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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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Kickstarter Projects: Word Realms (Asymmetric)

May 17, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Kingdom of Loathing developer Asymmetric has launched a Kickstarter campaign for its online competitive RPG Word Realms.

Described as "like a fisticuffs Scrabble, without a board," Word Realms is a vocabulary puzzler in which players attack opponents by building words from a series of letter tiles. The game will feature a similar style of humor as Kingdom of Loathing, and will include music from Gaby Alter (aka Gminor7 from MC Frontalot's band).

Backers who pledge $11 or more will receive a DRM-free copy of the game upon its launch for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Other pledge rewards include t-shirts ($110), soundtrack CDs ($230), and personalized in-game NPCs (starting at $370). Recognizing its audience of hardcore KoL fans, Asymmetric also offers an exclusive Kingdom of Loathing in-game item for a $37 pledge.

Browser Game Pick: Lilac.27 (oddgoo)

May 17, 2012 7:30 AM | Steve Cook

lilac.png Lilac.27 is a third person shooter, set on strange, alien planets. You are a cosmonaut named Lilac and you are out to defeat all the galactic vermin. Use the WASD keys to move and the spacebar to jump. Use your left mouse button to shoot and hold it down for a more powerful trajectory. Once you have destroyed all the enemies on one planet, you must find the spring, which will catapult you to the next.

The movement does feel stiff and enemies can be frustrating to target. However, graphically, the game is an adorable mixture of pixelated 2d and 3d, which totally sold me on playing all the way to the end.

The original Ludum Dare 23 version can be played here. The recommended post-compo version can be played here.

Browser Game Pick: It's a tab (brackcurly)

May 17, 2012 3:00 AM | John Polson

its a tab.jpgBrackcurly's top-down adventure It's a tab rightfully earns top marks in both innovation and theme Ludum Dare 23's "tiny world" competition. Players are sucked into a tiny pixelated world by a mysterious force and must escape before going crazy.

This is one tiny world! As tiny as it is, though, I'd appreciate closer respawn points. I won't totally spoil the innovative surprise, but I can say I never imagined playing a game in such a space before.

Without spoiling more, give gold (1st place) Theme and silver Innovation winner, It's a tab a try, if you have a recent version of Firefox, Chrome, or Opera. Be sure to have a magnifying glass handy.

Kickstarter Projects: Legend of the Time Star (Attack Mountain)

May 16, 2012 11:00 PM | Danny Cowan

New York City indie collective Attack Mountain is entering the final week of its Kickstarter campaign for Legend of the Time Star, a retro-styled action-RPG for PC platforms.

Legend of the Time Star is a side-scrolling, combat-focused title that seeks to replicate the look and feel of SNES-era action-RPGs. The game will be developed in collaboration with noted composer Jake "virt" Kaufman, and boasts a deep character customization system, along with a weapon-forging component.

Legend of the Time Star has earned over $13,000 toward its goal of $57,500 as of this writing, with seven days left in the campaign. A copy of the game will be given to backers who pledge $10 or more.

Dear Esther Sells Over 100K, Out Now For Mac

May 16, 2012 9:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Indie developer thechineseroom released a Mac version of its IGF award-winning first-person adventure game Dear Esther this week, and announced that it has sold more than 100,000 units since its initial launch.

"This is a huge landmark for us and I'm still completely taken aback by how well it's done," notes Dear Esther art designer Robert Briscoe.

"I have to admit I was a little unsure as to what to expect from sales of Dear Esther once we went to retail, we all were -- there was no real benchmark to go by at the time, so I'm extremely pleased to see so many people enjoying the game, and most importantly, proving that gamers are open and eager to new ideas and experiences outside of the boundaries of 'traditional' gameplay."

Dear Esther is regularly priced at $9.99, but is available for $4.99 via Steam until May 17th at 4 PM PST.

