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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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Little Inferno Ignites on iPad

January 31, 2013 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Following up on its recent launch for the Wii U and PC platforms, Tomorrow Corporation's firebug sim Little Inferno is now available for the iPad, giving you more freedom to burn your virtual possessions than ever before.

An interesting aside: despite the game's many explicit and thematic warnings regarding the dangers of playing with fire, the National Fire Protection Association believes that Little Inferno is a significant threat to child safety -- so much so that it's calling for a ban from the Wii U's eShop. Be safe; don't let your kids play indie games.

The iPad version of Little Inferno is priced at $4.99.

[via @simoncarless, Eurogamer]

Semi Secret's Hundreds Sells 100,000 Copies

January 31, 2013 9:00 AM | Danny Cowan


Semi Secret Software's minimalist iOS puzzler Hundreds is officially a hit. In a recent blog post, jubilant developer Adam Saltsman announced that the game has sold more than 100,000 units as of this week.

"I don't want to downplay, for us, the financial importance of this success; we basically went broke making Hundreds so it's a pretty big deal that it didn't flop," Saltsman writes. "That said, even if it was the kind of money where we could go buy sports cars or whatever (and it's not!), there is this other, at least for me way more important thing going on, which is less about finances and more about 'holy crap, one hundred thousand people have played Hundreds.'"

Saltsman continues: "I don't know, maybe it's just me, but this seems so crazy. I grew up in a pretty small town. I had to drive for an hour or more just to find a city that technically even had 100,000 inhabitants. So the idea that I got to work on something that has reached that many people feels... very good. The idea that a lot of the people this game reached are not 'gamers' (even though the game is legitimately challenging still) feels incredible."

To mark the occasion, Semi Secret announced that an Android version of Hundreds is in the works. The developer also revealed that new features will be added in future updates, though further details are not yet known.

Death Ray Manta bringing DRM fun to iOS

January 31, 2013 6:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

DRMios.pngRob Fearon's Death Ray Manta (a.k.a. DRM: The Game) was one of the games I played the most during 2012 and one of my favourite arena shooters of all time. Still haven't seen anything not made by Jeff Minter come close to its psychedelic pyrotechnics either. Anyway, good news is Jeff Murray has finally ported Rob's game to the iPad and iPhone in an almost sacrilegious but actually great way. Yes, it's really good too!

DRM is available as a universal app on the App Store for $0.99 (for a while at least).

Skulls of the Shogun Launches for XBLA, Windows 8, Windows Phone

January 30, 2013 6:00 PM | Danny Cowan

It's been a long wait, but at last, it's finally here! Indie developer 17 Bit has launched its debut title Skulls of the Shogun for Xbox Live Arcade, Windows 8/RT, Surface, and Windows Phone.

Skulls of the Shogun is a turn-based strategy game that ditches the hex/tile-based gameplay of many similar titles, giving troops a circular range of movement instead. The game's unique approach to the genre allows players to form advanced strategies -- troops can be closely lumped together to form blockades, for instance, in order to prevent enemies from threatening your more fragile units, like archers and generals.

The package is capped with some humorous dialogue and a unique setting in which undead ronin and samurai seek a shortcut to the afterlife. The game also boasts a variety of multiplayer options, including the local competitive Skulls on the Couch mode, the up to four-player Skulls Online, and the asynchronous, cross-platform Skulls Anywhere (only available for Windows 8/RT, Surface, and Windows Phone).

The Xbox Live Arcade version of Skulls of the Shogun is priced at 1200 Microsoft points ($15). The Windows 8 version is available for $9.99, while the Windows Phone edition can be had this week for $4.99.

iOS Game Pick: Meteor Storm Escape (Happy Little Aliens)

January 29, 2013 3:00 PM | Danny Cowan


Husband and wife team Happy Little Aliens (Sean Butler and Mary Jackson) has launched Meteor Storm Escape, a vibrantly colorful stunt-based racer for iOS devices. A free browser-based trial version is also available (requires Unity plugin).

Meteor Storm Escape challenges players to traverse an endless obstacle course and dodge falling meteors while traveling at speeds of up to 500 kilometers per hour. The game's stunt mechanics add a satisfying dose of risk/reward -- land a stunt successfully and you'll earn extra boost power, but be careful not to veer into meteors while you're airborne, as your shields deplete rather quickly.

