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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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Vlambeer Releases Space Murder Prototype, Announces Luftrausers

April 24, 2012 9:00 PM | Danny Cowan

A recent blog post at Super Crate Box developer Vlambeer's website saw the release of the abandoned game Space Murder, along with an announcement of the studio's next release.

The prototype Flash version of Space Murder is free to play, though Vlambeer warns that it's "nowhere near done." Despite the bugs and placeholder elements, the game presents an intriguing blend of strategy and arena shoot-'em-up gameplay, and it's worth checking out if you're a fan of the studio's work.

Vlambeer additionally revealed the upcoming release of Luftrausers, an expanded version of last year's browser game Luftrauser. Further details will be announced next week, though Vlambeer's Rami Ismail tells Joystiq that the game is "basically Luftrauser redone from scratch, with everything ten times as spectacular."

Ismail continues: "The biggest difference is that you'll be able to build your own Rauser. We've got the full Super Crate Box art-team in the shape of Paul 'Pietepiet' Veer and Roy Nathan de Groot working on it. KOZILEK will be back to redeem his spot for the amazing soundtrack."

Browser Game Pick: Exposed (Carduus/01101101/Mathieu)

April 24, 2012 6:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

exposed.png So, the story goes something like this. You're the Elvis-haired nephew of an old scientist. One day, you accidentally break one of your uncle's World Balls and he gets rather understandably annoyed. I would want my relatives to handle my precious orbs better too. Thanks to your error, however, you now have to work on producing yet another globe filled with evolved critters for him. To do so, you're going to have to make use of the lab's eclectic collection of item. There's a lot of trial and error here, something made a little more palatable by the amusing sound effects and great music.

Check out the game here.

Browser Game Pick: /follow (Carduus/01101101/Mathieu Hallouin)

April 24, 2012 4:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

follow.png Short and sweet, /follow was actually an entry in the previous Ludum Dare. Nonetheless, it was a little too awesome not to share.An interesting take on Ludum Dare 22's theme, /follow, well, follows a young woman's attempt to elude her deeply frustrated bodyguard. The game itself is rather simple point & click affair. In order to proceed from one screen to another, you're going to have to figure how to work with the environment in order to form a proper diversion. /follow will probably take you all of five minutes or so to finish but it's definitely worth that brief interlude.

Play the game here.

Indie Royale Profiles: Inferno+, Slydris, and Ballistic (Radiangames)

April 24, 2012 2:00 PM | John Polson


[Guest reviewer Colin Brown from Backlog Journey profiles the games in Indie Royale's Spring Bundle. In this final profile, he looks at a trio of arcade-style hits from Radiangames.]

Ballistic
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Desura, DRM Free

Last in the Spring Bundle is a trio of titles from shoot-em-up indie superstar Radiangames. If that name rings a bell, Radiangames is the developer of Super Crossfire, previously featured in the New Years Indie Royale (and my personal highlight from that bundle). All three games included in this go around are former entries in their Quadtastic Launch Collection that brought many of their games to PC, and they've all got that same sort of glowing digital art style, but the games are quite a bit different from each other and from Super Crossfire.

First up is Ballistic, which is essentially the most distilled version of a twin stick shooter imaginable. Control a circle, shoot every other circle, and try your best to survive. There's very little effort to change up the formula or add in gimmicks, so you're left with the purest arcade shooter imaginable. In terms of how it looks and sounds, the presentation fairly amazing. It has the cool neon Radiangames look about it, with stylized explosions and sharp, simplified graphics, while the soundtrack is appropriately thumping and sounds pretty awesome.

Browser Game Pick: A Super Mario Summary (Johan Peitz)

April 24, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

120423_mariosummary.jpg

Johan Peitz (Bathos, Icy Tower) turns every level in the original Super Mario Bros. into a single-screen puzzle-platformer in A Super Mario Summary, a free Flash game created for Ludum Dare.

While many of Mario's essential elements didn't survive the transition to single-screen gameplay (some mechanics are different, and there aren't any warp zones), each level's defining features are largely intact. You can expect to encounter Lakitu in World 4-1, for instance, and you'll meet up with those damned flying Cheep-Cheeps at 2-3.

It also succeeds at being a fun game in its own right, and the scoring mechanic encourages replay; up to three stars can be earned in each level depending on the height players reached at the flagpole, and a bonus is awarded if all coins are collected. It can be a real challenge to reach the top of the pole in some of the more difficult levels!