Freeware Game Pick: Fallen City (Big Robot)

May 16, 2012 6:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

bigrobot.jpg Big Robot Games' newly released Fallen City is an educational game centered around the titular settlement. A cutesy-looking offering that was the result of a comission from Channel 4, Fallen City will have you taking command of a troop of Angries, a blocky cadre of characters, even as you attempt to turn their run-down home into something that their hypothetical children will be proud of.

It's an almost wistful endeavor. People in real life seldom seem this willing to fling themselves into the community service. Nonetheless, it's still a nice thought and more than a decent game to share with your possible brood.

Download the game here.

Demo: McPixel (Sos Sosowski)

May 16, 2012 4:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

What would you do if you had twenty seconds to save the world? If you're one Mr. McPixel, you would kick things. Between the legs. Repeatedly. McPixel first began life as a Ludum Dare entry 21. An odd little point & click game, it asked players to make strange decisions within the span of twenty seconds so as to be able to save the day. Vaguely reminiscent of those Warioware, the original was an absolute riot.

However, not content with the adoration of the Ludum Dare crowd, its creator went ahead and made a full version of the game, which will, barring unfortunate circumstances, be released on June 6th. In celebration of its upcoming release, the developer has unveiled a new demo as well!

You can find the game here.

Indie Royale Debuts its First All-Charity Pack

May 16, 2012 10:10 AM | John Polson

indieroyale image.jpgThe and Desura co-created Indie Royale is proud to present a very special game bundle - All-Charity Pack, featuring four awesome indie games and three outstanding chiptune albums/EPs, with 100% of the proceeds going to four extremely worthy charities.

The bundle's generous developers have each hand-picked a charity for their game, including UNICEF's Haiti aid, vital human rights work from Amnesty International, free speech and privacy advocacy from the EFF, and the global poverty programs of ActionAid.

Headlining the bundle is Hemisphere Games' dreamlike physics puzzle game Osmos, available for Windows and Mac on Steam, Windows and Linux on Desura, and DRM-free on Windows, Mac and Linux. The game puts the player in the role of a single-celled organism, tasked with growing larger by absorbing all the other organisms around it. A.V. Club called it, "Moving in every sense of the word" and says, "Osmos mixes puzzle, action and strategy remarkably and all the while does it with great finesse and style." Blessed with an elegant minimalist electronic soundtrack, you'll progress from serenely ambient levels to varied and challenging worlds in this peaceful and engaging puzzler.

Next up is Erik Svedang's interactive fairytale Blueberry Garden, available for Windows on Steam, Desura, and DRM-free. An Independent Games Festival Grand Prize-winning experimental game about curiosity and exploration, you take on the role of a creature investigating a mysterious world. Try various fruits and use their effects to navigate the landscape more easily, and explore this playground of oddities in a living world with a marvelously offbeat soundtrack and multiple endings.

Browser Game Pick: Save Your Folks! (ilikescifi)

May 16, 2012 7:30 AM | Steve Cook

tower.png Save Your Folks! is a short, physics-based, tower-toppling puzzler, where you have to set off the bombs in order to manipulate the tower to fall down without letting any of the debris hit the tiny people, running around at the bottom of the screen.

There are only 8 levels and it shouldn't take long to figure out which bombs to explode first to make the towers collapse in the direction that you need them to. Watching the towers fall is the highlight of the game. The last level deviates from the 'save people' formula.

Save Your Folks! is a Ludum Dare 23 entry and can be played here.

Freeware Game Pick: Endless, Nameless (Adam Cadre)

May 16, 2012 5:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

endless nameless.pngAdam Cadre's first new game in years, the excellent Endless, Nameless, is a vast, demanding, fantasy text-adventure that will indeed remind you of the earliest attempts at interactive fiction. It does, after all, emulate the style of the venerable text-based dungeon crawlers of yore and even starts-off by exposing players to an 80s BBS welcome screen.

Endless, Nameless, besides being brilliantly written, does sport more than a few of the modern amenities text-adventurers have been used to and, interestingly, some simple CRPG mechanics too. You can play it online here or, better yet, download your very own copy here. Endless, Nameless runs on Windows, Linux, Mac OS, iOS and Android.

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