You don't carry any weapons with you, but the jetpack attached to your suit does help with softening your landing after each jump.

The game takes about fifteen minutes to play through from start to end, although some of the hard-to-reach platforms may take more than a few tries before you are able to land on them safely.

Get Beacon from Ludum Dare's official site.

Feature: Top Browser Platformers 2010

January 10, 2011 7:00 PM | Tim W.

[From now until mid-January, IndieGames.com: The Weblog will be counting down the best independent and freeware games of 2010, with descriptions, screenshots, and links of the best games in each major category. Previously: Top 10 Experimental Games, Top 10 Shoot 'em Ups, Top 10 Role-Playing Games, Top 10 Freeware Puzzlers, Top 10 Freeware Adventure Games, Top 10 Browser Arcade Games, Top 10 Freeware Arcade Games]

The eighth of our in-depth 2010 Best Of Features here on the IndieGames.com blog (after the overall Top 10 we did for Gamasutra and the 10 Indie Games for '11 article), we're proud to present ten of the best Flash-based platformers released in 2010.

Super Meat Boy helped usher in the renaissance of indie games in 2010, and it's no surprise that 2D platformers make up a large percentage of browser games available to play on casual game portals as well. Here's our guide to some of the more notable run 'n jump games that you shouldn't be missing out on.

Here are the top browser platformers of the year:

Indie Game Links: Spying Revenge on Clones

January 10, 2011 6:00 PM | Tim W.

Today's collection of independent game links includes more indie game previews, a couple of development updates, and interviews with developers from around the 'net. (image source)

Gamasutra: The Reasons Behind SpyParty
"In a feature-length interview with Gamasutra, SpyParty developer Chris Hecker expresses frustration with indies who stick to by-the-numbers game designs. Hecker expressed dismay that indies sometimes act as risk-averse as major publishers with huge overheads, creating games in established genres rather than experimenting."

DIYgamer: A Neophytes Guide to Touhou
"If the rags-to-riches, one-man indie success story of the western world is Minecraft, then the eastern equivalent is undoubtedly the long-running Touhou series. Who is ZUN? Why are there so many frilly hats? How on earth are you meant to dodge all those bullets? In writing this, I hope to lay out the basics here, and make the series (and now-sprawling franchise in general) a little more friendly and accessible."

Edge Magazine: The Cloning Of Desktop Dungeons
"League Of Epic Heroes, which retails at £1.19 in the UK App Store, is a copy of Desktop Dungeons' core systems. In all important respects, they are identical - the same mechanics, character classes, spells and progression system. It has original WOW-derived character art and its own spriteset. It's a root-to-branch copy."

GameSetWatch: Chris Schlarb's NightSky Soundtrack Now Available
"The full NightSky soundtrack, which was written, arranged, and composed by Chris Schlarb, is available to stream for free or purchase on Bandcamp for just $5. Many of the album's songs are under a minute long, but there are 40 ambient tracks in total for you to lose yourself in."

Kotaku: You Can Now Bring The Real World To Minecraft
"Putting together a Minecraft creation just got easier, with a Kinect hack able to transform data captured by the Xbox 360's camera into landscapes in the game. Nathan Viniconis has figured out a way to take the depth and colour data Kinect is able to pick up from a 3D space and get Minecraft to work out how to recreate the image as a collection of the game's trademark tiles."

Indie Superstar: An Interview with Revenge's Mark Leung
"Mark Leung is founding father of Uglysoft, and he's trying to build a game brand associated with parody, ridiculous epicness, and the icon of Mark Leung. Parody games with good production values are rare in the games industry - it's hard to do it right, but he thinks he's figured out how."

GamerBytes: Ace Team On Zeno Clash And Rock Of Ages
"In 2010 Ace Team ported Zeno Clash to the Xbox Live Arcade with the help of Atlus, and in 2011 they'll be bringing their new title Rock of Ages to both XBLA and PSN. We spoke to Carlos Bordeu of ACE Team about their experience on the platforms."

Adventure Classic Gaming: Andrew Plotkin Interview
"Andrew Plotkin speaks about his obsession with IF, the inspirations behind his games, his decision to become a commercial IF developer, his opinion of the current state of IF, and what holds in the future for him and his game projects."

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