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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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Browser/Tabletop Game Pick: Rollaway (Sugar Pill Studios)

December 7, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan


Sugar Pill Studios (Getaway to Nowhere, Twenty Twelve) has released a free HTML5 version of its abstract dice-rolling strategy game Rollaway.

In Rollaway, players roll four dice at the beginning of each round, and take turns putting them into play one after another. Some dice rolls award points, while others take them away. Other faces allow players to skip turns, give away dice, take dice from other players, and double the value of the next die played.

There's a satisfying amount of strategy involved, and it's almost always possible to come out ahead in a round, even if you roll a bad hand.

"A die that normally scores one point could earn you four, or could be taken away," Sugar Pill's Gary Dahl notes. "You might use a skip-die to prevent the next player from giving you a burdensome lose-die, or you might take the lose-die so you can pass it on to someone else. Rollaway is simple to learn, highly interactive, and provides hours of lightly strategic fun."

A tabletop version of Rollaway is also available for $16.99.

Browser Game Pick: Conspiracy! (dev9k)

December 7, 2012 7:30 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

Conspiracy! is a proper yet browser-based real time strategy game, and, that alone, makes it newsworthy. Also dangerously addictive and counter-productive as all good web games that involve thinking tend to be. Created by a small and apparently young indie team, Conspiracy! also happens to be a very good and mostly unique RTS about a war between evil organizations, involving bribes, sabotages and a super-weapon. Interestingly, you can also be the bad guy in the game's downloadable, Linux-only version that's freely available here.

Browser Game Pick: Failstone 2 (Failnaut)

December 7, 2012 5:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

failstone2.pngRemember the original Failstone? Remember its lush graphics and complex gameplay? The orchestral soundtrack? Oh, you do, don't you, you blatantly lying person. There has never been a Failstone game! But why the 2 bit then? Well, Failstone 2 is a demake/love-letter to the excellent Powerstone 2, with graphics that go for that low-res, monochrome Dreamcast VMU feel and gloriously succeed. The game, a two-players, one keyboard only affair, isn't only hugely entertaining; it's fun in the retro-est of ways.

Kickstarter Projects: GameTron 1000 (Mojo Bones)

December 7, 2012 3:00 AM | Cassandra Khaw

What is GameTron 1000? Is it a beat 'em up? A slash 'em up? A puzzle-platformer? It's hard to say because Mojo Bones is apparently looking to make it just about everything. The idea here, it seems, is to create a a game that will feature a bunch of genres and sub-genres that can be mixed & matched to cater to the short attention span of the masses.If there's any combination you particularly like, you'll even be able to sequester them away for later. Cool, eh? They need a somewhat hefty 90, 000 pounds to get all of this going so if you like the idea, you may want to start evangelizing the game real soon.

For more details, here's the official Kickstarter page.

Indie Royale Profile: Greed Corp

December 7, 2012 2:00 AM | Staff

[Guest reviewer Colin Brown profiles each game in the Winter Bundle available now on IndieGames' co-created site Indie Royale.]

Strategy games are a particular favourite of mine, whether it be a grandiose 4X empire builder or a small scale squad based strategy. Real time or turn based, no matter the complexity, I'm there. What's most interesting to me, however, is that I rarely come across a strategy game like Vanguard Games' Greed Corp. Even the simplest strategy games tend to have tons of different systems and gameplay mechanics, but not here. Indeed, there is nothing quite like Greed Corp in the strategy world simply because it plays less like a strategy game and more like a board game. Mind you, it's a board game that would never quite work as a real thing, with the multi-tiered levels, helpful UI, wonderful unit designs, shiny explosions and an excellent Roaring Twenties soundtrack. Still, the comparison is very apt, as Greed Corp features the exact sort of pick up and play simplicity that all of my favourite board games feature, while retaining a lot of tactical depth.

Indie Royale Profile: Bit.Trip Runner

December 7, 2012 1:52 AM | Staff

[Guest reviewer Colin Brown profiles each game in the Winter Bundle available now on IndieGames' co-created site Indie Royale.]

