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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

Results for Ludum Dare 20 are out, Appy 1000mg takes lead

May 24, 2011 7:00 AM | Cassandra Khaw

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And just like that, the results for Ludum Dare 20 are in. With 'It's dangerous to go alone! Take this!' as the theme this cycle, it's somewhat unsurprising to see the avalanche of melancholy, unsettling games. Amongst these entries, Appy 1000mg stands antennae and shoulders above the competition.

Created by deepnight, Appy 1000mg will take approximately 5 minutes to play through. At first glance, it's lush albeit lonely-looking little platformer. It's strange, alien world drenched in the colors of a beautiful, pixelated sunrise and populated by little things named 'blobbies'. You eventually run into an old man, however, and that's when it all goes pear-shaped.

Second and third place belongs to 'Don't go Alone' by pgil and VIGILANCE by randomnine. I'm going to have to admit I'm feeling gleeful about the fact two of our picks had made top three (We called it. Hah!). However, none of us had been expecting the third. A quick investigation, however, revealed that it definitely belongs in the upper echelons of the competition.

VIGILANCE is silly. However, it's silly in a good way. You're responsible for handing our personal safety alarms to an indifferent town. When met with complete apathy, you decide that the best way to enforce safety is to give them a reason to fear. Vigilance will then have you duking it out with the students after dark in order to put the fear of God into them, more or less.

That said, the other offerings also look rather entertaining. There's something about an unscrupulous merchant and womanly mammaries in the listing of Top 20 entries so, I'm sure there's something for everyone from this round of Ludum Dare.

Review: Die2Nite (Motion Twin)

May 24, 2011 5:23 AM | Cassandra Khaw

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Die2Nite isn't so much a game about zombies as it is a game about other people. Living people. Living, breathing people sitting on the other side of 39 computer screens, each one as intent on surviving as you are. Obviously, it's also a game about the worst of other people. Die2Nite isn't so much a game as it is an interactive piece of social commentary, a look at futility and social heriachies and exactly how bloody stupid we can get when there are too many people in one place.

The premise is simple. There's you and 39 other people. You're all stuck together in this ill-fortified town. Each night, zombies descend on the helpless settlement and do their utmost best to feast on your sweet, sweet brains. Each day, you do your best to ensure that this doesn't happen. In order to accomplish this, you'll have to do things like craft buildings and scavenge for resources. Ostensibly, it's a team effort but it doesn't have to be, not if you're the kind of bastard that loves ruining things for others. Die2Nite is perfect for that. Nothing in the game prevents you from clearing the communal bank in order to build your own paradise in the metaphorical desert. At the same time, Die2Nite allows hanging.

You can see where I'm going with this, right?

Browser Game Pick: Clock (Luke Connor)

May 24, 2011 2:00 AM | Cassandra Khaw

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Though 'At A Distance' might have taken center stage as the media darling of No Quarter, the other games present at the month-long event at the NYU Game Center are no less interesting nor impressive. Clock by Luke Connor was amongst the various entries, a ridiculously simple game played with but one button and in pursuit of a single goal: avoid the red.

It's also, I believe, the only No Quarter game available for play online right now. Made to be as simple as conceivably possible, Clock will have you staring at this radial, clock-like thing and a single white line as it runs on its path. As time progresses, red lines will appear and you will have to dodge this by pressing any button on the screen. This will, in turn, have the line jump to the opposite end of the screen.

Simple as it sounds, the game can grow remarkably punishing if you play it for any extended amounts of time. Though hardly a good representation of the eclectic collection of games at No Quarter, those unable to make it down to New York for a look at the others might want to take a peek at Clock. Heck, if you're just curious, go take a peek too.

Click here to play.

Browser Game Pick: CatGrim (tomoAwasu)

May 23, 2011 11:03 PM | Cassandra Khaw

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CatGrim is about a trandimensional cat.

At least, I think it is. While felines are often associated with the supernatural and all manners of prowess, I'm not really sure how better to explain the fact that CatGrim's furry hero can switch through different layers of reality at will.

Musings about the four-legged protagonist's origins aside, CatGrim is a relatively interesting platformer that may or may not test your skill at the genre. I personally found it somewhat daunting but then again, my ineptitude at the platformers is legendary in certain circles.

Those interested in CatGrim can take a look at it here.

XBL Indie Game Pick: Blocks That Matter (Swing Swing Submarine)

May 23, 2011 6:02 PM | Michael Rose

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Got some spare Microsoft Points lying around? Take 240 of them, and go purchase Blocks That Matter, a new puzzle-platformer from Swing Swing Submarine that builds on the concept the dev previously used in Tuper Tario Tros. In each level, you need to collect bricks together, then use them to build bridges and stairways to freedom.

