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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 May, 2011

Browser Game Pick: Spike - A Love Story (Mike Houser)

May 4, 2011 2:00 PM | Michael Rose


Numerous UK bank holidays in quick succession caught me off guard last week, and I missed this silly little thing. Spike - A Love Story is utterly ridiculous, and therefore something that I admire. You are a spike trap, and you've fallen in love with a ginger-haired adventurer.

Of course, being a spike trap, you don't really have a way to express your love, other than crushing him repeatedly. Spike is a one button game, requiring you press the space bar to slam down on top of your potential love - or crush your crush, you could say. He doesn't simply walk through, however, and you'll need to watch carefully and keep your wits about you, otherwise you'll end up getting fired.

Brings a tear to my eye, this one. Check out Spike - A Love Story on Newgrounds.

Demo: Hack, Slash, Loot (David Williamson)

May 4, 2011 12:00 PM | Tim W.

A public beta for David Williamson's Hack, Slash, Loot is now available to download, and though it's still in development the demo build is already quite playable (and addictively so) without a single bug seemingly in sight.

The game is a simple procedural-generated roguelike with turn-based movement and combat, plus an inventory system that players can easily manage without being overwhelmed. Just step on a tile with an object that you'd like to collect, then hover your cursor over the hero to bring up the item's icon above his or her head. Information about that particular item is shown at the bottom left corner of the screen, and you can click on it to swap out whatever's occupying your inventory slot for the new object.

Combat is even easier to learn. All you have to do is left-click to attack or move towards an enemy that is out of range. Clicking anywhere on the screen directs the hero to move towards that spot, and you'll stop in your tracks immediately when an enemy orc or goblin comes into view. Window too small for you? Me too. There's a pair of buttons that can be used to toggle the window size as well.

No save feature is included in this demo, which we're assuming David is leaving for the commercial version of Hack, Slash, Loot. If he has a pre-order page for the game now, I'd happily give him my money right away just to get him to work quicker on it.

Get the Hack, Slash, Loot beta from David's site. Also for Linux and Mac too!

Freeware Game Pick: The Benefits of Life Insurance (Justin Smith)

May 4, 2011 10:00 AM | Tim W.

The Benefits of Life Insurance is a clever watered-down simulation of a life insurer's career, where the objective is to sell policies to the right people (i.e. long life expectancy) while trying to keep compensation claims down to a minimal. Your earnings can then be spent on purchasing expensive gifts for your trophy wife (in Justin's words).

The more clients you sign up, the more money you make, but you also run a higher risk of being bankrupted when a couple of them decides to fall into an open pit at the same time. To counter this, you can spend a small sum of your cash to close the pits, which is a lot cheaper than paying for full compensations in the long run.

The game doesn't have an end screen, and one can easily keep playing for hours without any chance of losing if they know how to. If those two things don't put you off, then you can grab The Benefits of Life Insurance from Ludum Dare right away.

Freeware Game Pick: Myrktorch (Gustav Kilman)

May 4, 2011 8:00 AM | Tim W.

Myrktorch is a 2D platformer created by Gustav Kilman (developer of Streambolt) for the Ludum Dare 20 competition, where you play as a robed protagonist who can slay the undead with the illumination from his holy light. Killing ghosts will diminish the light bit by bit, but you can restore its glow just by standing next to a burning torch.

The jam version features an additional boss fight to contend with, although I wasn't sure there's a way to beat him without your holy light (which somehow magically sputters out halfway during the encounter). It's a little too easy to miss a jump when you're under pressure from the ghosts, and the lack of checkpoints is a poor design choice even after taking the short length of the game into consideration.

If you're not easily discouraged by unfairly difficult platformers, then you may get Myrktorch from here.

Lazors is Free for Today Only

May 3, 2011 9:00 PM | Tim W.

Lazors is a puzzle game that was released by Pyrosphere just prior to Last Fish, featuring ninety levels to play through with the difficulty ranging from easy to pretty challenging. The objective here is to use a set of blocks to reflect laser beams at marked circular targets. Hit all of them, and you'd have solved the puzzle.

The lite version had just twenty levels to beat, but you can download the full app at no charge just for today. Lazors can be found in the App Store by clicking here.

A Valley Without Wind: New Visuals And Larger Worlds

May 3, 2011 3:00 PM | Michael Rose

The pre-alpha videos for upcoming A Valley Without Wind have been coming thick and fast, but this latest one may well be of the most interest to you - there's a new 'Soft Focus' visual style in place, and a much larger world to explore.

A number of readers noted that the graphical style wasn't exactly pretty the last time we featured the game, so perhaps this new look will tickle numerous fancies. The world is also now much bigger - in fact, Erik Johnson from Arcen Games says that "each tile on the world map is equal to around two-thirds the size of the the entire world map of the original Legend of Zelda".

Of course, with a world that big there's always the worry that you'll roam for ages without actually finding anything. To combat this, the plan is to have multitudes of crafting, NPCs, settlements, different environments, the whole works. The game is expected to hit beta sometime in the next few months. You can read more about it here.

Trailer: Rocketbirds: Reloaded! (Ratloop Asia)

May 3, 2011 1:30 PM | Tim W.

It's another game with birds in it, although we should probably mention that the Rocketbirds series has been around for quite a while now - first for the desktop and now the jump to Sony's console. This trailer showcases the difference between the two versions besides the title: faster and smoother sprite animation, updated graphics, improved parallax scrolling, new scenes, and your usual jetpack sequences. If you like 3D in your games, they have that too.

Rocketbirds: Reloaded! is scheduled to be released sometime later this year on the Playstation Network.

Browser Game Pick: Transylvania (Begamer)

May 3, 2011 10:30 AM | Cassandra Khaw


Transylvania is adorable in a slightly peculiar sort of fashion. After all, you don't always get terrified potato-men stranded in the middle of a creepy countryside all too often. Done entirely with silhouettes, Transylvania is one of those little point-and-click adventures that require you to solve the puzzles in each screen in order to allow the hero to move from point A to point B.

As you might have guessed already, the story told in Transylvania is slightly surreal and filled with some implied cartoon violence. The puzzles are extremely straightforward though amusing enough for the most part. At best, it's probably going to take up about ten to fifteen minutes of your time but I think it's still worth the diversion.

Go here to play.

Browser Game Pick: Waterfall Rescue (Switchbreak)

May 3, 2011 8:00 AM | Tim W.

Waterfall Rescue is another Ludum Dare 20 submission created during the last weekend, where the objective of the game is to climb the side of a mountain and rescue a number of stranded climbers before proceeding to the chopper to fly them out. Whenever you press left mouse button your climber will latch on or release his hold of the underside of a mountain ledge, and by timing your presses correctly you can use the momentum of your swing to move forwards or upwards.

It's clearly a very simple game made in under 48 hours, but there are still five levels to play through in this LD entry. Waterfall Rescue is playable on any flash-enabled browser by clicking here.

Browser Game Pick: The Last Survivor (Benn Powell)

May 2, 2011 8:00 PM | Tim W.

The Last Survivor is a 2D platformer in which the player is a green block trying to get to the other end of a blue ship, using only its psychic power to bypass deadly laser beam traps and solve puzzles. Anything that's yellow in color can be dragged around using the mouse, but you're only allowed to move one object at a time.

The game features just a couple of rooms to beat, which is just about the right length for a Ludum Dare competition submission made in under forty-eight hours. Play The Last Survivor here.
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