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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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Surreal XBLIG Action-RPG Four Winds Fantasy Hits iOS

December 13, 2011 9:00 PM | Danny Cowan

After premiering for the Xbox Live Indie Games service back in October, developer QUIMDUNG's distinctly strange action-RPG Four Winds Fantasy has been expanded and released for iOS platforms as Four Winds Fantasy DX.

Inspired in part by Nintendo's cult RPG EarthBound (there's a brief musical interlude, and the game's garbage cans contain a variety of exotic hamburgers), Four Winds Fantasy is an adventure game in which players control a father searching for his son in a world overrun by marauding, sentient plant life.

Describing it further would ruin the experience, but it's worth playing for its charming, MS Paint-styled artwork and bizarre character dialogue. It's also pretty difficult, and there are multiple endings. QUIMDUNG notes that a Chinese translation and a Steam version of Four Winds Fantasy are planned for release soon.

RocketHub Project: Ballin (Derek Gallant)

December 12, 2011 3:00 PM | John Polson

Ballin is a 2D physics-based puzzler with a gravitational twist, where the player must indirectly navigate a ball to reach a portal key to complete the stage. By altering the world's gravity, players allow the ball to roll through the level on its own.

Ballin is set to hit Windows, Mac, and iOS in early 2012. The developer is seeking $5,000 for the project, and rewards donations $10 and up with a digital copy of the game when it is complete. Ballin looks like it will use intuitive touch controls for iOS, so I can support that!

The RocketHub project has about 50 days to go, and it should complement any possible exposure Gallant may get from his student and main IGF entries. Gallant's doing what any dev should, staying vocal about his work, as he tells IndieGames he has presented Ballin as part of Toronto's Gamercamp Lv3 festival as an Emerging Artist.

Ballin's 14MB Windows demo is available for download. My suggestion based on the demo is that the ball probably should respond after death.

Stylish 2D Platformer Terra Noctis Debuting For iOS This Month

December 12, 2011 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Fire Fruit Forge announced that its "50% indie, 50% pixels" (whatever that means) 2D platformer Terra Noctis is set for release later this month for iOS platforms, with BulkyPix acting as publisher.

The preview video above exudes a strong Yoshi's Island influence, right down to specific game mechanics. Terra Noctis' main character shares Yoshi's egg-tossing ability, for one. This isn't exactly a bad thing, though -- there are certainly worse games to be inspired by!

Terra Noctis will premiere in the App Store on December 20th.

iPad and Browser Game Pick: Pirouette (Starfruit Games and increpare)

December 12, 2011 1:30 AM | John Polson

pirouette.jpg

Polyamorous games seem few and far between. Fewer still are ones that make me chuckle, albeit uncomfortably, as I did while reading through Starfruit Games and increpare's Pirouette.

I'm not sure I know exactly what happened at the end, but I sure enjoyed whirlwind trip provided by the art and the writing. To discuss anything in more detail would spoil your own experience with this interactive "book" (as it is so categorized on iTunes).

I leave you with this question: how many wives does it take to screw in a light bulb? Find out the answer in Starfruit Games and increpare's Pirouette, which is also free on iPad.

Round-Up: Gamasutra Network Jobs, Week Of December 9

December 9, 2011 11:00 PM | 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 Harmonix, Music Systems, Sledgehammer Games, 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 alternative gaming news, independent games, and more.

Some of the notable jobs posted this week include:

Harmonix Music Systems: Production Department Manager:
"Harmonix Music Systems is a Cambridge, Mass.-based videogame development company that specializes in music-based games. The company, renowned for its groundbreaking design innovation, is home to a vibrant and dynamic collection of designers, artists, gamers and musicians. Founded in 1995 by Alex Rigopulos and Eran Egozy, the core principle at the heart of all Harmonix products is to share the joy of creating and performing music with everyone, regardless of their musical experience."

Funtactix: Art Director:
"Founded in 2006, Funtactix is a leading developer/publisher of social games for major film and music properties. The studio works with leading film studios and music labels to deliver visually stunning social games around blockbuster films and music artists."

