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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: Beat Sneak Bandit (Simogo)

February 16, 2012 8:01 AM | Cassandra Khaw

Do you have an iOS device? Great. Go download Beat Sneak Bandit. Right now. No excuses. In the immortal words of Nike's marketing arm, just do it. Those curious as to whether or not Simogo's latest production lives up to its predecessor might be pleased to know that the answer is an exultant yes. Beat Sneak Bandit is an adorable, rhythm-based stealth game that will probably appeal to even the crankiest of us. Unless, of course, you thoroughly loathe rhythm games. We might have a problem if that's the case.

However, for those of you willing to give the genre a chance, the story behind Beat Sneak Bandit goes something like this. All the clocks of the world have been stolen and society has been immobilized by the inability to tell the time. It's up to you (and an antropomorphic green frog) to retrieve these lost instruments from the nefarious Duke Clockface. Standing between you and success is a multitude of spotlights, mutated bunnies, security guards and a variety of other contraptions. Needless to say, the music in this one is highly appealing. Currently priced at $2.99 on the App Store, Beat Sneak Bandit might be a tad pricier compared to the dollar deals that abound in the marketplace but it's definitely worth the price tag.

Official site here:

Kickstarter: Doodle Defense (Andy Wallace)

February 15, 2012 3:00 PM | John Polson

Andy Wallace is only asking for $1,500 on Kickstarter to transform whiteboards and dry erase markers into fascinating, interactive gaming tools. When I was growing up, I found these marker boards to be a fascinating alternative to chalk boards. Likewise, I think Doodle Defense will be a fascinating alternative to traditional tower defense games.

Wallace explores in Doodle Defense drawing as a means for game interaction and play. Players draw mazes and color-specific towers on the whiteboard with regular dry erase markers to stop oncoming foes. Wallace makes it all happen with code written in openFrameworks on a Mac (a Windows version is coming) that handles the gameplay and the processing of players' drawings, a projector, and a Kinect that captures the board image.

Wallace last turned a few heads with Isabelle Poppy And Bling. Those unsure about this newer project can explore Doodle Defense's open sourced code before investing. With enough funding, Wallace says he will develop a more accessible iPad version, in addition to the Mac and PC experiences.

[Doodle Defense on Kickstarter]

Mobile Game Pick: Gingerbread Circus (IOJOE)

February 15, 2012 1:00 PM | Lewie Procter

Did you like Point Blank? Have you got an iThing or Android device? Then Gingerbread Circus from IOJOE could be right up your street. Originally released as a series of flash games (playable here), the new mobile version combines the minigames from the previous versions, and comes with swanky new touch and tilt controls.

It's a great little timewaster, with nice art, loads of types of levels, and if you get sick of it you can always entertain yourself by intentionally aiming your throwing knives directly at the Gingerbread people. It's also just been updated with Achievements, if you're into that kind of thing.

The first four chapters are free, and you can unlock the full version (with 10 chapters) for $0.99/69p, which will also remove ads. iOS version here, android version here (Lite/Full)

Taco Graveyard Releases The Four Hats For iOS

February 14, 2012 9:00 PM | Danny Cowan

The wonderfully named Taco Graveyard has launched The Four Hats, a unique platformer inspired by The Beatles' film A Hard Day's Night.

In the game, the popular band The Four Hats is relentlessly pursued by its adoring fans throughout each side-scrolling level. Each band member is particularly well-suited to dealing with certain obstacle types, resulting in gameplay that blends Blizzard's classic The Lost Vikings with modern autoscrolling platformers.

The premise seems lighthearted enough, but as you can see in the video above, The Four Hats' fans aren't simply adoring -- they're murderous! The choppy animation makes the band's inevitable death even more hilarious/disturbing.

The Four Hats is priced at 99 cents. A free trial version is also available.

iOS Puzzler Islands Of Diamonds To Debut March 12th

February 14, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Happymonitor Games Studio announced that its very first iOS title, Islands of Diamonds, is set to launch in the App Store on March 12th.

In Islands of Diamonds, players roll a coconut named Seamus throughout 200 included stages, collecting items and solving puzzles using a combination of tilt and touch control. In addition to the tutorial sample above, the studio has also released videos showing off the game's lava and ice worlds.

Happymonitor is currently working on a follow-up release. An Android version of Islands of Diamonds will premiere in April.

iPad Game Pick: Hexagonal Rochambeau (Triple Li)

February 13, 2012 3:00 PM | John Polson

Randall Li, who worked on Async Corp. and Glow Artisan, has just released Hexagonal Rochambeau for the iPad. Rochambeau is also known as rock-paper-scissors, and its classic game rules form the basis of the gameplay of this one- or two-player game.

