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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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iOS Bean's Quest Updated With New Content

February 8, 2012 10:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Australian indie studio Kumobius updated its iOS platformer Bean's Quest with a host of new levels, along with a final boss confrontation.

Bean's Quest stars a cursed jumping bean who is unlucky in love and in pet ownership -- his pet dragon is missing, and his girlfriend was kidnapped by an evil wizard. That totally sucks! Unlike other platformer stars, Bean automatically jumps every time he touches the ground, making the game both a unique challenge and a good fit for the limited control capabilities of touch screens.

The updated game now includes 50 levels in all, along with 150 optional challenges. Bean's Quest is currently priced at 99 cents, and will return to its regular price of $2.99 shortly.

A.D.O.N. Project: If Sonic were a Ninja

February 8, 2012 3:00 AM | John Polson

Developer Alessandro Salvati has been teasing fans on YouTube with A.D.O.N., the blue robotic platforming ninja who must fix a multidimensional anomaly. Salvati describes it as a big mashup of Sonic, Shinobi, Megaman, and Abuse. A.D.O.N. will feature a level up system, an in-game tech tree for the main character, and a lot of special abilities such as wall-jump, wall-run, and walk-on-water.

I find the visuals particularly striking, in that I don't see 32- or 64-bit pre-rendered sidescrollers every day. The animation is fluid, the lighting at times is dramatic, and the action and platforming seems well-paced. The only thing I am not fond of at this point are the text blocks (the video uses YouTube popups too, but I don't mind those for learning about the game.) Not all of the in-game texts are bad, but some of them look very long and would require me to slow down to read them.

A.D.O.N. is being created in Game Maker. The developer stated on YouTube that it will be ported to iPhone, iPad, Mac, Android, and HTML5. The one-man project was last dated as a Q1 2012 release, but I hope Salvati takes the time needed to make this a winner.

To help formulate an opinion, I included after the cut a snow stage with a lot more speed reminiscent of the developer's Sonic inspiration.

Road to the IGF: Simogo's Beat Sneak Bandit

February 8, 2012 1:00 AM | John Polson

beat sneak bandit IGF.gifMobile developer Simogo has quickly distinguished itself with the charming, musical aesthetic of iOS titles Bumpy Road and Kosmo Spin. Its newest game, colorful Beat Sneak Bandit, takes the studio's affinity for rhythm games further still -- and has earned a Best Mobile Game nomination in the IGF for the effort.

Players control a sprightly bandit who must "sneak to the beat" in the clock-controlled mansion of the aptly named Duke Clockface, who has stolen all the world's... clocks. The guy loves clocks, it seems, which makes sense because of the role timing plays in Beat Sneak Bandit, which employs repeating puzzle loops with the aim of creating a true rhythm game.

Gamasutra spoke to Simogo co-founder Simon Flesser about the development of the game, the evolution of the rhythm-action genre and Beat Sneak Bandit's clever aesthetics.

What background do you have making games?

Me and Gordon [Gardeback] started Simogo in late 2010. Before that we worked a few years at Southend Interactive, making ilomilo and a few remakes and things for XBLA and PSN.

What development tools did you use?

We use Unity and Photoshop as our main tools. But there's quite a bit of 3D animation in Beat Sneak Bandit too -- it's the first Simogo project we've used Maya in.

FreakZone Launches Mario Parody Awesome Land For iOS

February 7, 2012 10:00 PM | Danny Cowan

App Store developer FreakZone Games has released Awesome Land, a side-scrolling, hard-rock parody of Nintendo's Super Mario Bros. series.

In Awesome Land, the pink-haired biker Manley pursues the kidnappers of his beloved motorcycle through the Nevada desert, which spans 20 levels. The grungy aesthetic stands in stark contrast with the Mario games -- the Mushroom Kingdom was a friendly place filled with goofy creatures and horsehair plants, while Awesome Land's levels are instead packed with prickly cacti and gruesome monsters.

Awesome Land is priced at 99 cents.

Grooh Blends Block Puzzles, Chubby Monsters On iOS

February 7, 2012 9:00 PM | Danny Cowan

DigiDingo has released Grooh, an isometric level-based puzzler for iOS platforms starring an oafish, pineapple-loving (and curiously Totoro-like) creature.

