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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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Pig & Bullet Out Now For iOS

March 14, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Indie collective Spiceworx has released an upgraded version of its Flash bullet-dodger Pig & Bullet for iOS platforms, introducing a collection of new features and new gameplay modes. An iPad edition is also available.

Along with updated graphics and a touch screen-optimized control scheme, the iOS version of Pig & Bullet sports a soundtrack by Mars Matrix composer Yasushi Kaminishi, along with a gameplay mode that challenges players to collect as many bullets as possible. As you can see in the trailer above, it's sort of a ridiculous challenge!

Pig & Bullet is currently priced at 99 cents -- half off of its regular price of $1.99 during its launch month.

iPad Release Trailer: Incoboto (Fluttermind)

March 12, 2012 3:00 PM | John Polson

Fluttermind's Dene Carter, co-creator of the Fable franchise on XBox, has recently released Incoboto: a puzzle platformer for the iPad. In Incoboto, said to be in the spirit of Ico and Portal, a boy named Inco and his solar friend, Helios, explore planets with grapples, jetpacks, teleports, gravity beams and other game mechanic-inducing machines on a mission to return light to the skies.

Sure, thoughts of Soosiz and other Super Mario Galaxy like circular platformers may come to mind. While reviewers concede that Incoboto may not be greatly innovative, its execution is earning the game great praise.

Carter also created Incoboto's soundtrack, which is available to sample and purchase. Incoboto for iPad is now available at an introductory price of $2.99.

Radiangames' Super Crossfire Hits BlackBerry PlayBook

March 12, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Following up on recent ports for PC, Mac, and iOS (and an appearance in an Indie Royale bundle earlier this year), Radiangames' wave-based shoot-'em-up Super Crossfire is now available for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet via BlackBerry App World.

It's an unexpected choice of platform for a port (courtesy of the Union service), but the wave-based, Space Invaders-inspired gameplay promises to be a good fit for the hardware. Besides, if you're a PlayBook owner, odds are that Super Crossfire will be a breath of fresh air compared to App World favorites like "Angry Pigs" and "Fruit and Ninja."

Super Crossfire is priced at $4.99.

[via @shmups]

GDC Play: Twirdie and Circadia (Simple Machine)

March 11, 2012 12:00 PM | John Polson

At one of my favorite booths at GDC Play were two rather clever and entertaining iOS experiences: Circadia and Twirdie. The former is a sound and timing puzzler (as seen above), and the latter is a golf game that uses Twitter to determine the distance of a swing.

Simple Machine has certainly earned the #1 Music Game in the US position on iTunes with Circadia. Instead of riding the beat hitting wave of tons of tap games, Circadia essentially tasks players with timing the ripples of sound effects with a white dot elsewhere on the screen.

This is simple enough until the dot starts moving, and multiple ripples must overlap on the white dot. While the presentation has a charming minimalism about it, the mechanics gradually grow to a challenging frustration. There are currently 100 puzzles available for only 99 cents. A penny per brilliant stage isn't bad at all!

TUAW reports that developer Kurt Bieg is planning to add 25-50 new levels in an update, along with a zen mode, which would offer an infinite number of generated levels to play.

GDC 2012: Alientrap Shows Early Apotheon Footage

March 10, 2012 12:00 PM | John Polson


Capsized and Indievania creators Alientrap sat down at GDC to show off an early version of Apotheon, their upcoming 2D action-RPG with platform elements where players must strip the Gods of their powers to stop the mad Hera, who sits as ruler of Mount Olympus.

Lee Vermeulen and Jesse McGibney described (and demoed above) combat very different from Capsized that is not quite frantically paced and includes no concept of combos. Instead, Vermeulen and McGibney showed more calculated sword, slingshot, javelin, and shield gameplay. Aiming offensively and defensively was easy, with a full range of motion controlled by the mouse. The shield also has an visible meter which conveys how long it effectively blocks attacks.

Players can also use a torch with a similar range of motion, which showed off the game's dynamic lighting system. The two developers were very interested in exploring how lighting could be used in later puzzles and stealth sequences later in development.

The team said one thing Capsized didn't have that players wanted was an online multiplayer battle mode. However, they aim to bring players just that in Apotheon. Vermeulen shared that programming physics-based online multiplayer combat is actually a challenge, but it is one they want to overcome before considering co-op campaign.