Players lay one of those three shapes at a time on the board in attempt to claim all the hexagons in the straight line setup or 80% of the hexagons in the large board setup. Players can defeat their own shapes in the line of fire, which makes the battle even more hectic.

I first tried Hexagonal Rochambeau myself, and while the computer challenged me somewhat, I am glad that I revisited the game with my other half. The straight line board game provided quick bursts of fun, wildly flinging shapes while countering my opponent's. The larger board often provided longer, funner, and more strategic experiences of laughing and panicking while crossing fingers to draw the shapes' paths.

Hexagonal Rochambeau is free only for a limited time. If you have an iPad, grab it here.

Puzzle-Platformer Ball On A Wall Debuts For iPad

February 13, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Developer SmallGreenHill makes its App Store debut this week with Ball on a Wall, a unique iPad puzzler in which players create and modify level layouts to solve single-screen challenges.

The titular Ball is always moving, and changes direction whenever it collides with a wall. Players must drag background tiles to create bridges and construct barriers, in order to dodge deadly traps throughout each stage. Later levels introduce new wrinkles to the formula with the addition of turrets, gravity warpers, teleporters.

Ball on a Wall is available as a free 12-level trial download, with the remaining 78 levels unlockable via a $2.99 in-app purchase.

Closure earns Grand Prize at 2012 Indie Game Challenge

February 11, 2012 3:00 PM | John Polson

closure IGC.jpgEyebrow Interactive's indie puzzle-platformer Closure took home the Grand Prize at this year's Indie Games Challenge at the D.I.C.E. Summit in Las Vegas, with other winners including Symphony, The Bridge, and Nitronic Rush.

Alongside the Grand Prize, the three-man team behind Closure will take also home a cash prize of $100,000. Indie Game Challenge organizers said the game stood out thanks to its stylish presentation and unique light and shadow mechanics, which allow players to erase objects from existence by shrouding them in darkness.

Symphony, a music-based shoot 'em up, won the competition's Technical Achievement award, earning the team $2,500. In addition, the game was also selected to receive promotional exposure on GameStop's PC download service -- an opportunity valued at $50,000.

The 2D logic-based puzzle game The Bridge earned both the Achievement in Art Direction and Achievement in Gameplay awards, netting the team a total of $5,000.

Finally, the DigiPen student project and over-the-top racing title Nitronic Rush won the Gamer's Choice Award, which was selected via an online public vote and also came with a $2,500 prize.

In addition, each of the ten finalists in the Indie Game Challenge will receive the opportunity to pitch their game face-to-face with a number of leading publishers and developers at D.I.C.E., giving them a chance to secure a distribution deal for their selected title.

Indie Game Challenge organizers also said that later this year they will award one of these teams with a $50,000 scholarship to The Guildhall at SMU. Other finalists at this year's competition included Atom Zombie Smasher, Paradox Shift, The Dream Machine, The Swapper, Demolition Inc., and The Fourth Wall.

[This article originally was posted on Gamasutra, written by Tom Curtis.]

Eufloria HD Out Now For iPad

February 11, 2012 8:00 AM | Danny Cowan

An upgraded, expanded version of Omni Systems' ambient real-time strategy title Eufloria (formerly Dyson) is now available for Apple's iPad.

Along with a variety of features introduced in a recent PS3 port, the iOS edition of Eufloria boasts a 25-level campaign, multiple alternative gameplay modes, and a collection of Game Center achievements. The release also boasts a touch screen-optimized interface, and the developers claim that the iPad version offers "the most comprehensive and enjoyable release of Eufloria to date."

Eufloria HD is already earning quite a following in the App Store -- the game was named Apple's iPad Game of the Week, and quickly earned a spot among the platform's top sellers following its release. Eufloria HD is priced at $4.99.

The Tiny Bang Story Gets iPad Release

February 10, 2012 1:00 PM | Lewie Procter

tinybang.jpg Colibri Games have taken their previously PC/Mac only point and click adventure, The Tiny Bang Story, and squeezed out an iPad version. Grab the free demo version here, or get the full version for $2.99 here.

The Tiny Bang Story tells the story of Tiny Planet, a planet that's been struck by an asteroid, and you have to solve puzzles and complete minigames to repair the damage. There's no text, and they say the game is designed for all ages, but some of the puzzles might be a little complicated for younger players to manage alone.

If you're after the PC/Mac verison, you can grab it from Steam, and the rather lovely soundtrack is available for free from Colibri Games' website.
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