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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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Release: Organ Trail (The Men Who Wear Many Hats)

January 11, 2013 6:00 PM | Danny Cowan

The Men Who Wear Many Hats have released Organ Trail: Director's Cut, a zombie survival game for Windows, Mac, and Linux inspired by the edutainment classic The Oregon Trail.

Organ Trail follows The Oregon Trail's survival-based gameplay formula, but replaces the stagecoach with a station wagon on a trek across the zombie apocalypse-tainted American wasteland. In addition to facing familiar challenges like food shortages and dysentery, players will also have to fight off roadside bandits, flee zombie invasions, and put down afflicted party members once the zombie infection takes hold.

Organ Trail: Director's Cut is priced at $4.99, and is available as a DRM-free download from the Humble Store. Steam keys will be given to all buyers once the game has been successfully greenlit.

Top 10 Free Puzzle Games for 2012

January 11, 2013 2:00 PM | John Polson

Puzzles: so many games incorporate them well, but to create puzzles so masterfully that they can stand on their own is an art worth celebrating and maintaining.

In an age where indies have more options than ever to monetize and commercialize their work, it's also worth celebrating when developers release fascinating games for free, be it for practice, for fame, for fans, or for the love of their craft.

The Top 10 Free Puzzle Games of 2012 collects the year's finest freeware and browser-based puzzle games from the masterminds Michael Brough (smestorp), Stephen Lavelle (increpare), Mahdi Bahrami, Eyemaze, and more.

Fieldrunners 2 Out Now on Steam

January 11, 2013 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Following up on its well-received debut for iOS last year, Subatomic Studios' tower defense sequel Fieldrunners 2 has launched for Windows via Steam.

Fieldrunners 2 builds on the success of its predecessor with numerous new weapon types, improved enemy AI, and a 20-hour single-player campaign. The game also boasts new challenge modes, including a collection of Time Trial and Puzzle levels. Also, there's a tower that shoots beehives. That's pretty great.

Fieldrunners 2 is regularly priced at $9.99, but is available for $8.99 during its launch week.

Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller, Episode 1 Review

January 11, 2013 9:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

cognition1.pngThe first episode of Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller, the one merrily subtitled The Hangman, is the first commercial game by Phoenix Online Studios; the team responsible for the impressive The Silver Lining 3D take on the King's Quest universe. Cognition, of course, has nothing to do with the family friendly fairy-tale world of Daventry and its pretty nonsensical puzzles and is all the better for it.

Being, on the other hand, a game that employs the talents of the mighty Jane Jensen of Gabriel Knight fame as a story consultant, Cognition is a dark, gritty and almost traditional point-and-click adventure. It's an excellent game too and one that made it into our 2012 Top 10 indie adventures, but more on that later.

Skulls of the Shogun Passes Certification, Release Info Announced

January 10, 2013 9:00 PM | Danny Cowan

After an extended development period, 17-BIT's anticipated "fast-paced turn-based strategy game" Skulls of the Shogun has passed Microsoft certification and will release January 30. The game will cost 1200 MS Points ($15) for XBLA, Windows 8 and Surface, and $6.99 for Windows Phone via the Windows Phone Marketplace

The announcement follows up on Skulls of the Shogun's honorable mention in the Technical Excellence category of this year's Independent Games Festival and the recent conclusion of its three-year press tour.

10 Indie Games Scene Shakers in 2012

January 10, 2013 4:00 PM | Staff

Thumbnail image for super hexagon long gama.jpgThe "scene" that envelops indie games has grown exponentially, as players are finding more freeware, browser, and commercial games than ever before. Accompanying the marketing, releasing, and making of such games naturally were bold steps and missteps.

Thanks to the mostly transparent nature of indie development, there is much more to learn than what used to stay behind heavily ironclad doors.

This feature takes a look at some of the most meaningful events in 2012 and reflects on their impact on indie games and developers, including bundles, Steam and IGF changes, Pirate Kart, and piracy.

