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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

Freeware Game Pick: 0.AD (Wildfire Games)

May 22, 2011 7:48 PM | Cassandra Khaw


Described by one of their many commentators as akin to 'Age of Empires in 3D', 0 A.D is a pretty snazzy offering that real-time strategy fans might just want to snatch up. I mean, for one, in spite of the considerable polish, 0 A.D is free. Yes, that's right. Free, open-source, cross-platform and dedicated to the tribulations of ancient warfare.

It looks like players will be able to 'relive or write' the history of six Western civilizations: the Roman Republic, the Celtic Tribes, the Persian empire, the Iberian Tribes and the Carthaginian Empire. Developed using the Pyrogenesis engine, 0 A.D has been in the works since July 2009. Now, I'm personally not the biggest real-time strategy fan out there (long-running obsession with DotA not withstanding) so I'm somewhat ambivalent about the whole thing. However, 0 A.D does look lovely and judging from the information in the website, it has made people in the Linux world deeply ecstastic.

0 A.D is still a work in progress. In fact, Alpha 5 was only recently released on May 20th. Interested in taking a look? You can download Alpha 5 here.

Browser Game Pick: Raid Mission (GamePirate)

May 22, 2011 7:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw


Raid Mission tries hard to be an arresting experience but it doesn't quite make the cut. However, it doesn't change the fact that the game is relatively entertaining; it just could have been so much more.

Combat is turn-based but implements something that reminds me of the Active Time Battle system utilized in Final Fantasy IV. You have tactical equipment, ranged weapons, melee, aiming to consider and specials to provide the competitive edge. As the game progresses, you'll eventually be able to assign different classes to various members of your squad as well. In spite of how appealing that might sound, it doesn't really get complex enough for my tastes. Still, Raid Mission might keep you preoccupied for the duration of a coffee break which makes it just fine in my book.

Plus, I don't remember the last game that had a mobster boss shouting, 'Darnitdarnitdarnitdarinit!' all the time.

Click here to play the game.

Bullet Candy Perfect Is Free Today

May 22, 2011 5:38 PM | Michael Rose


Charlie's Games is celebrating an anniversary today - one of his first games Bullet Candy was released exactly 5 years ago. To celebrate, he's giving away free copies of the enhanced version, Bullet Candy Perfect, to anyone and everyone.

To claim your free copy, simply email Charlie at charlie@charliesgames.com and he'll fire a copy over to you. It's a great way to prepare yourself for the impending release of Scoregasm, and there are Windows, Mac and Linux versions available.

Just get your email to him by 6pm GMT on the 23rd May, and it's all yours. Video below the cut to jog your memory.

Freeware Game Pick: Gunroad (HamCorossam)

May 22, 2011 3:00 PM | Tim W.

If you have fond memories of the light gun-equipped arcade machines from the '80s, then you'll be very familiar with how Gunroad works. The screen scrolls automatically as enemy soldiers pop into view to shoot at you, so it's up to the player to take them down quickly while there is still a window of opportunity and an element of surprise. Retaliate slowly, and you'll lose a few points of health and get that much closer to defeat.

Mouse controls are used for light gun emulation here - holding down the left mouse button allows you to fire your gun continuously, and pressing the right button deploys a smart bomb to clear the screen of all normal enemies (bosses will receive heavy damage). Reloading your weapon is done automatically whenever your gun is out of bullets, and shooting at medikits or chocolate bars will restore some of your health.

Gunroad comes included with two difficulty settings, but even on easy it will take a bit of effort to clear all of the game's four stages. There are two files to download from the official site: gr_full.lzh allows you to play in full screen mode (may not work for certain display cards) while gr_win.lzh will display everything inside a tiny 320 by 240 window.

You can download Gunroad from the bottom of this page.

Trailer: Hamilton's Great Adventure (FatShark), Release May 31st

May 22, 2011 6:05 AM | Cassandra Khaw

Now that we've established that the Rapture is apparently experiencing technical difficulties, I think it's safe to look forward to the release of something else. FatShark's latest endeavor, for example, might be a good candidate. Billed as something that provides both 'action puzzling and traditional problem solving' as well as an 'immersive storyline', Hamilton's Great Adventure looks like it's shaping up to an intellectual bout of G-rated fun.

A PC version of the game will be made available on Steam and other downloadable platforms sometime during May 31st 2011. There will be a PSN version as well, to keep console gamers happy. However, there has been no word in regards to the actual date.

Official website can be found here.

Freeware Game Pick: Pon (Bov)

May 21, 2011 7:05 PM | Cassandra Khaw

I really, really want to love Pon but I don't. Well, not quite. It's more of a love/hate sort of relationship. More love than hate, admitedly, but there's still some animosity there. I love the simplified graphics, the blocky clouds drifting across the sky, the peculiar residents, the monster that constantly tries to eat my face, the universe and everything in between. I like the fact it's a 2D adventure game with the tiniest sprinkle of platforming mechanics for good measure. It's peaceful and slow. It's also surprisingly satisfying to watch the world change along with my computer's clock.