I'm going to be honest, and with no disrespect intended to Gaijin Games, but I was one of those people who just didn't "get" Bit.Trip Beat when it came out. It was pretty, and there were some good tunes, but the amount of praise granted to the entire Bit.Trip saga seemed a bit out of place to my weary and cynical eye. Of course, I'm not here to discuss Bit.Trip Beat, but instead I've been asked to tackle an entirely different beast. Once I got to continue my own little Bit.Trip I began to see why the series was so darn appealing, thanks to what is arguably the best entry of the series. For some reason, there was something about Commander Video's cheerful jogging that won me over in Bit.Trip Runner.

Involuntary Runner is QWOP for Your Organs

December 6, 2012 11:30 PM | John Polson

involuntary runner.pngBennett Foddy's masterpiece QWOP was merely training for your limbs. DePaul University students are more concerned about managing the vital organs inside you in Involuntary Runner.

You must manage your heart rate, your stomach, your lungs, and intestines while you go about your autorunning way ala Canabalt. You don't move the player's limbs directly, though. Speeding up your heart accelerates your character's momentum to jump, along with steadily breathing. You will run into food-obstacles that initially weigh you down and have to be disposed of, one way or the another. Yep, Flatulence gives you an extra jump boost, but I haven't needed it, yet. .

Of course, failing to breathe or to keep your heart rate at a good pace (too slow or too fast) results in cardiac or respiratory arrest, leading to Game Over. See how long you can survive in the browser-friendly Involuntary Runner, or spoil some of the fun with the gameplay video after the jump.

Browser Game Pick: Ice Beak (Nitrome)

December 6, 2012 9:00 PM | John Polson

ice beak.pngHave you enjoyed the more creative icon games from Nitrome this year, such as Gunbrick, J-J-Jump, and Turnament? Ice Beak is another clever micro-sized game that mixes shooter elements with elemental strategy somewhat like PixelJunk Shooter.

The player-controlled blue bird has limited ice ammo used to shoot down enemies, freeze fire, and hit switches while flying to the 10 end goals. Frequent save spots also recharge the beak's ammo.

An enemy turns into an ice ball when hit, which crashes into other enemies and switches while it falls. Well timed and well placed shots lead to solving most of the puzzles, along with using moving platforms as shields or avoiding them when they threaten to pulverize the flying fowl.

Onto the not so hot: like some of the other icon games, Ice Beak doesn't seem to ramp up the challenge early enough, with only 3-4 of the last stages proving difficult. A few enemy placements seemed particularly wasteful when I could shoot them from the recharge area. Shot rationing as a whole didn't seem as important or challenging throughout the game, but the mini-puzzles and quick-reflex work is what makes Ice Beak a fun play through.

Indie Royale Profile: Hamlet (mif2000)

December 6, 2012 6:00 PM | Staff

[Guest reviewer Colin Brown profiles each game in the Winter Bundle available now on IndieGames' co-created site Indie Royale.]

mif2000's Hamlet, otherwise known in full as Hamlet or the last game without MMORPG features, shaders and product placement, is quite a mouthful. It certainly sticks to its word, though, as I found nary a tweet button or DLC offer in sight. But of course, talking about what a game doesn't do is a poor substitute for discussing what it does do. So what exactly is Hamlet besides a bold stand against the perils of modern gaming? Well, it's a pretty loose adaptation of Shakespeare's play pocketed with short adventure puzzle vignettes and thoroughly enhanced with the addition of time travel.

STEALER interview: Music and visuals "can't be taken separately"

December 6, 2012 4:04 PM | John Polson

The release of a cyberpunk-infused trailer for Winged Doom's STEALER took everyone who didn't follow the Journey to Hammerdale developer by surprise last week. Fans gushed for its nostalgic, gritty visuals and sci-fi sounds.

Rather modestly, developer Winged Doom believes the rise in fame was all thanks to the music. People certainly couldn't figure out what kind of gameplay to get excited over, based on the trailer.

In this interview, Winged Doom begins to open up on what kind of game STEALER for Windows may be. The developer also shares what influenced the aesthetic choices, what was the team's fascination for and definition of cyberpunk, and why pixels were most appropriate for a cyberpunk setting.

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