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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 June, 2011

Browser Game Pick: TinyHack (Rob Beschizza)

June 23, 2011 5:25 AM | Cassandra Khaw


Ludacris once asked the world, 'How Low Can You Go?'. Well, I still don't have an answer to that. However, the video game industry may now have a response to a similar question: "How Small Can You Go?"

The answer? Really, really freaking small.

TinyHack is an adventure game in 8x8 pixels. It's also exactly what you think it is: a work of improvisational genius. Creator Rob Beschizza seems to think otherwise, though. According to the article on BoingBoing, he stated that the game is 'barely playable' and that it 'has all the charm of a malicious lite-brite'.

Personally, I think it's rather quaint. More a web toy than anything else, TinyHack is definitely worth those obligatory few minutes.

Play it here now.

Trailer: inMomentum (Digital Arrow)

June 23, 2011 2:09 AM | Cassandra Khaw

inMomentum is one of those games I know I'm going to hate myself for loving. As many might alreayd know, I'm terrible at platformers. But like cigarettes, they're a guilty pleasure I just can't seem to quit. inMomentum looks like one of those games I'll keep smashing my head against. Set in a surreal-looking geometrical landscape, the game is being billed as a jumping/racing/platformer sort of thing and it looks absolutely gorgeous.

currently in beta, inMomentum is open to sign-ups so those who feel like signing up are encouraged to do so. The developers are also looking to give away free copies of the game to testers that provide the most useful feedback during the testing phase.

Interested in a light cycle game with guns and no bikes? Sign up here.

Trailer: Dyad (][ Games)

June 23, 2011 2:00 AM | Tim W.

Reading previews about Shawn McGrath's upcoming tunnel shooter had been tantalising enough - if you don't own a PS3, then watching this clip is only going to break your heart even more. Inspired by titles like the Wipeout series and Kenta Cho's Torus Trooper, ][ Games' debut PSN release Dyad is described by Shawn as an 'abstract racing game', where speed is gained by pulling yourself towards an enemy and propelling yourself past them. Enemies can be grazed for energy, and when you're fully juiced up the ship can be turned into a high-speed lance that'll destroy anything in its path.

But that's just a very basic summary of what's going on. Shawn has designed a collection of levels to keep players interested in progressing further, with each area introducing a new element or trick to learn by presenting a challenge that's slightly different than the ones you've completed in previous stages.

Dyad doesn't have a release date yet, but you can count on Mr. McGrath to keep you posted when this unique racing game is a little bit closer to the finish line.

Browser Game Pick: Skinny (Thomas Brush)

June 23, 2011 1:00 AM | Tim W.

Skinny is a follow-up of sorts to Thomas Brush's atmospheric 2D platformer Coma, released just yesterday after having spent a rather long time in development 'limbo'. The story is about a loving father who has to recover his son's lost marbles for him, but like in Thomas's previous game you will soon realize that there is more to your adventure than a simple fetch quest.

Players start out with the most basic of abilities like talking, walking and jumping, but by completing quest objectives you'll be rewarded with new upgrades like long arms that can be used to grapple onto or break stuff, wall jumps, and the ability to use springboards to propel into the air.

Now, the problems: players may find that the imprecise controls will hamper many from succeeding in some of the more difficult timed challenges and puzzles. The main character slides around too much, which often leads to numerous failed jumps and constant frustration. That would still be tolerable if our protagonist had been designed with better mobility - because of how clunky the collision, gravity and physics are implemented in this game, half the time you would be struggling to complete a challenge even though you already figured out how to beat it twenty minutes ago.

Despite its issues, Skinny is still a decent platformer to spend an afternoon on, and a worthy successor to the well-received Coma. You can find Skinny hosted at Newgrounds.

Browser Game Pick: Little Cave Hero (Atakama Labs)

June 22, 2011 3:14 PM | Cassandra Khaw


More often than not, I'm usually ambivalent about social games. There's something about them that doesn't quite agree with me. It could be my general distrust of Facebook. It could be the rampant amount of microtransactions. I don't know. Consequently, it's probably why I found myself surprised to be rather thrilled at Little Cave Hero.

Made by Atakama Labs, Little Cave Hero is a surprisingly charming little 8-bit adventure. Filled with silly, snarky humor and an abundance of things to do, the game will have players milling from generic cave to generic cave in an attempt to satisfy a crochety old man's requests. when not otherwise at his beck and call, you'll be busy rebuilding a town, fufilling quests and various other things.

If the idea of Facebook games doesn't immediately have you recoiling in horror, you may want to check the game here.

IndieCity: A New Platform To Stand On?

June 22, 2011 11:02 AM | Cassandra Khaw


Bad jokes aside, this interview that the Indie Game Magazine recently conducted with Chris Swan of IndieCity has left me rather curious. Due to achieve full implementation in July, IndieCity is a new distribution platform, one designed exclusively for the indie games market.