Grabatron: UFO Catcher With A Vengeance

December 9, 2011 9:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Hungry Shark series creator Future Games of London has released Grabatron, an iOS action game in which a vengeful UFO wreaks havoc upon 1980s-era middle America with a giant retractable claw.

Though the UFO lacks offensive weaponry, the claw can be used to grab, drag, and throw background objects. Naturally, this power should be used to cause as much human suffering as possible. Level objectives range from simple farm animal abductions to all-out destructive rampages.

Grabatron includes over 40 different missions, and is priced at 99 cents.

Super Crate Box iOS Port Submitted To Apple

December 9, 2011 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Rejoice! You'll soon be able to play Super Crate Box on your iOS device of choice, as Vlambeer and co-developer Halfbot have submitted the game to Apple for review. The game should arrive in the App Store soon, pending approval.

Super Crate Box, which launched last year as a free downloadable PC title, is a single-screen platformer/shooter in which players earn points by collecting weapon crates. Weapons are distributed randomly, however, and players run the risk of being overwhelmed by enemy swarms if they're equipped with the wrong weapon at the wrong time.

As Touch Arcade notes, Vlambeer's claim that "It's hard as hell because that's what Super Crate Box is, not because of the touch controls," is reassuring, given that touch-based controls have ruined many, many promising games in the past. Still, if you require physical controls (and if you have an iPad, along with some extra money to burn), the game also includes support for ThinkGeek's iCade.

A Glimpse of Time-Travelling Adventure Game The Silent Age

December 8, 2011 6:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

thesilentage.png

The Silent Age looks just groovy, baby. Set both in 1972 and a disquieting version of 2012, The Silent Age is a minimalistic point & click (should that be point & touch instead?) adventure for the mobile platform. Starring Joe, a red-suited janitor who exemplifies the phrase 'Joe Average', The Silent Age will have players moving through time to save humanity from an impossible calamity of some sort.

We're doomed.

Okay, perhaps not. Either way, The Silent Age looks like it will be an absolute delight for those with iOS and Android phones (Sorry, Windows 7 users. You are not loved.). And judging from the blog post, they've put a fair bit of thought into the whole matter, something I do wholly approve of.

Check below the cut for the 'mood' video and the teaser trailer.

Official website here.

Zach Gage, Kurt Bieg: Handful of Indie Games

December 8, 2011 3:30 PM | John Polson

halcyon.jpgZach Gage and Kurt Bieg worked on IGF 2011 mobile finalist Halcyon together and have joined forces again to work on three titles for IGF 2012. Gage and Bieg each worked on an additional game separately, bringing their submission total to five. Instead of featuring one at a time, Gage and Bieg were kind enough to wrangle up their games and tell IndieGames all about them.

The guys first discuss the three they worked on together. Scoundrel takes elements of solitare with the dungeon crawling strategy of a roguelike. Please Send Fruit is a puzzling rubix cube in motion where players sort the monsters by color by moving platforms. Wardoku is described as "Chess + Starcraft + Sudoku."

Gage also worked with Vlambeer on Ridiculous Fishing, a rebuilt game based on Radical Fishing.

Lastly, Bieg has been working with Ramsey Nasser on Twirdie, a Twitter powered golf game for the iPhone. We have a look at all the games after the jump, so enjoy the show!

Time Ducks: Frogger Meets Braid Meets Slot Machines, On iOS

December 6, 2011 9:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Tough Guy Studios has launched its debut effort in the iTunes App Store: Time Ducks, a retro-styled take on the arcade classic Frogger, with bonus time manipulation mechanics.

The objective is simple -- lead groups of animals across a busy freeway to safety -- but Time Ducks offers more than your average Frogger clone. The game's developers promise a revamped experience helmed by all-star cast, including "a bear body builder, a celebrity teen idol, two house bands, [and] a private instruction/insult lesson."

The time-controlling mechanics also add significantly to Frogger's core gameplay. While the advantages in being able to rewind time are obvious, the game also lets players fast-forward the action for score-boosting combos. It also triggers a slot machine-like audiovisual flourish, which either makes the action more difficult or more awesome, depending on your perspective.

Time Ducks is priced at $1.99.

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