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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, 2011

Demo: Anomaly: Warzone Earth (11 Bit Studios)

April 13, 2011 8:12 PM | Michael Rose

Tower offence game Anomaly: Warzone Earth was released last week, and those who played it rejoiced. Unfortunately, it had no demo available, which most likely put a fair few of you off giving it a try.

Never fear! A demo popped up today on the Steam store, giving a taste of how the full version plays. I wouldn't normally make a whole post just about a game receiving a demo, but honestly, this is a really fantastic experience that you'd be silly to miss. If you've not yet given it a play, make sure you grab a copy of the demo. The full game is £8.99/$9.99, with 10% currently off.

Preview: Steamlands (Nitrome)

April 13, 2011 2:00 PM | Michael Rose

Nitrome has been working on this one for a good while now, and from what I played this afternoon, it's been worth the wait. Steamlands is all about building tanks, Captain Forever style, and laying into anyone who decides to take their own mechanical wonder for a spin.

You'll start with a few select blocks, such as armour panels and weak guns, and bit by bit you can destroy weaker tanks, take their parts for your own machine, and then take on more powerful tanks. You've also got a little guy shoveling coal on-board to keep everything working, and he can pop out every now and again to fix up the exterior if it's showing cracks. Further into the game, you've also got saboteurs who can jump onto the enemy's tank and use their magic on it.

As with the aforementioned Captain Forever, the greatest element is being able to build whatever type of tank you want on the fly. Want a really tall tank? Why not. How about a tank that looks like an octopus? Let's do it.

Steamlands is due to be released sometime very soon. Jump below the cut for a detailed talk-through from the developers.

Freeware Game Pick: Hydra Castle Labyrinth (Buster)

April 13, 2011 12:00 PM | Tim W.

Hydra Castle Labyrinth is a new freeware 2D platformer created by the accomplished Japanese developer E. Hashimoto (Akuji the Demon, Guardian of Paradise). You play as a knight who has to recover a crown hidden somewhere inside the Hydra's castle, defeating a variety of dangerous enemies while collecting any treasure, items and special weapons that you can find along the way.

Similar to La-Mulana and the Castlevania series, the health gauge and sub-weapon indicator are both displayed on the top left corner of the screen. Hearts or extra weapon ammunition may occasionally appear whenever you vanquish an adversary, and save locations (marked by a pedestal with a spinning blue crystal) can also restore your health to full capacity while acting as a checkpoint for you to resume playing from if our hero is killed at any time during his excursion in the dungeon.

You can download Hydra Castle Labyrinth from Buster's site or (Windows, 1.25MB)

Level 2 Game Demo Released

April 13, 2011 5:00 AM | Tim W.

Level 2 is an interactive concept album/game that features music by metal band Last Chance to Reason, with background art and sprite work design contributed by Evan Sammons and Francis Coulombe (Super Banana Nababa). You play as a gun-toting protagonist who is thrusted into a sequence of setpieces correlating to LCR's music track 'Upload Complete', blasting at things for points and trying to keep your death count as low as you can until the song and the level ends.

A short (roughly five-minute long) game demo for this unusual project is available to download for free at Last Chance to Reason's site.

Freeware Game Pick: Blendimals (Exploding Cow)

April 13, 2011 3:59 AM | Cassandra Khaw

After we had 1916 - The War You Never Knew featured on our site recently, a commentor named Bastian came by to remind us that were plenty of other games from this year's DADIU to investigate. Naturally, we did and we found Blendimals, a quirky little puzzle-platformer, amongst the titles created this year.

The premise here is pretty simple. In order to reach your goal, you will have to casually fling helpless animals into a giant blender, hit high, and make use of the chimera that emerges from the whirlwind of parts. It sounds silly and really, it is - the visuals remind me a lot of Neighbours from Hell, for some reason. Nonetheless, it's surprisingly entertaining to have your rabbit/rhino hybrid stampede through the levels and a little trickier than I expected. The one bone I had to pick with Blendimals is the fact that there's no way to have your creature turn until it has hit an impenetrable obstacle of some variety.

Editor's note: Updated to include direct link.

Download it here.

Android Game Pick: 180 (Headcase Games)

April 13, 2011 3:15 AM | jeriaska

Following the warm reception of 180 for iOS by Headcase Games, beginning today the puzzler is also available for the Android mobile platform for free. 180 for Android has been retooled with higher-resolution visuals and increased framerates.

Gameplay sees rows of color-coded tiles gradually descending from above. Line up three or more adjacent tiles of the same color and they disappear. Clear space by flipping tiles to reveal a different color underneath, or by shooting tiles one at a time from below. Both actions involve tapping the screen.

