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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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iPhone Game Pick: Puzzle Planets (Runaway)

April 29, 2011 1:00 AM | Tim W.

Puzzle Planets is an iOS arcade game made by Runaway in collaboration with the National Geographic Channel. You play as a god-like character who must help terraform planets and aid the evolution of new species of life, going through three separate rounds of gameplay until a planet is completely formed and self-sustainable.

Your first task at the start of each level is to place tectonic plates of different shapes and sizes over the surface of a planet, covering it completely before proceeding to the next phase. The next objective involves creating volcanoes, mountains and earthquakes to shape the planet using three sets of touchscreen controls: pinching, double-tap and stretching. You then have to move a cloud over the ocean to gather water, then distribute rain over each land tile so that life can miraculously sprout out of the ground.

The gameplay varies very little between levels, and much of the challenge is focused on using rain to prevent volcanoes from erupting and covering the planet with life before time runs out (which is displayed by a clock on the upper-right hand side of the screen). There are fifteen levels to play through, with each planet taking just a couple of minutes to beat at most.

Many reviewers on the App Store have reported crashes, and though it's priced at only a dollar we'd suggest waiting for a lite version to find out if Puzzle Planets is a game you'd enjoy or not.

Robot Wants Kitty is Free for Today Only

April 26, 2011 5:00 PM | Tim W.

Here's a fantastic freebie that you should grab if you own an iOS device capable of running the game. Raptisoft's cutesy 2D platformer Robot Wants Kitty is available as a free download from the App Store for today only, and though you can find the same game online at all major Flash game portals the iPhone version features much-improved graphics and additional levels not found in the original.

In Robot Wants Kitty you play as the titular robot who has to grab said kitty hiding somewhere in the same level, but to get to the prize you'd have to collect a couple of new abilities and power-ups first. Without them, many areas and platforms will be unreachable to our mechanical friend.

You can get the iOS version of Robot Wants Kitty right here, or play the Flash release of the same game (with slightly outdated graphics) over here.

One Single Life: Free iPhone Game You Can Only Play Once

April 15, 2011 2:28 PM | Michael Rose

We've seen a number of browser games you can only play once - most notably You Only Live Once and One Chance. One Single Life is an iOS game that you can download for free, but once you're dead, that's it.

It's a little like an extremely short version of Canabalt, where each level presents a gap between two buildings that you need to jump over. You can give the level a practice as many times as you want, but once you've hit play for real, it's all on that jump. Land it, and you'll get to proceed to a wider, higher gap - fall, and that's it, no continues, not even if you restart the game.

It's amazing how intense it is. The sounds of the street below, the heartbeat pumping faster and faster, the signs telling you how many people died on that particular level. On level 8 I just managed to jump the gap, and my guy clung on for dear life - however, on level 9 I hit jump too late, and he fell to his doom.

Well worth a download if you've got an iToy. Grab it from the App Store [Source: Pocket Gamer]

Android Game Pick: 180 (Headcase Games)

April 13, 2011 3:15 AM | jeriaska

Following the warm reception of 180 for iOS by Headcase Games, beginning today the puzzler is also available for the Android mobile platform for free. 180 for Android has been retooled with higher-resolution visuals and increased framerates.

Gameplay sees rows of color-coded tiles gradually descending from above. Line up three or more adjacent tiles of the same color and they disappear. Clear space by flipping tiles to reveal a different color underneath, or by shooting tiles one at a time from below. Both actions involve tapping the screen.

Ron Alpert, the head of Headcase, previously worked at Obsidian and Activision before taking the plunge as an indie. He's spoken on the pros and cons of blazing one's own trail, most recently at the PAX Prime 2010 session "Going Indie." You can also find Ron's frequently featured Retro Game of the Day column on Gamasutra Blogs.

180 is currently seeking to connect with a wide audience through an innovative campaign: Purchase the Ultra edition for a low price, or play the free edition of the game for ten hours to unlock all the Ultra content and disable ads.

Expanded Version of rComplex Now On Kickstarter

April 12, 2011 3:03 PM | Michael Rose

The original rComplex, released over a year ago, took on Canabalt with silhouetted visuals and a big scary, squid thing following your every move. A short film was even created based on the game last year.

Now developers Roger Hicks and Brian Terwilliger have decided to turn the concept into a full-blown game, and funding has started on Kickstarter. They are hoping to develop a longer, more content-filled version of iOS, and then later for Windows, Mac and Android.

Check out all the details about the project on the Kickstarter page.

