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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 February, 2011

Freeware Game Pick: Bennu (Once a Bird)

February 15, 2011 1:47 PM | Michael Rose

Originally an Xbox Live Indie Games title, Bennu is now available to download as a freeware title for Windows PC. You control a swinging bird's head that can attach itself to the surrounding level and flip up to touch and remove coloured blocks.

The idea is to fall into a flame, then touch all of the blocks of that colour. Every block must be cleared to progress. There's also a two player co-op mode, in which each player has a specific colour and can only remove their blocks. It's all a little fiddly to begin with, but definitely worth giving a try.

Download Bennu from Once a Bird's site.

iPhone Game Pick: Kungfu-Rush (Mofuya Soft)

February 15, 2011 12:00 PM | Tim W.

In Kungfu-Rush you play as a martial arts practitioner who has to break bottles flying in your direction with only your feet and fists, using a combination of the six buttons on screen to input commands like kick, punch, jump and dodge. Players can choose from any of three difficulty setttings to play with, and both English and Japanese text have been included for the convenience of both local and international iDevice owners.

The first few levels start out easy, acting as a tutorial and never overwhelming the player with too many objects to deal with. Later on you'll have to dodge bombs or tackle bottles that require more than one hit to shatter, and failing to do any of these will result in the loss of a life. Lose three lives, and our hero will fall to his knees in defeat.

The full version of Kungfu-Rush (ad-supported) is free to download from the App Store.

Road To The IGF: Stfj's Zach Gage on Halcyon

February 15, 2011 10:00 AM | Tim W.

[As part of a series of "Road to the IGF" interviews with 2011 IGF finalists, Leigh Alexander speaks with stfj's Zach Gage about Best Mobile Game nominee Halcyon.]

Named for a mythical Greek bird, recently released iPad title Halcyon is described by its developer as "a unique spatial action puzzler / generative musical instrument."

That's a fancy way of describing a game that involves matching up like-colored triangles to each other as they travel slowly along increasingly crowded strings, creating an elegiac soundscape as you do.

Gamasutra talked to stfj's Zach Gage about the failed concepts that led to Halcyon's creation, his favorite fellow IGF finalists, and more.

What development tools are you using to develop Halcyon?

Halcyon was written entirely in OpenFrameworks, an open source C++ library for Creative Programming.

How long have you been working on the game?

Halcyon is actually the fastest commercial title I've ever worked on. Kurt [Bieg] and I put it together in a quick two and a half months.

Browser Game Pick: Stream (Stream Team)

February 15, 2011 1:00 AM | Michael Rose

Stream is a time-bending 3D platformer from a team of students at ENJMIN, the Graduate School of Games and Interactive Media in France. You are lost in a strange monochrome world, and have the ability to manipulate time.

OK, so messing with time has been done again and again - in fact, with this very same name too - but this particular release feels pretty special thanks to the striking visual style. You can move time forward, backwards or pause it, and the spinning circle in the bottom right shows how it is being affected at that moment. I found it rather a nuisance that if you fall down halfway through a room, you're taken back to the start. Fortunately, none of the room are too large in size.

The game is available to play over at Kongregate, or you can download it from the Stream site.

Freeware Game Pick: Wroom (Jonas Johansson & David Rothelius)

February 14, 2011 11:29 PM | Michael Rose

I've been giving some serious thought recently to starting an online indie game naming service, thanks to all this games with godawful names. I wouldn't even charge! Just to make the indie gaming world a better place. See, I know that plenty of people will see this post, see the name "Wroom" and instantly skip straight on by.

Which would be a shame, as Wroom is in fact a rather nice Elasto Mania style trick-busting physics racer. You drive a bubble car along a bunch of lines, flipping and rolling all over the place. You can't die, so it's great fun to simply flip around the place and attempt to grab all of the stars in each level.

Here's the best bit though - the game supports four player local splitscreen, which is really great fun. There are ghost recordings of yourself to race against too! It's all lovingly polished - simple, innocent fun. Give this a download from the Wroom site.

Browser Game Pick: DropTowerDefense (SordGame)

February 14, 2011 2:00 PM | Tim W.

DropTowerDefense is a strangely amusing tower defense game in which defensive turrets are dropped from the sky and stacked on top of one another, indirectly creating a winding path to that delays enemies from reaching your castle too quickly.

The range of each weapon is indicated by the red box that surrounds it, and turrets can be further upgraded to increase the damage they will inflict on passing enemies. Any misplaced tiles can be deleted between enemy waves, and there's even a fast forward button which is extremely useful in situations where you need to speed things up a little bit.

