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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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Browser Pick: One, 'an abstract puzzle game about desire and homosexuality'

April 7, 2013 11:14 PM | John Polson

One QUILTBAG.pngBrowser game One is an abstract puzzler about desire and homosexuality, as described by its creators, Saxon Douglass (Love Hotel) and Harriet Lloyd. The game was made this weekend for MIT's QUILTBAG Jam, which focused on making queer games.

The goal in One should be rather evident, once you click the mouse to nudge your green square in the direction of other colored squares. The developers created One using Brian Moriarty's Perlenspiel, which is a tool new to me and the blog, so I thought I'd mention it, too.

Aliceffekt's Hiversaires and m7kenji's Bugtronica Debut at Picotachi Vol.1

April 7, 2013 9:00 PM | jeriaska

msa-limbo-478.jpg

Tokyo's Pico Pico Cafe is located across the street from Kichijouji station, several blocks from where the annual Fami-Mode Famicom festival takes place each January.

The coffee shop derives its name from the onomatopoeic Japanese term for the bright pixels and blippy chiptunes of vintage game machines. Run by independent developer Joseph White and his wife Natsuko, last night Pico Pico hosted its debut volume of the Picotachi show-and-tell gathering.

Browser Picks: Japan's DanceEvolution Arcade-themed games of Murigee 12

April 7, 2013 12:59 PM | John Polson

tansu zoku.pngThe most recurring joke in Japan's 12th, DanceEvolution-themed Murigee (a 48-hour game jam) is again a simple play on words. "Dansu" (dance) was switched for "tansu" (chest drawer), and mild hilarity ensued. Tansu Zoku (chest tribe), pictured above, involves quickly discerning and inputting the scrambled number to pose before the rest of the tribe. I keep losing the last, speedy round, so good luck there! Tansu ikusei evolution (drawer nurturing evolution) has you click to feed it clothes, rub it to raise its spirits, and drag insect repellent to nurture the drawer.

More musically inclined games include Mouse Mouse Evolution, which requires you to quickly scroll across a tiny keyboard, making sure you highlight the correct key when the blue bars reach the bottom. Murigee Ondo (marching song) asks for a bit of memorization and predictability to have you move the mouse into the pink circular dance areas to score points.

The full list of Murigee entries is here.

Freeware Pick: battle trains online, learn to write AI code in Germanunkol's trAInsported

April 6, 2013 6:59 PM | John Polson

Wiki-based RPG developer and electrical engineer Germanunkol (Micha Pfeiffer) has created a game that pits players' self-programmed trains against each other in a live online battle to transport the most passengers. The free trAInsported teaches how to program the trains' AI code in Lua tutorials.

In addition to online battles, trAInsported offers challenge maps that require certain AI written to complete different tasks. Crafty players can code their own challenge maps and share them through the website. trAInsported's executable is available for Windows. The developer also shared the source code, which he says can run across Mac and Linux with the Löve2D engine.

Those interested in Micha's inspiration can read further.

Greenlight + Indiegogo: Hox The Last Ship brings story to autorunning

April 6, 2013 1:16 PM | Anthony Swinnich

There have been quite a few autorunners released in the past few years, but few have featured much in the way of story. Hox The Last Ship, however, is looking to break free and may take the genre to new narrative heights.

Hox is set post-apocalypse, the Earth ravaged by a catastrophe so bad it's causing many people to flee the very planet itself. The goal, as is referenced in the title, is to get onboard the last ship and leave this ruined world behind. Your journey will be filled with danger like bottomless pits to leap over or street sign-wielding rhinoceros-men to hack past with your sword. You will also come across survivors whose conversations can influence the direction of your adventure depending on your dialogue choices, guiding you toward one of the game's multiple endings.

While Hox is currently scheduled for a PC release, Android and iPhone versions are possible if the developer reaches the proper goals on its Indiegogo page. The game is also up for voting through Steam's Greenlight.