However, you can only place the blocks in groups of four, in the shape of Tetris blocks. Each type of block has its own characteristics - some fall when there's nothing below them, while others can't be drilled at all. It's pretty challenging stuff, that will test your brain over 50+ levels.

Definitely worth picking up - give it a download from the Xbox Marketplace, or grab the demo to check it out first.

Freeware App Pick: Drumcircle (Run Hello)

May 23, 2011 3:00 PM | Michael Rose

drumcircle.jpgFrom the creator of Jumpman comes Drumcircle, a simple yet entertaining toy. By placing symbols around a central circle, you can create a beat with lots of different samples to choose from.

A line swings around the centre at a constant rate, and will play any sample it passes through. All you need to do is drag samples from the bottom and place them on the grid. You can use the points provided to stick to the beat, but you're also allowed to play them wherever you want. Clicking on the arrow in the corner will allow you to look through more different beats.

It's available for free for Windows, Mac and Linux, but you can also pick up an iPhone or Android version too, for a dollar each. Note that the PC version also comes with the ability to add your own samples. Go give it a download.

Trailer: Dungeons of Dredmor (Gaslamp Games)

May 23, 2011 12:30 PM | Michael Rose


Roguelike Dungeons of Dredmor is coming sometime in the next couple of weeks, and this final trailer has just been released to whet your appetite. Coming to Windows, Mac and Linux, it's all a bit tongue-in-cheek, with silly enemies and pick-ups, and a character called the Goddess of Pointless Sidequests.

I believe that Cass has got many words to say about the game soon, so I won't go crazy with my thoughts, but it's looking like a lovely, accessible title. I think many people feel like roguelikes can be pretty daunting, with stats and texts all over the place, so perhaps Dungeons of Dredmor will be an easy way in for those people.

Browser Game Pick: Ambia (Ian Snyder)

May 23, 2011 10:00 AM | Michael Rose

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Ambia is an intriguing platformer that features procedurally generated music and a weapon leveling up system. On each level, you simply need to destroy each enemy and reach the exit.

As you kill enemies, you can pick up their leftovers to add experience to your current weapon, and each time a gun levels up, it will be a little more powerful, and may even have new abilities. However, enemies can also drop new weapons, and if you pick up a new weapon, your current one will be lost, along with any experience you bagged.

In other words, you need to find your favourite weapon, then stick with it. The set-up seems a little odd to me - I wonder if it might be better if guns remembered the experience they had already collected, so that when you picked the gun up again later, your collecting wasn't in vain.

Either way, it's an enjoyable game with a great atmosphere. Jump over to Kongregate and play.

Ronimo Games' Awesomenauts Looks Awesome

May 23, 2011 7:00 AM | Cassandra Khaw

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Swords & Soldiers is probably one of my favorite games of all time. It might have had something to do with the blatantly silly humor, the kid-friendly graphics and the slick manner with which the interface carried itself. It also totally helped that the game features rampant cartoon-y violence that has nothing to do with pixelated gore and things that would make children run crying to their mothers.

Of course, that's all in the past now and as we all knows, developers need to continuously work the grind in order to ensure their survival and our uninterrupted entertainment. Due for publication by dtp Entertainment, Awesomenauts is Ronimo Games' next endeavor, a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) that will be shown for the first time during E3. Obviously, I wasn't going to sit for that and waylaid Jasper Koning with a few choice questions.

When asked about the source of their inspiration, Jasper Koning had said, "We've been very heavily inspired by classic cartoon series like Galaxy Rangers, Thundercats, MASK, TMNT, Starcom, etc." It also appears as though Awesomenauts has been in production since the first release of Swords & Soldiers in 2009, a good sign that we might not have too long to wait before release. "Awesomenauts is an awesome mix between classic side-scrolling shooters like Metal Slug and Turrican as well as MOBAs like Defense of the Ancients and League of Legends. " Koning also added.

Those were the most explicit answers that I got. Everything else, outside of the promise that up to six players can play simultaneously, was replied to with a cheeky, "You'd find out at E3!"

Tease.

After the cut, we have a few early screenshots from the game including an Indiegames-exclusive look at what appears to be a Russian Space Monkey with psionic powers.

Browser Game Pick: The Dreamerz (Rob Donkin/RobotJAM)

May 23, 2011 3:13 AM | Cassandra Khaw

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The latest point & click adventure from Rob Donkin and RobotJAM looks and feels like a children's story book. It also reminds me a lot of Super Mario Galaxy, something that could be attributed to how the individual planets have been assembled and the way the protagonist has to bounce from one spherical world to another.

So far, text appears to be limited to the diary that you acquire early in the beginning of the game and the various signs scattered throughout the land of dreams. Everything else is conveyed with signs and images. The objective behind the Dreamerz is a simple one: fix the Dream Machine and ensure that everyone can now dream in peace.

Click here to play.

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