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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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Indie Royale Revisits Hits from the Past in The Replay Bundle Vol. 1

January 8, 2013 10:30 AM | John Polson

From IndieGames' co-created site, Indie Royale, comes the Replay Bundle Vol. 1, offering five great titles that might have been missed the first time around. Included in this bundle are FPS and RTS hybrid experience Nuclear Dawn, futuristic tower-defense game Defense Grid: The Awakening, classic 2D adventure game Gemini Rue, and two fast-paced dungeon adventures Soulcaster I and II. Also included is a very special 56-track album bonus (a $20 value!) for those who pay $8 USD or their currency equivalent during this bundle, the 8 Bit Weapon Collection.

Browser Game Pick: CYBERQUEEN (Porpentine)

January 8, 2013 6:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

cyberqueen.pngPorpentine is a master of words, worlds and disturbingly novel settings and her latest freeware game, the excellent CYBERQUEEN, is one of those Twine text-only offerings you can't afford to miss. It's a dark, demented, sci-fi piece set in a sentient and apparently villainous spaceships sporting some almost erotic prose, brilliantly thought-out interactions and some particularly dynamic text. It's quite the masterpiece really and one that will definitely remind you of System Shock.

As an added bonus, you'll even get to play with its source code too.

Act 1 Release: Kentucky Route Zero (Cardboard Computer)

January 7, 2013 9:00 PM | John Polson

Cardboard Computer has released the first act in its stylish adventure "about a secret highway of caves" and the people who travel it, Kentucky Route Zero, for $7 for Windows and Mac and a five-act bundle pre-purchase for $25 (Linux coming soon).

Those who don't care for tough-as-nails puzzles or skillful challenges are in luck, as Kentucky Route Zero instead focuses on "characterization, atmosphere, and storytelling."

Being an IGF finalist, Kentucky Route Zero earns a distribution deal to eventually end up on Steam. However, I imagine the developer would appreciate the support now to help fund and expedite the release of the other four acts.

[source: @aeiowu]

2013 Independent Games Festival announces Main Competition finalists

January 7, 2013 12:01 PM | Staff

igffinal 2013.jpgThe Independent Games Festival (IGF) juries are announcing the Main Competition finalists for its historic 15th annual awards - nominating nearly 30 outstanding independent game titles to come out of the worldwide community in the past year.

This year's finalists for the most prestigious independent video game awards and showcase were each picked by a discipline-specific set of expert juries, following playthroughs and recommendations of the 580+ IGF entries from over 200 top independent game experts.

Some of the multiple-nominated games for this year's extremely diverse Festival include Cardboard Computer's 'magical realist adventure game' Kentucky Route Zero, Subset Games' spaceship sim 'Roguelike-like' FTL, and Richard Hofmeier's stark, dense street vendor simulator Cart Life.

The first-ever Excellence in Narrative Award is also showcasing unique titles such as Blendo Games' quirky 'first-person short story' Thirty Flights Of Loving, Auntie Pixelante's autobiographical game about a trans woman undergoing HRT, Dys4ia, and The Fullbright Company's abandoned house mystery Gone Home.

The Nuovo Award, once again honoring 'abstract... and unconventional game development' of all kinds, also saw many standout games competing for its $5,000 prize, including Sleeping Beast's irreverent local co-op sci-fi smartphone game Spaceteam, Michael Brough's 'one move a day for 100 days' VESPER.5,and Mousechief's multi-generational family history title 7 Grand Steps.

The full list of finalists for the 2013 Independent Games Festival, with jury-picked "honorable mentions" to those top-quality games that didn't quite make it to finalist status, is as follows:

Kickstarter Projects: Neocolonialism (Subaltern Games)

January 7, 2013 7:30 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

Ever since playing the early, freeware version of Neocolonialism, I was hoping this brilliant idea (and great implementation) of a game would evolve into something more and maybe even into something available on more than one platforms. Well, it seems the material world has dialectically responded to my idealist hopes and Subaltern Games are preparing a cross-platform, full featured, geographically provoking release of the game that should be completed around August 2013, provided of course we help the Kickstarter campaign reach its humble $10,000 goal.