Visual novel Analogue: A Hate Story sequel, Hate Plus, coming Summer 2013

April 6, 2013 11:59 AM | John Polson

hate plus.jpgChristine Love's visual novel Analogue: A Hate Story officially received a sequel announcement via her blog. Hate Plus, due Summer 2013, continues directly from the end of Analogue and explores the events leading up to year 0. For those familiar with the characters, Christine notes, "If Analogue was the backstory of *Hyun-ae, then Hate Plus is the backstory of *Mute."

Hate Plus will continue from the first game's save file, and each ending "will have its own route with equal focus. It plays similarly to Analogue, but instead of your AI companion simply showing you files they've picked, you'll have to investigate yourself, and discover what happened together!"

Release: Evoland, a pixel-to-polygon trip through action-adventure history

April 5, 2013 4:01 PM | John Polson

Shiro Games' pixel-to-polygon progression through action-adventure history, Evoland, is now available for Mac and Windows on Steam and GOG for $8.99. Players will unlock new technologies, gameplay systems and graphic upgrades as they progress, with nods to classics such as Legend of Zelda and Final Fantasy throughout the game.

According to developer Nicolas Cannasse, Evoland takes around 4 hours to complete the base scenario and 2-3 more hours to find the secrets. The game has certainly grown since its win in Ludum Dare. Those who want to play the free original before diving into the large expansion can do so here.

Demo + Indiegogo: DreadOut is the very picture of horror, set in Indonesia

April 5, 2013 11:04 AM | Anthony Swinnich

Digital Happiness is a misleadingly named developer. The team is currently working on DreadOut -- a game it is hoping is so scary you'll have to scoop the dread out of your pants by the time you've finished playing.

This third-person horror title has taken some cues from the Fatal Frame series, namely the use of a camera to combat ghosts and the switching to first-person perspective to do so. The aim is to take you back to your childhood fears, as you explore an Indonesian city haunted with the restless spirits of the dead.

The demo is Windows-only for now (Linux and Mac are coming) and can be found on the DreadOut Indiegogo page. Why not give it a spin, and see if you don't find a present in your shorts afterward?

Browser Pick: Porpentine makes Twine puzzly in How to Speak Atlantean

April 5, 2013 4:58 AM | John Polson

howtospeakatlantean.png"Every day is a new chance to push back the toxic sludge society teaches us" is just one of my takeaway points from Porpentine's musical feminist body cyborg body repair Twine adventure, How to Speak Atlantean.

I'm still trying to learn how fully to process Porpentese, the wonderful language used in her games, but I managed to appreciate at least two interestingly crafted Twine puzzles of sorts that I hadn't seen before. One consists of repairing a cyborg body; the other requires listening to the music.

Porpentine: an innovator of words and Twine game design. I don't want to spoil any more, so enjoy.

Freeware Pick: PUNKSNOTDEAD will punch you in the face with awesome

April 4, 2013 8:00 PM | Paul Hack

punksnotdead.jpgBuilt in less than 12 hours by Zak Ayles (AKA mooosh, creator of Sake Express Pro Wrestling), PUNKSNOTDEAD embodies the punk rock attitude to which it pays tribute. It's 1979 and everything is neon pink. What's a young punk to do but PUNCH EVERYONE IN THE FACE?

Use the arrow keys to run and jump and use the Z key to throw ludicrously powerful punches at every pedestrian. Cause chain reactions, explosions, and massive property damage while shouting obscenities. A sludgy punk song about getting punched in the face soundtracks the chaos as you fight your way down the street. Try not to get shot in the head by the occasional jerk in green (there are at least 3 ways to avoid it). Your opponents grow larger in number and size as more and more join the fray. You might find your pink self blending into the crowd, so be sure to stand out--and punch a lot of people! Make it to the end and you'll be rewarded with a tally of your destruction.

PUNKSNOTDEAD is like a punk rock song: brief, brash, energetic, and a hell of a lot of fun. Also, be sure to check out mooosh's other great games on his blog.

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