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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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Browser Game Pick: Spastic (Lucas Pietrzak)

September 13, 2012 8:00 PM | John Polson

Spastic.pngLucas Pietrzak's Spastic manages to overwhelm me visually almost as much as Terry Cavanagh's Hexagon and feels somewhat similar to it. Players must rotate in one of two directions in the center of the screen to reflect oncoming pellets, all to the rhythm of the music. The gambling comes from players deciding when to cash out their score that multiplies from each reflected pellet (by pressing "up"). One stray pellet to the center ends that precious combo.

The game randomly generates stages based on one's music library. However, Spastic doesn't always recognize MP3s. I don't mind that Chrome is the only browser I can play Spastic in; I just wish I knew how to get more of my library to work. As a word of warning, when songs do work, expect a twenty-second load time or more.

Interestingly, this game's size is restricted to just 13 kilobytes. That's the main rule in Js13kGames, a JavaScript coding competition for HTML5 game developers. Spastic doesn't quite incorporate the Number 13 theme, but it's fun nonetheless. Once done, feel free to check out over fifty other entries in the competition.

Teaser Trailer: NAVE (Videogamo)

September 13, 2012 6:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

NAVE, which also apparently means 'ship' in Spanish, is a survival space-shooter that wants to see how long players can 'resist' certain death. This, in turn, can be accomplished by dodging enemies, shooting them down, grabbing power-ups and abusing the 'Turbo' button. The most interesting feature about this upcoming Flash game is probably the fact that it looks like the ship is capable of growing to a point where it dominates the entire screen, something that may be the cause of rather unique problems.

You can keep track of the game's progress here.

Gameplay Video of Flying Cafe for Semianimals' Cradle

September 13, 2012 4:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

Cradle is a nifty-looking first-person science fiction game that will have you exploring the strange relationship between the protagonist and a mechanical girl that he/she must, for some reason, repair. More interestingly, it looks like mysterious circumstances have delivered you and aforementioned robot lady to a yurt parked next to a neglected entertainment park. According to the description on their Steam Greenlight page, the developers were looking to present something that felt strange and dream-like. It certainly looks like they've succeeded.

Their Greenlight page can be found here.

Demo: Vitrum (9heads Game Studios)

September 13, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

A free Windows demo version of the first-person puzzle-platformer Vitrum is now available at developer 9heads Game Studios' website.

In Vitrum, players obtain new abilities and power-ups from colored crystals in order to traverse challenging platforming sequences. The video above demonstrates the concept -- blue crystals make your character dash, for instance, while orange ones reverse gravity. Some of the level layouts seem quite tricky!

Vitrum is also up for vote at Steam Greenlight.

Freeware Game Pick: PacMan Portal (Dj_smart)

September 13, 2012 7:30 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

pacman portal.pngI suppose it simply had to be done, and, well, it finally happened: Pac-Man with portals. It's wisely (rather aptly too) named PacMan Portal, can be downloaded for free and will happily run on your Windows PCs. And, yes, PacMan Portal works absolutely brilliantly and will make your gaming brain work in odd ways. An absolutely essential download I will keep playing until someone releases Leisure Suit Mario.

Now, as the game is in Russian and despite the fact that I'm confident everyone will eventually figure things out, let me just tell you that you control Pac-Man with the arrow keys, aim the portal gun with the mouse, open blue portals with the left mouse button and orange ones with the right mouse button.

[A huge thank you to Chris Priestman for discovering this wonderful oddity and letting us know]

Demo: Trike (Ultimate Walrus)

September 12, 2012 11:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Lackadaisium developer Sebastian Janisz has released a free demo version of Trike, which he describes as "an intense action-arcade game in which you fight back an endlessly growing mass of writhing worms."

Trike's gameplay is brisk and claustrophobic -- players push back against encroaching worms using an arsenal of path-clearing weaponry. Janisz compares the player's struggle against Trike's environment to the terrain-deforming gameplay of games like Worms and Scorched Earth.

Janisz has set up a Steam Greenlight page for Trike, and notes that if the game is accepted for a Steam release, he will distribute 1,000 free download codes to anyone who requests one.

BitMonster Games' Lili Has A Release Date

September 12, 2012 6:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

While I'm not really a big fan of the whole fifteen-second teaser thing, I'm definitely looking forward for BitMonster's debut title. Described as a quirky action RPG hybrid with 'silky-smooth graphics and a cinematic storyline', Lili will put players in the role of the bespectacled Lili. According to what we previously learned, the game will apparently have a ton of items to collect, an amusing non-combat system and a regime or two to topple. How will that all work out? Who knows? We will, however, find out soon enough because the game will launch on September 21st 2012.

Official website here.

First Glimpse of The Burger Flipper

September 12, 2012 4:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

burgerflipper1.png What better way to commemorate your first attempt at creating a game in Adventure Game Studio than to make one about your food? In case it wasn't obvious already, The Burger Flipper contains fast food. It also has an average guy who goes by the name of Tom, his love interest, a boss that hates him and ... federal agents? We're not sure.

Either way, there's the super-useful AGS forum thread over here if you want to keep track of its development. More screenshots after the cut.

Freeware Game Pick: Cumulo Nimblers (Farbs)

September 12, 2012 2:00 PM | John Polson

PlayPen and Captain Forever developer Farbs just released party game Cumulo Nimblers. Ideally made for Xbox controllers, one to four players can also crowd around a keyboard to jump left and right on clouds to gather coins and build one's rainbow-ness. Gathering more than five coins is either a really good thing or a bad thing, as it causes players to burst into rainbow-flavored fireworks. Solo players even can enjoy the game by activating AI opponents using the Ctrl key plus any corresponding number key.

For those curious about how Cumulo Nimblers came to be, Farbs details its development as a Comics vs Games collaboration with artist John Martz and musicians Big Giant Circles and Disasterpeace. Farbs fans can consider it a fun time-filler until his online, multiplayer board game Card Hunter releases. An extended preview of Card Hunter is after the jump.

Browser Game Pick: SWOOOORDS! Colon Lords of the Sword (nihilocrat)

September 12, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Developer Kenneth Backus has released SWOOOORDS! Colon Lords of the Sword, a Gauntlet-like, dungeon-crawling brawler that's playable for free at Kongregate (requires Unity plugin). Downloadable versions for Windows and Mac are also available.

SWOOOORDS! is a challenging title in which players have just one life to survive waves of procedurally-generated dungeons and enemy mobs. While the web version is single-player, the downloadable edition supports cooperative play for up to four players. It looks like it could be a lot of fun, especially if you can round up a full party of four to play with.

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