But, it seems somewhat buggy. I do not like the fact that the protagonist will get unceremoniously shunted off-screen if you press space in the beginning. I don't like the fact it occasionally blacks out and stays black when you traverse screens. Pon is, however, atmospheric and lovely and completely free to play. Thus, if you're willing to deal with the incongruities, you may want to check it out.

Go here to download Pon.

Preview: World of the Living Dead Beta

May 21, 2011 4:11 PM | Cassandra Khaw


In World of the Living Dead, players serve under the banner of the National Emergency Control and Relief Agency (NECRA). As a field operative, your job is to shepherd helpless survivors through the Los Angeles County. Unfortunately, given that the world is apparently now in the throes of a full-fledged zombie apocalypse, there's nowhere you can conceivably go. Instead, you'll find yourself fighting with other players for the limited resources available; the press release tells us that nothing is replenish-able.

Yeah, it's pretty brutal. Of course, there are ways around it, methods that cross the boundaries of questionable taste. Currently in beta, I have a feeling that World of the Living Dead was meant to be played in short, controlled bursts over the day. Your survivors come with certain statistics: hunger, thirst, fear, health and fatigue. Naturally, these replenish when you're well-stocked with commodities and in a secure location. However, the problem here is that need often arises a little bit too fast, an irritating staple of many browser-based games. But like I said, there are ways around it.

Browser Game Pick: Edmus (pouchmouse)

May 21, 2011 2:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw


Remember the first time you played Canabalt and just couldn't stop? Or, maybe, the first time you got your paws on one of those one-button games and continuously bashed your head against them until you got it right? Edmus reminds me of those days. It also kinda plays something like that. Except, instead of blocky adventurers and oddly graceful sprites, you have black, cyclopean monsters that verge on the edge of cute.

Termed a 'one-button MMO', Edmus delivers pretty much what it promises. You will only ever need to use one button and there's a sizable crowd that will join your every, inevitably ill-fated run. Simple as that might sound, there's something sneakily addictive about the game. When you die, Edmus will cheerfully proclaim how many players you advanced past and how close you were to first place, something that will, at least once or twice, trigger that need to try again.

Edmus lacks any significant amount of depth but that's not really a problem because sometimes, we just need mindless fun. If you're in the mood for something simple and mind-numbing, you might want to look up Edmus here.

Browser Game Pick: Vicious Cycles 2011 (BloomEngine)

May 21, 2011 5:01 AM | Cassandra Khaw


You know, I've never really thought about it before this but the ability to restart a game after you've died breaks immersion rather badly, doesn't it? I mean, things like that don't happen very often in the real world. The last time someone successfully utilized a checkpoint, we found ourselves with a new religion.

Politically incorrect humor aside, Vicious Cycles 2011 has me mesmerized. It's an experiment by the developer and a remake of a previous IF game that he had done, his attempt at having the original 'pared down to its most basic elements and interactions'. So, instead of text prompts and a lexicon of comments, we have instead hyperlinks and the player clicking through them.

It worked out surprisingly well. There's something elegant about Vicious Cycles 2011. You're apparently responsible for ensuring that a bomb does not go off within that section of the time line, a task easier said than done. Donning the body of a bystander, you go about your work and are sent backwards in time into someone else's mind if you don't succeed. See? Perfect explanation for a restart. The plot, I think, is reminiscent of Source Code (I haven't watched the movie myself but I'm told that comparisons have been drawn) but done in a more minimalist fashion.

I still haven't quite figured out how to beat the game yet but I'm enjoying the process. BloomEngine did not just make the game more accessible, he seems to have tightened the language as well.

Click here to play.

Indie Game Links: The FPS without the S

May 21, 2011 3:00 AM | 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)

Radiator Blog: Welcome to the Indie FPS
"Many 2D indie games use pixels / flat squares, so it seems fitting that indie FPS games use cubes and embrace that 'digital brutalism' aesthetic. They're also usually non-violent, or have little or no shooting. The FPS without the S."

Torontoist: Toronto's Tastiest Homemade Game Jam
"We sat down with the organizers of Toronto Game Jam - seasoned game industry vets Emilie McGinley, Jim McGinley, and Rob Segal - to discuss the changes in Toronto's game scene, the rise of mobile games, and advice for game developers."

Adventure Gamers: Following Freeware, April 2011 releases
"This month you can become an ex-policeman in Budapest, a pigeon at a burger bar or a thick line in a child's doodle. All these opportunities await you in this month's roundup of releases on the freeware scene."

NearSay: NYU Game Center Dedicates Exhibits to No Quarter
"The NYU Game Center is holding their annual exhibition dedicated to indie games and developers, No Quarter. This year, the event is showcasing four games and an arcade cabinet specially loaded with indie games."

Develop Conference in Brighton: Indie Showcase Submissions
"As part of the new Indie Dev Day at this year's Develop Conference there will be a dedicated area within the Expo called the Indie Showcase, featuring 10 unpublished independently developed games shortlisted by a panel of experts. All 10 finalists will receive 2 free Indie Dev Day conference passes, pre-event publicity, plus the opportunity to show off your game to around 1,300 developers and publishers at the event."

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