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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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Trailer: Tweet Land

January 20, 2012 10:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Following up on a successful Kickstarter campaign, the creators of the Twitter-influenced action game Tweet Land have released a new gameplay trailer to promote its launch later this month.

During each gameplay session, Tweet Land scours Twitter for specific words and phrases, which can trigger dynamic changes in the player's environment. As seen in the trailer above, appropriate challenges are introduced when the game detects words like "meteor," "minefield," and "doomsday," among many others.

Tweet Land also includes a "Love City" shooter mode, which generates enemies when Twitter users "love" something, and awards players with ammunition when it detects the word "hate."

Tweet Land will be released in the App Store on January 31st.

Kongregate Enters Smartphone Publishing Market With Indie Action Game / ESCAPE \

January 20, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

escapePosterFinalSmall.png

Online gaming portal Kongregate has chosen Incredible Ape's one-button action game / ESCAPE \ as its first published title for Apple's App Store and the Android Market.

Originally released as a free Flash game at Kongregate, / ESCAPE \ earned gold medals in the Fun, and Audio, and Overall categories in last year's Ludum Dare 21 competition. The core gameplay is simple but challenging: players tap the screen to repeatedly jump between two walls while avoiding a pursuing laser beam and randomly placed electric traps.

The mobile version of / ESCAPE \ supports Kongregate features like badges and leaderboards, and players can collect GameStop membership points by earning in-game achievements. The Android and iOS editions of / ESCAPE \ are priced at 99 cents.

Indie Game Challenge 2012 Finalists Revealed

January 20, 2012 3:00 AM | John Polson

indie game challenge.jpgThe organizers of the third annual Indie Game Challenge have revealed the 10 finalists for this year's competition, with winners scheduled to be announced February 10 at the 2012 D.I.C.E. Summit in Las Vegas.

The competition, hosted by the Academy of Interactive Sciences, The Guildhall at SMU, and GameStop, will offer
technical, art, and gameplay awards for $2,500 each, along with a $100,000 grand prize award.

This year's nominees for the 2012 Indie Game Challenge are as follows:

- Blendo Games - Atom Zombie Smasher
- Eyebrow Interactive - Closure
- Zeroscale - Demolition, Inc.
- Team Nitronic - Nitronic Rush
- Paradox Shift - Paradox Shift
- Empty Clip Studios, Inc. - Symphony
- Ty Taylor and Mario Castaneda - The Bridge
- Team Dream - The Dream Machine
- The Fourth Team - The Fourth Wall
- Facepalm Games - The Swapper

Gamers can visit the official site and vote for their favorite choice, too.

Realistic Summer Sports Simulator Updates With New Event, Leaderboards

January 19, 2012 10:00 PM | Danny Cowan

120118_realisticsummer.jpg

Enviro-Bear creator Justin Smith has updated his off-the-wall iOS Olympic sports title Realistic Summer Sports Simulator with a number of new features, along with the new Whitewater Slalom event.

Notably, the app is now available as a free download that includes a limited number of events; the full version can be unlocked via a $1.99 in-app purchase. The update also introduces Game Center leaderboard support -- a key addition, as Touch Arcade points out, since mastering unconventional control schemes and earning high scores is a big part of the game's appeal.

Other new features include a flag selection option and a turbo mode that doubles event speed. Be warned: the latter option is not for the casual olympian.

Indie Game Links: Villains and Trends

January 19, 2012 3:00 PM | John Polson

girp bird.jpg Today's collection of independent game links includes news, interviews, and developer announcements from around the 'net. (image source)

Project Stormos: And the Top Video Game Villain of 2011 is...
"There is one exception that I found where an annoying element can actually elevate a game's design. Comedy. The best way that I can wholeheartedly accept an annoying element is if its purposeful and hilarious. Easily the best example of this I've seen recently is in GIRP and some other games on foddy.net."

Venture Beat: Trip the light fantastic in indie video game Waveform
"Impressed by the minimalism of indie games Auditorium and Art Style: Orbient, Vandendyck says he came up with the idea for Waveform while doodling in a notebook and created a prototype in about three evenings after work."

Quote Unquote: The Last and Final Word: Kenta Cho
"Currently I have 3 concepts for new games. One is a shmup, while the other two are other genres. I'd like to implement these as soon as possible but it may take a while before I can release them."

Siliconera: Shifting World, Aksys' Black And White Puzzle Platformer, Is Coming In April
"The Flash game [Shift] has been redesigned with a new art style and puzzles where you switch between 2D and 3D... Shifting World will be released as a $29.99 retail game on April 24, an Aksys representative shared with Siliconera."

The Indie Game Magazine: 'Alien Jelly' Review: Brain Wobbling Brilliance
"Alien Jelly is a 3D logic puzzle game that takes place in the large vacuum of space where the Earth used to be. You play as up to 4 coloured blocks of...well, alien jelly."