Trailer: Dance Pad (GamePipe)

April 9, 2011 7:48 AM | Cassandra Khaw

Today, both teachers and students from the dance school that I attend will be battling for questionably lucrative prizes in an upcoming competition. Unfortunately, being the absent-minded workaholic that I am, I won't be going. It's at times like this that I wish things like GamePipe's Dance Pad were real and that dance competitions would have a sub-category for long-distance finge-driven dexterity as well.

Wistful thinking aside, Dance Pad is an iPad rhythm-dance-game-thing that will eventually be released in the summer. Designed by USG GamePipe students, Dance Pad will have people doing the Running Man, the Moonwalk and all manner of iconic dance moves on their beloved iPad. At least, that's the idealized concept. Reality will probably have most of us flailing helplessly at colored lights upon the screen as the select few perform the Electric Boogaloo.

Those interested in learning more first-hand can check out the official website here.

iPhone Game Pick: Quietus (Connor Ullmann)

April 4, 2011 1:30 PM | Michael Rose

Originally released as a browser game nearly a year ago, Quietus has now made its way onto iPhone. Remember how tough it was? This version is even more difficult, mainly due to the odd touch-screen controls.

The idea is that you can touch anywhere on the screen, and a virtual joystick will appear, allowing you to run and jump. It's still perfectly playable, but it does make certain levels later on incredibly difficult. Connor says that he 'eased up' some of the levels to make the going a little easier, but my fingers say otherwise. Hopefully an alternate d-pad control option will be added.

Still, it's a fun game, especially for the $0.99 asking price. Take a plunge into the depths of Hell in the App Store now.

iPhone Game Pick: Sr. Mistu (We Choose Fun)

April 3, 2011 1:02 PM | Michael Rose


Señor Mistu is a charming, hand-drawn game for iPhone. Sr. Mistu is a blind man who realises he has no olives for his pizza. He sets off with his trusty guide dog to find olives around the world.

You control the guide dog - and hence the Señor - by drawing out a path with your finger. On each level, there is an exit and some olives, although the olives are usually in a hard to reach area with dangers all around. Grabbing the olives isn't essential, however, making the game great for both casual and more experienced gamers.

The game won first prize at the DevUp iPhone Developers Conference in Barcelona last month, which is hardly surprising given how gorgeous it looks in motion. You can grab a copy from the App Store now for $0.99.

Jump below the cut for a rather large video of the gameplay.

iPhone Game Pick: Forget-Me-Not (Nyarlu Labs)

March 25, 2011 5:00 PM | Tim W.

Forget-Me-Not is a retro-style arcade game in which you get to control a blocky avatar inside procedurally-generated levels, eating pellets (or flowers, as they are known as here) for points and collecting a gold key to unlock the exit which appears after you've acquired all of the flowers on screen. Monsters will try and shoot or hurt you through contact if you allow them to, and the game will end if you lose all of your lives as indicated by the red counter on the top right corner of your display. Fortunately you can shoot back at them with your own weapon, but try to avoid contact with your own projectiles because they do not differentiate between damaging a friend or a foe.

Similar to Pac-Man, corridor exits that trail off the edge of a screen can be used to travel from one end of a map to another quickly. Health can be restored by collecting green potions, while the red ones double your firepower when acquired. A special bonus is awarded to the player if they manage to collect flowers in an unbroken sequence, but do be quick with clearing every maze because a ghost will chase after you whenever too much time is spent idling in an easy area scavenging for points or extra lives.

Having a key in tow protects you from shots coming from behind, and you can also grind against the wall by trying to turn before reaching the next corner in a maze. Grinding rewards you with a speed boost and limited invincibility against the enemies, although too much grinding will cause our hero to spontaneously combust from excessive storage of grind power.

Dark Nebula - Episode Two is Free for a Limited Time

March 19, 2011 3:00 AM | Tim W.

Here's an offer that iDevice owners should not miss out on: 1337 Game Design's disc-rolling game Dark Nebula - Episode Two is free to download from the App Store throughout the weekend. In it players are tasked with getting a circular object to the exit area without losing too many lives, using only the accelerometer function to control all of the disc's movement on screen. The nineteen levels included in this sequel sounds a bit on the short side, but there are plenty of clever puzzle designs and tense action sequences that'll keep you hooked until the final challenge is beaten.

We suggest grabbing Dark Nebula - Episode Two before the free promotion expires. A trailer for the game can be found in the extended, and you can watch it while waiting for the 80MB download to finish.

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