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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 Game Pick: Millinaut (Shaun Inman / Neven Mrgan / Alex Ogle)

April 28, 2012 10:30 PM | Steve Cook

milli.png In Ludum Dare entry, Millinaut, you must find a new place for your beloved home planet. You shrink it and use your rocket to travel to a new galaxy, after which you shrink your rocket and carry both on your head. If it sounds a little offbeat.. it is.

With a planet and a rocket balanced on your head, you can detach either and use them as limited-timer platforms to gain access to higher places. You can also use either to destroy enemies and certain platforms (the rocket fires upwards, while the planet fires downwards). The goal in each level is to reach the trophy.

The black and white pixels are cute and some of puzzles are clever. Others feel awkward to solve and execute.

Play the game here.

Exploring Parallel 3D Space and Time with Oliver & Spike

April 28, 2012 4:30 PM | John Polson

Graphically intense 3D platformers are less common than their 2D counterparts these days, and Rock Pocket Games aims to ameliorate that with Oliver & Spike: Dimension Jumpers. The story goes that Oliver was separated from his parents when he was young and must uncover his past and future by traveling through the different dimensions. The game will be single player or co-op, where the other player can control Spike the dog.

The game contains different puzzles which often require switching dimensions to exploit their specific physics. I've seen swapping happen on a 2D scale, but I haven't seen it as much with such luscious 3D backgrounds. Players will not only switch to other dimensions, they will also have the power to switch to and explore completely different universes.

Trailer: Syder Arcade (Studio Evil)

April 28, 2012 8:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Studio Evil has assembled a trailer for its recently released horizontally scrolling shooter Syder Arcade, available for Windows and Mac via the company's website, Impulse, and Desura.

Inspired by classics of the Amiga era (as evidenced by the live-action sequences in the excellent trailer above), Syder Arcade emphasizes that it's not a bullet-hell shooter, focusing on reaction speed rather than pattern memorization. The game includes five levels, three playable ships, and 20 different "retro graphic flavours" that replicate the visuals of various computer systems.

Syder Arcade is priced at $7.99. A free demo version is also available.

Galcon Creator Phil Hassey Debuts New Dynamite Jack Trailer

April 27, 2012 11:00 PM | Danny Cowan

In the new trailer above, Galcon series developer Phil Hassey shows off the many ways in which you can expect to die in his upcoming stealth-action title Dynamite Jack.

Dynamite Jack's optional "Roger Wilco mode" features post-death animations designed to improve game flow, as players are expected to die frequently. Hassey notes that the animations can be turned off, should players find them to be too over-the-top. I think they're neat -- they really give the game an added dash of personality.

Bonus: if you want some insight regarding what's involved in creating a Dynamite Jack level, Hassey has documented his building process in a time-lapse video. His blog also offers an interesting look at an early prototype version.

Dynamite Jack will launch May 10th for Windows and Mac.

Analogue: A Hate Story Now Available On Steam

April 27, 2012 9:00 PM | Danny Cowan

120427_hatestory.jpg

Christine Love's transhumanism-themed visual novel Analogue: A Hate Story is out now on Steam for Windows and Mac platforms.

A spiritual successor to Love's popular freeware title Digital: A Love Story, Analogue tasks players with unraveling the mysteries behind a failed interstellar colony launched in the 25th century. The game offers five endings to its non-linear narrative.

The Steam version of Analogue is priced at $9.99.

Browser Game Pick: Asylum (Orni)

April 27, 2012 6:07 PM | Cassandra Khaw

asylum.png Asylum is one of the more unsettling interpretations of the recent Ludum Dare 23's theme. Set within the confines of a padded cell, it is the story of one man's fight against his personal demons. And yes, that's all I'm going to tell you about the game. If I say anything more, it'd probably count as a spoiler. Asylum will probably take no more than five minutes of your time to play. However, it's definitely worth the experience.

Check out the game here.

Freeware Game Pick: This Precious Land (Ishisoft)

April 27, 2012 4:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

thispreciousland.png Ishisoft's Ludum Dare entry, This Precious Land, kind of needs a disclaimer, one that states 'Warning: Be Prepared To Lose Inordinate Amounts Of Time To This Precious Land'. A simple yet attractively presented sandbox construction/toy, This Precious Land was apparently partially inspired by games like Triple Town and Settlers. It can be rather confusing in the beginning as you come to terms with the game's rules. However, after a while, it can become a rather hypnotic experience.

Bieg and Nasser on Sexy Joysticks and Subversion in Swordfight

April 27, 2012 2:00 PM | John Polson

swordfight small.pngKurt Bieg and Ramsey Nasser, the creators behind this week's Swordfight, used "plain, stupid fun" to breathe life into decades-old peripherals and to test the boundaries of players' comfort.

With crotch-mounted Atari 2600 joysticks, a player in Swordfight must touch the other's action button, while their arms are (optionally) bound behind their backs. The duo learned this awkward, intimate interaction can be fun, to the point of being emotionally releasing, as long as the rules of engagement and tools used keep the game "safe".

Subverting, or re-purposing, technology isn't anything new. Die Gute Fabrik showed the world two very different games people can play with PlayStation Move controllers: the award-winning Johan Sebastian Joust and Dog the Wag.

Bieg, being particularly fond of subversion, jumped at the chance to make Swordfight a reality, even though it started out two weeks ago as an inappropriate conversation between him, Nasser, and friend Kaho Abe. Swordfight was then developed and playtested at the Eyebeam Art + Technology Center and eventually was taken to the street for public exhibition.

In the following Q&A, Nasser and Bieg tag-teamed their responses to provide extra insight into their experiment.

Kickstarter Update: Republique Announced For PC And Mac

April 27, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Responding to a barrage of community requests, Camouflaj announced that its proposed stealth-action title Republique will now be released for Windows and Mac platforms, provided that the project's funding goal is met.

Previously announced as an iOS-exclusive release, Republique's new ports will be "specifically designed for PC and Mac with new features, gameplay and story elements that speak to the strengths of the platform." Republique's developers discuss specific changes in the update video above.

Republique has earned over $100,000 in pledges so far, and has two weeks left to reach its funding goal of $500,000. Supporters who pledge $15 or more will receive a copy of the Windows or Mac edition upon its release.

Browser Game Pick: itty 8bitty (Matt Grimm)

April 27, 2012 7:30 AM | Steve Cook

8bit.png Sometimes the simplest of concepts can be enjoyable, providing that the execution is just right, as is the case with Ludum Dare entry, itty 8bitty. It all boils down to a basic memory game: memorize the directional key presses to get from the blue square to the green square before the screen turns white and then put them into practice. After a few simple levels, the game will start to put your memory to the test.

Its soundtrack, sound effects and graphical appearance literally ooze Matt Grimm's love for the NES and work well with an idea that could have very easily been less than captivating.

If you're looking for some simple, bare-bones enjoyment, play it here.
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