Eurogamer: Trends of 2012: Indie Games
"And the PC will continue being what it always has been and people will continue to deny that it's somewhere that isn't just a piracy riddled filthland and everyone else will continue shouting at those who say that because it's a stupid thing to say and every week hundreds of games will fall onto it that pretty much covers the 'there'll be something for everyone somewhere on the PC' and we can all sit back and have fun and lots of people will play good games on it and lots of people will make lots of money on it and lots of people who don't care about making money will make games on it and huzzah and yay. And Steam sales."

iOS Game Pick: Puzzlejuice

January 19, 2012 1:00 PM | Lewie Procter

banner_tall.png Two of the more popular types of games on the iOS app store, match 3 and word games, join forces here to form Puzzlejuice. It's essentially a mashup between Tetris and a word search, where you have to arrange coloured blocks dropping from the top of the screen into full horizontal rows, or clusters of the same colour, then tap them to turn each square into a letter, and join letters up into words to make them disappear, and get loads of points in the process.

It sounds a little complicated, but this trailer does a decent job of showing how it works, and as you can see it's got an attractive graphic style, and charming wobbly animation.

Puzzlejuice is available right now via the iOS App Store. It's a universal app, and is priced at $2.99/£1.99.

Llamasoft's Caverns of Minos Out Now For iOS

January 19, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Following up on well-received App Store efforts like GoatUp and Minotaur Rescue, Llamasoft's Jeff Minter has released Caverns of Minos, a psychedelic, genre-blending iOS tribute to ruminating mammals.

Caverns of Minos is heavily inspired by Caverns of Mars for Atari 8-bit computers, which itself is basically a vertically-scrolling take on Konami's early-'80s arcade title Scramble. Minter's game adds elements from other classics like Lunar Lander, however, resulting in an original effort that requires both quick reflexes and the ability to make precise landings on hostile terrain.

Caverns of Minos includes iCade support, as seen in the trailer above; the trailer's delightfully laid-back soundtrack is not part of the package, unfortunately. Caverns of Minos is available as a universal app, and is priced at $1.99.

Review: Fingle (Game Oven Studios)

January 19, 2012 3:00 AM | John Polson

fingle 1.jpgGame Oven's IGF nominated Fingle on iPad offers over 50 stages that encourage physically compromising positions much like the above photo. Players use their fingers to drag, match, and hold yellow or white squares over like-colored dashed areas for several seconds, until the screen is totally engulfed in a white light. Those dashed areas often move, requiring one or two active hands to avoid colliding while keeping the squares in their targets.

I revealed the bulk of its gameplay in the release trailer post last week. I figure I would account here the one- and two-player experience I had with Fingle.

Adventure Bar Story Coming To The iOS

January 18, 2012 8:16 PM | Cassandra Khaw

adventurebarstory.jpg Adventure Bar Story is something that should have happened yesterday. Though I'm petrified that it'll turn into a poor clone of Recettear, I can't help but hope. Adventure Bar Story, according to this TouchArcade post, was originally a Japanese PSP game entitled Adventure Bar of Wonderland Portable. However, as you might have guessed from the title, localization is currently in process. iPhone and iPod Touch owners will be able to take on the game sometime in February. (iPad owners will have to wait.) Android owners? Well, you know the drill. Hopefully, there'll be overwhelming success and future ports.

Official website for Zigza Game can be found here. Keep Google Translate handy.

Indie Game Links: Treasure GET!

January 18, 2012 3:00 PM | John Polson

Treasure.jpgToday's collection of independent game links includes news, interviews, and developer announcements from around the 'net. (image source)

DIY Gamer: Jonathan Blow on The Witness, Teamwork, and Tai Chi [Interview]
"I think this is a difference that a lot of the more successful indie games have with the ones that languish and you only hear about on tigsource or whatever. With the really successful ones, usually they didn't just ship the first thing they got together that was playable."

Rock, Paper Shotgun: IGF Factor 2012: Antichamber
"I feel that although the number of people making games has steadily increased, the number of people making those games that really smash things out of the park has stayed about the same as it's always been. I'm talking about the games that took real risks, and were polished to perfection. I'm tired of alphas and unfinished games."

Andy Moore: Puzzlejuice review
"I find myself constantly juggling between Tetris skill-set and my Boggle skill-set... But my Tetris skills are old and rusty, and my Boggle skills are not accustomed to this speed of processing and level of perpetual distraction."

Extra Guy: Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet Likely PC Bound
"An ESRB rating for the game has gone up...While not official confirmation, the Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet Twitter feed has tweeted this article with a winky-face at the end."

Joystiq: Q.U.B.E. being prototyped for iOS, Mac and OnLive versions on the way
"We're currently prototyping an iOS version, and a Mac version has been in the works for two months now."

The Indie Game Magazine: Think Outside the Box in Yamada Box Legend
"Each environment and new box you jump into contains a surprise in both content and surreality. One of the puzzles actually involves playing a Game Boy inside the game."

Polytron Corporation: What is FEZ?
"There are no enemies in FEZ. No bosses, no combat. In fact, no conflict of any kind. You can die, but there is no penalty for doing so. FEZ aims to create a non-threatening world rich with ambiance, a pleasant place to spend time in."

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