Meteor Storm Escape is available as a free download, and additional tracks and vehicles can be unlocked via in-app purchases.

Wipeout vets start new life outside of racing genre

January 29, 2013 3:00 AM | Staff

sawfly long.jpgThe shutdown of Sony Liverpool last year was a sincere downer not only for the people at that studio and the UK game industry, but also for fans of the Wipeout racing franchise.

But when a larger game studio collapses, the seeds of talent typically explode across the landscape, and soon we see smaller studios crop up that are ready to start a new chapter of creative independence.

Announced last week, Liverpool-based Sawfly is made up of four key ex-Sony Liverpool developers. Right now, they are taking on contracts from other companies, finishing up their new studio's first game, a "cheeky, irreverent" game for publisher Ripstone, and pitching a new property.

Mike Humphrey, Sawfly's managing director, took some time to answer a few quick questions via email. (And sorry Wipeout fans -- they're not focusing on racing games right now.)

iOS Game Pick: ShellBlast Forever (Vertigo Gaming)

January 29, 2013 12:00 AM | John Polson

Think of puzzle/strategy game ShellBlast Forever for iOS as a mix of Minesweeper and Picross. You know how many bombs are in a certain cross section and how many bombs there are total, and you must deduce their locations before time runs out. If you're stuck, you can use a limited amount of chaffs to tell whether an area should be marked safe, too.

Veterans may know this puzzle game's lineage: it is the mobile follow-up to the commercial sequel of freeware game Acidbomb. Thanks to procedurally generated levels, puzzle fans can enjoy ShellBlast Forever practically forever.

Eden Industries reveals Waveform Mobile ports, new RPG coming

January 27, 2013 9:00 PM | John Polson

Town.pngEden Industries has announced that its wave of light bending game Waveform is coming to Android and iOS devices later this year. The big news, though, is that they revealed to PC Gamer its new RPG (pictured above), Citizens of Earth. Players assume the role of Vice President of the world and must investigate strange things happening, while recruiting normal citizens to do your battles along the way.

For comparisons, developer Ryan Vandendyck told me the wide-open gameplay of recruiting anyone in the world gives the game a Pokemon-like feel of bringing everyone onto your team to use them in and out of battle. The game also draws upon the modern theme and humorous style of Earthbound. Finally, the combat draws inspiration from JRPG designs like Dragon Quest, but it is unique and focuses around the interesting and bizarre combat potential of the seemingly run-of-the-mill townsfolk.

Road to the IGF: Lucky Frame's Bad Hotel

January 27, 2013 4:00 PM | Staff

For the second year in a row, music-focused developer Lucky Frame has racked up an Excellence in Audio nomination in the IGF with Bad Hotel, which follows on from last year's Pugs Luv Beats (you can read about that game here.)

As before, the gameplay is tied into music -- but this time around, you're building hotels that are under constant attack -- an unusual, even punnish outgrowth of the tower defense genre. In this interview, Lucky Frame founder Yann Seznec talks about the inspirations behind Bad Hotel, why the developer cares so much about music, and just where the developer got that fantastic title from.

The first 5 games funded by indie incubator Execution Labs

January 27, 2013 12:00 PM | Staff

execution labs.jpegThe Montreal-based indie game incubator that we first reported about in November has unveiled the first five teams it will help get started.

Five new teams from throughout Canada will receive "shared office space, development tools, and access to a roster of world-class mentors who provide coaching in areas critical to game development and commercialization" through the program.

The five projects, quoted directly from Execution Labs, are as follows:

-Crankshaft Mobile, from Montreal, is developing a Rogue-like top-down brawler.

-Pixel Crucible, also out of Montreal, is building a hybrid adventure/management fantasy game.

-Lightning Rod Games, from Toronto, is planning a mid-core "evil genius" game that is a mix of Flight Control and Plants vs. Zombies.

-Miscellaneum, from Montreal, is working on The Firemasters, a blazing 3D side scrolling action game in which you play each member of a four-person firefighting team on Mars.

-Imaginary Games, relocating from Vancouver, is creating a Tim Burtonesque social card game about a mysterious graveyard carnival.

More on the Execution Labs site.

[Frank Cifaldi wrote this article originally for sister site Gamasutra.]

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