According to the interview, the creators of IndieCity intend to have it become the 'one-stop shop for all things indie gaming'. With plans to offer as many business models as possible, IndieCity will not have a traditional approval system and will instead have a recommendation engine. In layman's terms, this means that gamers will have their own home pages, pages specifically tailored to appeal to them. Prospective developers are currently being offered 85% of their revenue (after card processing fees) should they integrate IndieCity's wrappers. If not, they'll still receive about 75%.

The premise behind IndieCity seems rather ambitious. Call me a cynic but I'm going to withhold judgement until I've seen more of what they have to offer. Nonetheless, the idea itself definitely has my backing.

Those interested in learning more can check out the full interview here. For everyone else, here's the official page.

Preview: Wyv and Keep (A Jolly Corpse)

June 22, 2011 7:00 AM | Tim W.

Wyv and Keep - The Temple of the Lost Idol is a cooperative puzzle platformer that can be played either alone or with a friend on the same keyboard. The story is about two treasure hunters who are looking for a lost temple hidden somewhere in the jungles of Amazonia. The natives aren't too happy about trespassers trying to steal their sacred artifacts, so they've built a ton of contraptions and traps to scare away any adventurer who dares to enter their holy sanctuary.

You're only allowed to control one character at a time if you're playing by yourself. Players are able to switch between Wyv and Keep at any time, although it'd be wise to make sure that they are out of harm's way before you leave them standing around. Somewhere inside every room is a switch that will open the door to the next level - you must place a box above the red switch before it can function the way it is supposed to (standing on a button won't work). Other boxes can be used as platforms to stand on, and since they're leak-proof and empty on the inside you could also push a box into the water to form a bridge to walk on.

There's a preview build of Wyv and Keep with eight levels to play through available to download from A Jolly Corpse's site. The game can be pre-ordered now at $7.99, granting you access to all of the private alphas and guaranteeing that you will receive a full copy of the game on the same day it is released. PC only for the moment, folks!

Indie Game Links: Gone Insanely Mad

June 22, 2011 5:00 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)

RGCD: Super Puzzle Platformer
"Described elsewhere on the net as Mr. Driller in reverse, Super Puzzle Platformer is all about blasting blocks, collecting points and avoiding untimely death by falling on sharp spikes below or being crushed from above. Your goal is to simply help the gun-toting, cape-wearing Mr. Serious survive as long as possible in the face of impossible odds."

Padinga: The Best of PSN and XBLA
"The Xbox Live Arcade and Playstation Network online games have been fundamental in letting rookie game studios stretch their creative legs the last few years. In a time where blockbuster games cost millions to craft, and can only be birthed of established franchises, this is where the weird, wonderful, eccentric games come to thrive."

Lost Garden: Realm of the Mad God Released
"A little over a year ago, Alex Carobus and Rob Shillingsburg from WildShadow created a prototype of a re-imagined MMO for the TIGSource Assemblee game jam. David and I started working with them a few months later through Spry Fox, helping flesh out with the monetization, interface and cooperative mechanics. Today, after a huge amount of work by a truly talented team, we are officially launching on the Chrome Web Store."

GameSetWatch: Platformance Sequel Brings Many More Deaths to XBLIG
"The Xbox Live Indie Games platformer Platformance: Castle Pain may not have been a particularly lengthy game, but it more than made up for it with the sheer amount of deaths players racked up throughout the brief adventure. The sequel, Platformance: Temple Death, hit XBLIG yesterday, and it easily exceeds the standard for difficulty set by its predecessor."

Trailer: Critical Mass (Manic Game Studios)

June 21, 2011 6:47 PM | Cassandra Khaw

The most addictive games are often the simplest. Angry Birds, for example, has us tossing belligerent fowl at structurally unstable constructs time and time again. Pac-Man wants us to eat and avoid being eaten. Critical Mass works on a similar formula. In essence, it's your traditional match-3 game except in 3D. Gimmicky as that might sound on paper, it actually looks like it could be a fair bit of fun if the trailer is anything to go by.

Currently available on Steam and Impulse, the PC-only Critical Mass is priced at $9.99 USD. Plans to port it to both Mac and iOS platforms are underway.

The official website can be found here.

Trailer: Indie Game - The Movie

June 21, 2011 5:00 PM | Tim W.

By now you should be quite well-informed about what James Swirsky and Lisanne Pajot of BlinkWorks Media are creating (we've spoken about them and also with them a number of times in the past). Indie Game: The Movie is a full-length feature documentary about select indie game luminaries and the process of creating their works of art, plus snippets of interviews with successful indies peppered throughout the movie to round it up as a primer for audiences who had never been exposed to the wonderful world of indie games before (or know it exists).

Well, just a couple of hours ago they've released a brand new trailer for their film and put up a new Kickstarter page to gather funds for completion of the project. The movie should be finished sometime around mid-August, but you can pre-order it now to reserve your copy and receive it in the mail as soon as it released (the digital download costs $15 to purchase). Don't know about you guys, but I'm pretty hyped for this one!
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