In Grooh, players must destroy all colored tiles in each room, first by changing Grooh to their corresponding colors and then by jumping on them. Challenges arise, however, when connecting tiles are the same color -- destroy one, and surrounding tiles will also break, which can harm Grooh if you don't plan carefully. Boxes, teleporters, and tiles with special properties further complicate things in later levels.

The setup has an Adventures of Lolo-meets-Equinox feel to it, and the character himself is adorably clueless. The features list also promises "a crazy final twist" at the game's conclusion. What could it be?! Grooh is priced at $1.99.

Trailer: Papa Joe ( Dawn Break Studios )

February 7, 2012 6:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

DawnBreak Studios' Papa Joe almost makes me want to get myself a Windows Phone. The debut production from an upcoming Swedish development studio, Papa Joe is apparently a sneak 'em up that will have you playing as the odd-looking titular character. The story behind the game is about as strange looking as the protagonist himself. It seems that Papa Joe is the resident of a sleepy desert village that has been taken over by mysterious antennas, mysterious antennas that are trying to brainwash people into thinking beauty is everything. I don't know about you but that makes me think of modern television. The game is scheduled to launch sometime this Spring.

Official website can be found here.

Trailer: Final Run (iOS, Rotor Games)

February 6, 2012 9:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Two-person studio Rotor Games is currently finishing up its 14-month debut project, the results of which you can see in the trailer above.

Final Run is a post-apocalyptic vehicle action game in which players outrun their former employers, square off against mercenary armies, and explode a zombie or two along the way. The vehicle-based approach certainly gives the project a unique feel, and the zombies do explode quite nicely!

Final Run will premiere in the App Store later this month.

IGF 2012 Audience Award Opens Voting

February 6, 2012 7:00 PM | John Polson

IGF2012.jpg[In this note to indie game fans, Independent Games Festival Chairman Brandon Boyer announces public voting to pick this year's IGF Audience Award from among all of the Main Competition finalist games for this year.]

It's time to have your say for the best Independent Games Festival game of 2012! We've just opened public voting for this year's Audience Award, with all members of the public and the indie game community eligible to vote.

As we've done in prior years, we're allowing voting for any game chosen as a finalist in the festival, as opposed to just those with public PC demos. This is because many of the titles have been playable at other indie game events - or have Beta and other OS versions that many indie game fans may have checked out.

To be part of this year's vote, simply visit the IGF Audience Award page and download any of the games or demos that are currently publicly available (each has been marked whether there's a version for you to purchase or otherwise download). When you've made up your mind, return to vote for your favorite.

After voting and inputting your email address, you'll need to verify your vote by clicking on a link sent to that email. Voting will be open from now until Sunday, February 19th at midnight PST -- go check it out now and start making your way through the games!

Graveyard Snuggle: The Next Fingle?

February 6, 2012 6:05 PM | Cassandra Khaw


Are video games going to be the next big thing for pick-up artists? Not too long ago, fellow editor John Polson reviewed the awkwardness-inducing Fingle, a rather brilliant iOS title that's probably best described as 'Twister for the hands'. Today, we take a brief look at the upcoming Graveyard Snuggle. Billed as a 'physical party game for curious and affectionate people'. Graveyard Snuggle wants to get a whole bunch of attractive people together and to watch a skeleton on screen. The skeleton on screen will then tell you to do things like, 'place your skull on the other person's legs'. You are required to 'continue touching one another until one player overstimulates the device's mention sensors.'

Yeaaaaaaaah. Those curious about the game can check out the DevLog here.

Mr Legs Brings Ineffable Creepiness To Android Market

February 6, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Developer James Games launches in the Android Market this week with Mr Legs, a side-scrolling collect-'em-up that blends "an avant-garde cinematic style, urban psychedelia and good old fashioned cherry picking fun."

In Mr Legs, the objective is simple: collect cherries, and avoid everything else. Something about the whole thing freaks me out, though. Just look at the way Mr Legs gobbles up those cherries! I also enjoy how he speeds up when his legs are stretched. It makes sense, in an unnatural sort of way.

Mr Legs is priced at 99 cents.

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