[via Free Indie Games]

Browser Game Pick: Neun Und Neunzig (LIDgames)

April 24, 2012 7:30 AM | Steve Cook

Neun Und Neunzig.png Neun Und Neunzig was developed for the Something Awful Bi-Weekly Game Jam, in which participants were asked to take a song and gamify it.

You must burst 3 balloons to complete each level across a total of 33 levels. Avoid spikes and falls by performing jumps, double jumps and wall jumps. A chiptuned version of 99 Luftballons plays in the background.

The minimalistic, chunky pixel art fits perfectly with the minimalistic mechanics and chiptune. Want to play? Do it here.

Seinfeld-inspired 5th Ave Frogger Uses Real-time Traffic Data

April 24, 2012 3:00 AM | John Polson

fifth ave frogger.jpgLast week, artist Tyler DeAngelo and friends took Konami's iconic Frogger to the literal streets.

Inspired by an episode of Seinfield, in which George Costanza is trying to keep his high score in a game of Frogger and running through traffic with the cabinet, 5th Ave Frogger takes the real-time traffic on New York City's 5th Avenue and maps it into a game of Frogger.

"I really wanted to keep as much of the original machine intact as possible," explains DeAngelo to Gamasutra, "which made things much harder than it would have been to just install a new screen and computer."

"I wanted to change as little as possible," he continues. "The concept is pretty simple: My office overlooks 5th Ave, so I installed a web cam that sends a live video feed to a processor that we installed in the arcade machine. My friend Ranjit wrote the real-time motion tracking software that translates the positions of the cars from the video feed into data that we apply to old school-looking graphics."

The pair spent the next eight months putting the build together, with plenty of trial and error involved, and finished up with a cabinet that allows the player to hop across 5th Avenue with the actual real-time traffic mapped onto the screen.

Browser Game Picks: Fracuum (Tyler Glaiel) and Fractality (Zaratustra)

April 24, 2012 1:00 AM | John Polson

frac games.pngWhat do you do after creating a multiple award-winning game for PlayStation Network? If you're Closure developer Tyler Glaiel, you go back to your Flash roots and participate in the "tiny world" themed Ludum Dare. Glaiel's Fracuum has a recursive stage design, built on a top-down dungeon perspective that made me think of Atari's Adventure, minus that freaky, haunting dragon. Players will earn points as they go deeper into the game and eventually uncover something that changes the tides. If only I could use that on Grundle's face...

Thanks to Terry Cavanagh's Free Indie Games blog, I happened upon Fractality by Eversion developer Zaratustra. Instead of a top-down dungeon feel, Fractality concerns itself with platforming and puzzle solving while growing or shrinking to get further into the recursively tiny world.

After seeing these two takes on stages-inside-stages, I'm ready for some game-inside-game themes... Then again, I'm not quite sure what that means, so I guess I'll just go one more round with the awesome Fractality and Fracuum.

Lone Survivor Out Now On Steam

April 23, 2012 11:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Jasper Byrne's acclaimed side-scrolling survival horror title Lone Survivor is now available for purchase via Steam for Windows and Mac.

Released last month, Lone Survivor is a dark tale in which the player's character must scrounge for food and fend off mutated creatures in a disease-ravaged city. Drugs found throughout the town can reduce the need for food and sleep, but rely on them too much and your character will suffer from hallucinations.

Lone Survivor can be picked up for $7.99 during its launch week, and will be priced at $9.99 afterward. A free demo version is available at Kongregate.

Cockfighting Hits Below The Belt: Swordfight

April 23, 2012 9:00 PM | Danny Cowan

120423_swordfight.jpgKurt Bieg and Ramsey Nasser (of Twirdie and Circadia fame) have unveiled Swordfight, a unique physical game in which two players compete using a pair of crotch-mounted Atari 2600 joysticks.

The object of Swordfight is to poke the action button on your opponent's controller using your own joystick. Players may also be handcuffed behind the back, for an extra bit of flair and/or sexual tension. The grimy street corner setting really completes the experience, I think.

The game's Tumblr site includes several picture sets of couples engaged in awkward jousting (pictured above: girl-on-guy; also available: guy-on-guy, girl-on-girl). A demonstration video also proves enlightening.

[Title credit/blame: J. Polson]

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