$10 will earn you the complete game upon release and will thus let you become the crazed, ueber-powerful capitalist that will finally and decisively ruin the world; just like your parents wished you to. Oh, and you can already get some free enlightenment and corporate fun by trying Neocolonialism's free alpha.

Browser Game Pick: The Brink (RADMARS)

January 7, 2013 1:00 AM | John Polson

the brink.pngLudum Dare villain-themed entry The Brink is a fast-paced, arcade-action game where players assume the role of a cute grim reaper. Across three stages, players must dash and destroy various orbs (sometimes in a special order) to progress while nullifying flying hearts and spewing heads.

As is often the case, the grim reaper here can't die. Instead, time is the true enemy, and the opposition merely exists to freeze the reaper in its tracks. When the timer hits zero, players must watch out for that damn doctor, or else it's game over.

Any game that encourages a lot of frantic dashing and controls well is okay in my book. The Brink was a late find for Ludum Dare 25, but it might just show up again when the results are announced soon.

[source: @Azurenimbus]

Blocks That Matter OST free remix by Souleye, Disasterpeace and 7 more artists

January 6, 2013 3:00 PM | John Polson

reworks that matter.jpgDisasterpeace (Fez, KRUNCH), Souleye (VVVVVV) and seven other talented artists have been digitally wrangled for a remix tribute to Morusque's Blocks That Matter original soundtrack. Entitled Reworks that matter, the album is available now for free.

Other artists that contributed include Z.E.P (Voxatron, Chocolate Castle), Romain Gauthier (Squids, Squids Wild West, EDGE, Magnetis), Sylvain Hellio (Hell Yeah!, Nervous Brickdown, Big Bang Mini), Yann & Guilhem Cleophas (Age of Enigma), DjMokram (Dynamite Headdy Secret Bonus Point), Clément Duquesne (Serpentes, Caravan), and game and anime remixer Square Tune Magician.

The puzzle platformer Blocks That Matter won the Dream.Build.Play competition in 2011 and went on to become a hit PC and XBLIG game that year. Developer Swing Swing Submarine announced in October 2012 a sequel, Tetrobot and Co., will release early this year.

[source: Swing Swing Submarine]

Top 10 Indie Strategy Games of 2012

January 6, 2013 12:00 PM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

strategytop.pngStrategy gaming, despite being one of the most demanding genres for players and developers alike, is also one of the areas indie devs seem to excel at and gamers seem to love. What's more, 2012 was an excellent year for the tactically thinking masses indeed, what with its impressive selection of strategy offerings appearing on most platforms.

What follows are our picks of the very best strategy games of 2012 and, as you will soon discover, it's a list covering everything from RTS and turn-based games to tower-defense and rogue-like variants. It even sports some excellent freebies!

Alpha Release: Ur-Quan Masters HD

January 6, 2013 8:00 AM | Danny Cowan

SourceForge developers awakenedeyes, damonczanik, oldlaptop, roisack, superbutcherx have released an alpha version of Ur-Quan Masters HD, a freeware remake of Toys for Bob's acclaimed 1992 sci-fi adventure game Star Control II.

Ur-Quan Masters HD builds on Toys for Bob's freely available Star Control II source code with redrawn art, remixed music, and several new features. The standalone mod is available for Windows only at the moment, but its creators note that ports are in the works for Mac, Linux, and Android.

[via Indie Statik]

Demo: Bollywood Wannabe (Chrysaor)

January 5, 2013 5:00 PM | John Polson

India's population is over 1 billion. I feel almost robbed that rhythm platformer Bollywood Wannabe is one of the first Bollywood-infused (or more generally, Indian cultured) indie games I've played. Thankfully, Canadian developer Chrysaor Studio has just released a free demo along with the full Windows version of her Bollywood-styled game for $14.95.

Players handle basic platforming with WASD, walking forward and jumping, while tapping or holding the directional arrows to the notes on the bottom of the screen. Players must make it to the end of the stage before the music runs out, but they can't move when tapping singular beats. Fortunately, they can move and even jump during longer hold notes.

The music from the demo is infectious and carries a strong bass beat to tap to. I appreciate Bollywood Wannabe's core gameplay idea and use of culture seldom seen in Western AAA or indie games, even if it doesn't play as smoothly as Guitaroo Man or Space Channel 5.

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