Though DropTD is one of the better tower defense games to be released in the last few months, it still suffers from the same issue of being more of the same by the tenth enemy wave or so. If you're a fan of tower defense games, then do check out DropTowerDefense at SordGame's site.

Trailer: PewPewPewPewPewPewPewPewPew (Incredible Ape)

February 14, 2011 1:34 PM | Michael Rose

I believe the name of this game was concocted to break as many webpages as possible with its length, although I am speculating. Developed for the Global Game Jam 2011, PPPPPPPPP is now headed to Xbox Live Indie Games with extra content and a soundtrack from spamtron.

So what is it then? It's a two player co-op 'em up set in space, and you'll need two Xbox microphones, be it Xbox headsets or perhaps Rock Band microphones. One player controls the jet-pack by making jetpacky noises, while the other player makes 'pew pew' noises into the other microphone to shoot lazers and destroy obstacles.

Reminds me a lot of 4Fourths, albeit with your mouth instead of button tapping. Whatever happened to 4Fourths anyway? Mikengreg need to deliver that sweet goodness to us.

Anyway! PPPPPPPPP is "coming soon", and you can check out a few extra details at the official site.

Indie Game Links: Happy Valentines

February 14, 2011 12:00 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)

1UP: Pixel's Next Games for 3DS and iOS
"Pixel's next game -- currently code-named Rockfish -- is a 2D iPhone game with a strong visual resemblance to Cave Story. It casts players in the role of a kasago (a spiny fish) and lets them move side to side, with a swim button to make the fish move upward."

IndieCade: 2011 Submissions open March 1
"Submissions for the 2011 IndieCade festival will open on March 1, 2011 and close on May 31, 2011. Works in progress are permitted and encouraged, but they should include at least one playable level. Finalists will be contacted by August 15, 2011."

QCF Design: Enemy sprites and interviews
"Last week we lobbed a couple of pics of the hastily-thrown-together tileset editor at Twitter. This week we’ve been getting the new graphics into the game. Lurk’s been doing an amazing job with the monster and character sprites."

Rock, Paper, Shotgun: Robert Boyd Interview
"Zeboyd Games have made a name for themselves over on the digital mega-network of the Xbox 360, having two of the highest rated XBLIGs on the service. Off the back of that success, they are now breaking out onto the mighty PC."

Rock, Paper, Shotgun: Mode 7 Interview
"I recently caught up with Mode 7′s joint MD Ian Hardingham to find out what’s happened since we last talked about Frozen Synapse, what comes next and how they’re planning to make it as strong a singleplayer offering as it is a multiplayer one."

The Newb Review: Speaking with Kellee Santiago
"With their third game, Journey, set for imminent release, we were given a chance to sit down with Kellee Santiago, co-founder and president of thatgamecompany for an exclusive interview."

Stout Games: Dinner Date and a Lonely Valentine
"Stout Games is happy to announce that in the spirit of Valentine’s day it offers a two-for-one deal on Dinner Date and, furthermore: the long-awaited soundtrack is finally available."

metablog: Happy Valentine’s Day
"As some of you may already know, last year we started a project which we called Operation Corporate Valentine. We sent out over 150 valentine cards this year, and also included last year’s design at random in some envelopes. If you wrote to us, your valentine is in the mail."

Super Mega Worm is Free for a Limited Time

February 14, 2011 10:00 AM | Tim W.

Apologies for posting about this a little late, although the offer has been valid for a couple of days now. Deceased Pixel's Super Mega Worm is currently available from the App Store as a free download for a limited time, so you might want to grab this freebie before the price goes back to $2.99.

If you loved JTR's Death Worm for the iOS, then Super Mega Worm should be right up your alley too. There's only one level to play in adventure mode (although it does feature twenty-four waves of enemies to devour), and time attack mode is pretty much the same thing with tougher opponents and a two-minute timer on the clock.

Super Mega Worm can be downloaded from the App Store right here.

iPhone Game Pick: Entanglement (Gopherwood Studios)

February 13, 2011 5:38 PM | Michael Rose

Looking for something to do on a lazy Sunday? Take your iPhone or iPad in hand, go to App Store, download Entanglement, be happy. A handheld take on the original browser game, this iOS version is even better.

The main concept is to place hexagons into a grid, allowing a string to weave around the board until you are finally forced to lead it into a wall. The more times you go back on yourself and use past pieces, the more points you'll receive. This new version handles wonderfully, and has oodles of extra game modes. You can now play it 1-6 player, taking in turns. There's also a new mode called Gold Rush that's pretty swish, and another free mode on the way in a future update.

Then you've got extra boards and Game Center scoreboards to extend the game's life. The iPhone version is $1.99, while the iPad HD edition is $3.99. Grab this one, it's excellent.

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