Ron Alpert, the head of Headcase, previously worked at Obsidian and Activision before taking the plunge as an indie. He's spoken on the pros and cons of blazing one's own trail, most recently at the PAX Prime 2010 session "Going Indie." You can also find Ron's frequently featured Retro Game of the Day column on Gamasutra Blogs.

180 is currently seeking to connect with a wide audience through an innovative campaign: Purchase the Ultra edition for a low price, or play the free edition of the game for ten hours to unlock all the Ultra content and disable ads.

Of Robots, Potatoes and Naked Statues - Impressions of Ben Chandler's Older Games.

April 13, 2011 2:10 AM | Cassandra Khaw

Quote unquote called Ben Chandler an 'unstoppable force in the Adventure Game Studio community', something that his thirty nine nominations at the AGS awards seems to agree strongly with. Well-known for his adventure game vignettes, he has been featured here time and time again as well; His latest game, ~airwave~ I fought the Law, and the Law One being the most recent addition to our archives.

But while we wait for yet another release which I doubt will happen all too soon given that his last game premiered less than two months ago, let's take a gander at some of his older pieces.

Indie Game Links: The Atari, NES Lives

April 12, 2011 5:00 PM | Tim W.

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

Gamasutra: Story In Dinner Date
"Gamasutra contributor Emily Short follows the thought patterns and examines narrative around Julian Luxemburg, as he is stood up in Dinner Date, a brief introspective piece by Stout Games."

Gamasutra: Streets of Rage Fan Remake Taken Down At Sega's Request
"A fan remake of the classic Genesis beat 'em up Streets of Rage has been removed at Sega's request. Developer Bomber Games has been working on the unofficial remake for over eight years."

GameSetWatch: Fangamer Selling Retro City Rampage Shirts And More
"Vblank Entertainment has teamed up with online apparel shop Fangamer to create a collection of slick looking merchandise for Retro City Rampage, the 8-bit-style XBLA/WiiWare game paying homage to countless NES titles and the top-down Grand Theft Auto releases."

2D Boy: World of Goo for iPhone arrives this Thursday April 14
"It's official, World of Goo for iPhone will launch this Thursday, April 14. It will be priced at $2.99 (and equivalents in the rest of the world) but will be on sale for $0.99 for the first 24 hours after release." 8 Games Worth Playing, 2011 Edition, Part 1
"Here are four out of eight more games I've played and enjoyed in the past year since writing the previous installment. Same as before - these games aren't all brand new, but I've only gotten around to playing (or finishing) them in the past 12 months."

DIYgamer: Dyad on PSN and The Machine from ][ Games
"Shawn McGrath of ][ Games spoke with me and showed off his lovechild: Dyad at PAX East. Dyad is a tube racing, shooter, puzzle game with around 25 levels being developed for the PSN."

The Happy Medium: Interview with Sophie Houlden
"Sophie Houlden's games portfolio is diverse and explorative. She's never held down by one style, and her seemingly endless experiments have turned up gems like Linear RPG and Boxgame. Houlden was kind enough to answer some questions about transgender gameplay, marketing indie games, and the challenges of making (and selling) Lottie's Dungeon."

DIYgamer: Fallen Frontier from Moonshot Games
"As of PAX East, the Fallen Frontier team was formally comprised of two engineers, one artist, one designer, and one producer. The team's target platforms are Steam, XBLA, and PSN, and they are hoping for an early 2012 release."

Expanded Version of rComplex Now On Kickstarter

April 12, 2011 3:03 PM | Michael Rose

The original rComplex, released over a year ago, took on Canabalt with silhouetted visuals and a big scary, squid thing following your every move. A short film was even created based on the game last year.

Now developers Roger Hicks and Brian Terwilliger have decided to turn the concept into a full-blown game, and funding has started on Kickstarter. They are hoping to develop a longer, more content-filled version of iOS, and then later for Windows, Mac and Android.

Check out all the details about the project on the Kickstarter page.

Third Humble Indie Bundle Coming Later Today

April 12, 2011 10:08 AM | Michael Rose

The first two Humble Indie Bundles were huge successes, so a third was inevitable. Releasing later today at 9:30 PST, The Humble Frozenbyte Bundle is a little different to past bundles.

First off, it will focus on one developer - namely Finnish indie set-up Frozenbyte. Not every game will be available for Mac and Linux too - Jack Claw is Windows only, but as the video points out, "you can dry your tears in the source code". And you can't really argue with that.

So here's the games then: Trine, Shadowgrounds, Shadowgrounds Survivor, Jack Claw, and Splot. Jack Claw and Splot are new games that haven't been released yet - you'll receive a prototype of Jack Claw, and a pre-order for Splot. In all honesty, this pack doesn't really compare to past bundles, but at the same time it's for a charitable cause, and if you've never played Trine before, it's worth picking up just for that.

Watch the Humble Indie Bundle site later today at 9:30 PST.

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