Angry Rock Studio Launches Sminis In App Store

March 9, 2012 9:00 PM | Danny Cowan

App Store newcomer Angry Rock Studio makes its debut this week with Sminis, a charming character-based puzzler in the vein of Lemmings.

In Sminis, players control the movement of tiny robots as they navigate various danger-filled obstacle courses. The catch? Players can only control whether the Sminis start or stop moving along a predefined path. Multiple Sminis can be on-screen at once, forcing players to carefully consider whether stopping one character will leave another vulnerable to a nearby trap. Seems like a fun challenge!

Sminis is available as a universal app, and is priced at 99 cents.

Halfbrick Preps Jetpack Joyride's "Biggest Update Since Launch"

March 9, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Halfbrick Studios announced that the next update to its hit iOS autoscroller Jetpack Joyride will introduce an array of new gadgets, providing players with "an all-new layer of gameplay and customization."

New items include the jump-enabling Air Barrys and dodge-assisting Ezy-Dodge Missiles, among a lineup of 15 power-ups in total. All items can be purchased with in-game currency, and players can bring any two purchased upgrades with them during each attempt.

Version 1.3 will be released as a free update in April.

Jonathan Blow Expands on Indie Rise, "Joyless" Japanese Games

March 9, 2012 6:43 AM | John Polson


In a rather reflective video discussion with Gamespot, Braid developer Jonathan Blow discusses the indie scene, the idea of fun in games, and the state of Japanese game development.

Those who have been following GDC news this week may have heard about a response given during a screening of Indie Game The Movie at GDC, where Fez developer Phil Fish said Japanese games "just suck". Blow seemed to agree with Fish's general sentiment, referring to Japanese games as "joyless husks".

In this video discussion, Blow articulates his disinterest in most modern Japanese games, which he feels come with a severe case of hand-holding that can be off-putting to those, like himself, who appreciate the joy of discovery. Blow also describes how similar hand-holding plagues many Western AAA titles, with it creating an experience that is just not fun for him.

[Source: Gamespot, via Reddit]

Get a job: Square Enix and others hiring now on the Gamasutra jobs board

March 9, 2012 3:00 AM | Eric Caoili

In the latest postings over the last seven days, Gamasutra's jobs board plays host to roles in every major discipline, including opportunities at Square Enix, Disney Mobile, Toys For Bob, and others.

Each position posted by employers will appear on the main Gamasutra job board, and appear in the site's daily and weekly newsletters, reaching our readers directly.

It will also be cross-posted for free across Gamasutra's network of submarket sites, which includes content sites focused on independent games and more.

Some of the notable jobs posted this week include:

Square Enix: F2P Producer:
"Square Enix, Inc. develops, publishes, distributes and licenses Square Enix, Eidos, and Taito branded entertainment content throughout the Americas as part of the Square Enix Group. The Square Enix Group operates a global network of leading development studios and boasts a valuable portfolio of intellectual property, including: Final Fantasy, which has sold over 97 million units worldwide; Dragon Quest, which has sold over 54 million units worldwide; Tomb Raider, which has sold over 35 million units worldwide; and the legendary Space Invaders."

Disney Mobile - Palo Alto: Sr. Game Designer:
"Disney Mobile, a division of the Disney Interactive Media Group, is a leading mobile gaming and entertainment network, reaching more than one out of every 3 iPhone, iPod touch and iPad users. Disney branded apps, including platinum titles Disney Fairies Fly, Jelly Car 2 and Toy Story 3, bring the magic of Disney stories and characters to life in new ways on mobile devices. Disney Mobile's Palo Alto based Tapulous studio creates top-selling music and social apps including Tap Tap Revenge, which is one of the most successful gaming franchises on the iPhone platform."

XBLIG Companion App Out Now For Windows Phone

March 8, 2012 9:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Responding to the difficulty Xbox 360 owners face in browsing the Xbox Live Indie Games category online and via mobile devices, Eleventy-Aught Twelve Studios has released XBLIG Companion, a marketplace browser app for Windows Phone platforms.

XBLIG Companion tracks new games added to the service, and notifies users of recent updates to existing games. The app also aids in browsing screenshots and recommendations from XBLIG-specific websites. Users can purchase XBLIG titles directly from the app and queue up console downloads remotely.

XBLIG Companion is available as a free download. Ports for iOS and Android devices are currently in the works.

[via Joystiq]

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