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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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Trailer: Backspace (Megabot)

January 15, 2013 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

York, UK-based developer Megabot shows off the estimated 4-6 years of work that went into its upcoming action game Backspace in the recently launched trailer above.

Boasting a striking visual style, Backspace blends overhead-view shoot-'em-up gameplay with Bomberman-like environmental destruction. It's currently in alpha (with a demo due out this spring), and judging by the footage above, it's shaping up well -- I hope to see more of this one soon!

Backspace is planned for release for Windows, Mac, and Linux later this year. iOS and Android ports are also in the works.

Kickstarter Projects - Skyjacker: Starship Constructor (DIGITILUS)

January 14, 2013 9:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Indie developer DIGITILUS seeks Kickstarter funding for Skyjacker: Starship Constructor, a standalone construction app that also serves as a milestone in the development of the studio's space combat game Skyjacker.

Though Skyjacker's previous Kickstarter project was unsuccessful, DIGITILUS continued development with support from its community, and the full game will be given to Starship Constructor backers who pledge $25 or more. An alpha demo version can be played online here (Unity plugin required).

Thus far, DIGITILUS has earned over $15,000 toward its funding goal of $30,000. Starship Constructor is being developed for Windows, Mac, and Linux. iOS and Android ports are also under consideration, pending stretch goal support.

[Thanks, John V!]

XBLIG/Windows Pick: Genix (Xpod Games UK)

January 14, 2013 6:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Over on the Xbox Live Indie Games service, developer Xpod Games UK has released Genix, a twin-stick shooter and puzzler presented in a unique behind-the-ship perspective.

Genix features 30 levels in which players must navigate mazes and engage in some light puzzle-solving as they eradicate invading alien forces. The presentation reminds me a bit of the maze segments from the vector arcade game Major Havoc, and the exploration elements give it a sense of depth that other twin-stick shooters lack.

Genix is priced at 240 Microsoft points ($3). A Windows version is also available at Desura, IndieCity, and Indievania.

Browser Game Pick: Steppin' Stones (Emiel de Graaf)

January 14, 2013 3:30 PM | John Polson

steppin stones.jpgPlayers complete the puzzles in Steppin' Stones on Kongregate and on Newgrounds by stepping the stones over each other to reach the dashed goal. From each numbered square, the player can lay that many stones in one of four directions. When there are stones already in the path, the next stone "steps over" that stone as it lays out its own.

Developer Emiel de Graaf has crafted 16 increasingly challenging puzzles that aren't too painful as to eat up an entire day. An aural tip, though: this game is probably more enjoyable on mute, since it has a very short, somewhat enervating jazz loop.

[source: Free Indie Games]

Freeware Game Pick: I, Mayor (coffeemuggames)

January 14, 2013 6:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

imayor.pngJust like Sim City and every other urban planning game ever I, Mayor fails to grasp the true processes governing urban evolution and the construction of metropolitan space. Oh well, I've come to accept the fact that the perfect city management game is decades away and one has to admit that I, Mayor is a great little something-to-play-with while we are waiting. It looks beautiful, comes with more than a few interesting ideas, is absolutely freeware, keeps its complexity within reason and is actually fun.

Browser Game Pick: Cry$tal Warrior Ke$ha (Porpentine)

January 13, 2013 5:00 PM | John Polson

kesha.jpgThe Cyberqueen of Twine whips up the new interactive text game CRY$TAL WARRIOR KE$HA for all those Ke$ha fans and haters. Heck, Porpentine's sometimes violent, always raw writing is for all lovers of words.

To get maximum torture pleasure, the developer encourages playing this song on loop. Such choices in this Ke$ha concert gone to hell include having to "drain your boyslave's virile energy to fuel your slutwave mantis transformation" versus "spray glitter from every orifice."

Mari0 creator Stabyourself releases Not Pacman with wheel support

January 13, 2013 1:00 PM | John Polson

Remember the Mario-Portal crossover game Mari0? Well, Stabyourself returns with a literal twist on the Pac-Man formula with Not Pacman for Windows, Mac, and Linux. This is Pac-Man Tilt for fans of the original Pac-Man.

Players must tilt the screen to guide the Pacman (no relation to Pac-Man) to the pellets and press up to speed up while generally avoiding collision with the ghosts. The game has a myriad of control schemes: mouse, keyboard, joystick, and even wheel. Hopefully someone will make a Not Pacman variant with a cockpit view for a total crusin' simulation.

Along with the Not Pacman game, coders can also download the source to play with.


WIP Release: Ensign-1 (Only Human Studios)

January 13, 2013 8:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Over at Desura, Only Human Studios is releasing regular updates for Ensign-1, an in-progress space combat game for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Ensign-1 puts players in the role of a space fighter pilot who, upon returning from a colonization mission in another solar system, finds Earth occupied by a hostile alien force. Players have a variety of options when it comes to engaging alien threats, either in single-player or cooperative/competitive multiplayer modes.

"You can fight from the safety of your spacecraft, or land and exit to explore space stations and carriers on foot," Ensign-1's developers explain. "You can commandeer any spacecraft in the game, no matter how big or how small. Defend an asteroid base, or take the fight to the enemy with a huge mothership, friends manning turrets, it's your choice."

Ensign-1 is currently available for $4.99, but will raise in price as it nears completion.

Browser Game Pick: Deadly Balls Bounce (Kenta Cho)

January 12, 2013 12:00 PM | John Polson

deadly balls bounce.jpgKenta Cho's latest experiment uses ricochet to the extreme in Deadly Balls Bounce. You have one life and automatically replenishing ammo (fired with "z" and "x" keys) and must blow up as many tanks as possible. Both your firepower and your enemies' will bounce off the vertical bars and sides of the side screen on the path of destruction.

Two risky elements add to the scoring mechanism here. The enemy tanks increase in value the longer they fall, and their value is multiplied by how many times your ball bounces before it collides with the enemy.

I came under heavy firepower so quickly that I found I couldn't employ a strategy so much as to fire rather frantically while trying to stay alive in Deadly Balls Bounce.

Windows/Android Release: Earth Defenders HD (InvaderGames)

January 12, 2013 8:00 AM | Danny Cowan

InvaderGames has released Earth Defenders HD, a "neo-retro styled arcade shooter" for Windows and Android that blends elements from the tower defense genre and Taito's arcade classic Space Invaders.

In Earth Defenders HD, players orbit a sphere at the center of the playfield, fending off alien invaders in either the 28-mission story mode or the wave-based Infinite mode. InvaderGames developer Manuel Etchegaray recommends playing Earth Defenders HD on a high-resolution Android tablet like the Nexus, in order to enjoy the game's full effect.

Earth Defenders HD is available as a free, ad-supported download for Android. The Windows version is priced at $3.99, and is also available in a $9.99 Special Edition that includes an ad-free Android apk.

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