Indie Royale co-ownership shifts to Tenshi Ventures

January 10, 2013 2:13 PM | Staff

indieroyale image.jpgIndieGames.com and Gamasutra parent the UBM Tech Game Network has transferred its 50% share in the Indie Royale game bundle to UK games investment firm Tenshi Ventures. Desura remain the co-owners of the other 50%.

Indie Royale, which was set up in October 2011, brings together high-quality independent games approximately every two weeks, and makes them collectively available for a heavily discounted price for PC and/or Mac and Linux, while allowing buyers to support emerging indie creators. It has collectively sold over 500,000 bundles and more than 2.5 million games over more than 25 separate bundle deals.

Tenshi Ventures, which is run by veteran British developers Ian Baverstock and Jonathan Newth, has more than 30 years experience in the game industry. It intends to leverage its contacts and the existing roster of previously bundled Indie Royale creators to expand and diversify offerings to eager gameplayers worldwide.

Ian Baverstock, who has also been Chairman of UK developer association Tiga, said "We're currently seeing a golden age of indie development; we've been developing games for over 20 years and are passionate about helping indie developers reach a bigger audience and get better recognition & reward for their games. Getting involved with Indie Royale is a great way to do that."

Scott Reismanis, Desura's founder, said "It's great to have the team from Tenshi Ventures on board. Their experience and contacts in the industry will be invaluable in helping us grow the bundle for all the indie partners we work with."

GDC 2013 adds Capy, Shellrazer, Yamove! Summit talks

January 10, 2013 1:30 PM | John Polson

Game Developers Conference 2013 organizers have revealed the latest Summit talks scheduled for the March conference, including Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP collaborator Capy on the viability of paid Apps, Ninja Robot Dinosaur Entertainment's approach for IAP in iOS hit Shellrazer, and a unique collaboration between engineering students and indie game developers resulting in dance battle game/Indiecade finalist Yamove!

These talks are part of the Smartphone & Tablet, Independent, and GDC Education Summits that will take place Monday, March 25 and Tuesday, March 26 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA.

Nathan Vella of Capy, the Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP collaborator and Critter Crunch creator, will examine the smartphone and tablet app market in 'Still Kicking: The Viability of Paid Apps in the Era of F2P.'

Vella will impart the risks of free-to-play as a small studio and the continued viability of developing paid apps. He will also paint a clear picture of the paid app market while showing how to leverage the opportunities in the paid app space.

Complementing Vella's paid App talk is Shane Neville of Ninja Robot Dinosaur Entertainment's 'Shellrazer - Designing In-App Purchase Without Losing Your Soul' for the Independent Games Summit.

Indie Gala Magicka Bundle Offers Trine, You Are Empty, and More

January 10, 2013 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Indie Gala's latest pay-what-you-want bundle offers up a collection of eight Steam-redeemable games, including standouts like Paradox's Magicka and Frozenbyte's Trine.

Pay any amount for the Magicka Bundle ($1 minimum) and you'll receive a Steam copy of Trine, along with a DRM-free download for Digital Spray Studios' first-person shooter You Are Empty. Buyers who pay more than the average purchase price (currently $5.89) will also receive Magicka, Magicka: Vietnam, Deponia, Painkiller: Black Edition, and Cities in Motion.

Beat the average and you'll also receive two additional Steam-redeemable titles, to be unlocked in the bundle's second week. Buyers may optionally divide the purchase price among the bundle's featured developers, the AbleGamers charity, and Gala Project X, a "new exciting videogame project" from Indie Gala organizers that will be unveiled in the coming weeks.

Top 10 Indie Adventure Games of 2012

January 10, 2013 9:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

resonanceHeaderTop.pngAdventure games were never really dead; everybody knows that. Besides, the indie scene, even before the term indie was such a widely used word, was one of the main pillars of the genre and a wild incubator of new ideas, tools, sub-genres and practices. In our post Double Fine Adventure Kickstarter, Wadjet Eye Games and Telltale days then, during a most obvious genre renaissance, it's only natural that the indie adventure is blooming in all its forms and shapes.

Choosing the top 10 adventures of 2012 has thus been a most challenging task and we're sure to have skipped some rather brilliant offerings, but we are pretty confident the 10 games presented here are both excellent and representative of what indie adventures excel at:

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