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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: Ravenmark - Scourge of the Estellion (Witching Hour)

November 29, 2011 6:11 PM | Cassandra Khaw

Ravenmark: Scourge of Estellion will make a lot of turn-based strategy enthusiasts very, very happy. Created by Singaporean Witching Hour, this rather brilliant debut production is a pretty rock-solid addition to the App Store. Consisting of fifteen campaigns, the game is less about magic and more about military tactics. Here, you'll spend most of your time worrying about limited command points and formations, about whether to take active control of a unit or trusting in your Standing Orders, about possible ambushes and anticipating the perfect opportunity to use an ability. In short, it's something you're going to want to sneak your teeth into.

As a plus, the story is rather well-written too. Though the plot may be familiar, the cast itself is rather charming - I'm particularly fond of Calius's overprotective brother. It also helps that the world is rather well-fleshed out, something that is often lacking in iOS games. Music fans might also be pleased to know that the music in Ravenmark is the work of game composer Josh Whelchel, the chap responsible for scores in Wind-Up Knight and Mojang AB's scrolls.

At $2.99, it's definitely worth checking out today. Of course, if you're short on pennies, you could always wait till the next sale.

Get Ravenmark here.

World of Goo Now Available on Android

November 29, 2011 3:00 PM | John Polson


2D Boy's insanely popular puzzler goos over yet another operating system. This time World of Goo is available on the Android Market with a celebratory 40% off discount ($2.99) until December 5. For those go-getters who love achievements, World of Goo has been integrated with OpenFeint.

The developers blog that the game will run on most phones with Android 2.2 or newer and on all tablets. "There are lots of Android devices out there with varying capabilities, so if you have an older phone, we recommend trying the demo first," they suggest.

The free demo to test drive World of Goo's compatibility on your Android device is available here. The full version is available here.

IndieVisibility Awards Coming to London

November 29, 2011 9:00 AM | John Polson


The first ever IndieVisibility End of Year Awards will be given on December 10 at the Camel & Artichoke in Waterloo, starting at 6PM. Attendance is free, but spaces are limited and require advance registration.

The fine people of Rock, Paper, Shotgun and our own Mike Rose, along with some top developers, have crafted interesting awards such as "Best Minecraft" and "Best Placeholder Art" to be given at the event. If free booze is your idea of winning, then just by attending, you will have won!

There are so many awesome London indies, such as Curve Studios (recent Stealth Bastard fame), Omni Systems (Eufloria), Hello Games (Joe Danger), Hand Circus (Rolando) and, of course, Size Five (BAFTA award winner for Privates). I envision the event to be like a Hollywood affair; while not guaranteed, you are bound to grope run into one of these teams.

For more information and updates to the event, follow @danthat on Twitter. As spaces are limited, email Dan at Size Five Games for a free ticket only if you intend to come to the event.

Increpare's English Country Tune Available Now

November 26, 2011 1:25 AM | John Polson

Stephen Lavelle (aka Increpare), the creator behind many of IndieGames' browser and freeware game picks such as line bender, untris, and Home, has just released abstract 3D puzzler English Country Tune. The main goal of the first map, Larva, teaches the basics of the first world: flip a square across a 3D board to knock orange spheres (larvae) into incubators. Some stages also have end points to reach. The advanced larva map beings by adding 3D levels that move a bit with the player.

The larvae are special in that they simulate gravity and fall relative to how they are pushed. This becomes quite the challenge when the square must flip around various sides of the 3D stage to hit the larvae in the right direction. Players control the square with the directional arrows and can pan around the environment holding shift and using the arrows.

In my short time with English Country Tune on the PC and now on the iPad, I am already addicted to the spatial puzzles (of which I am no master). The full game seems to offer many different puzzles, as the world unlocked after Larva introduces pushing a whale character off the screen. Moving the whale is a great challenge; one almost herds it indirectly by moving along its different axes.

The game is available now for iPhone 3GS or above and iPad on iTunes for $4.99. Windows and Mac owners can purchase English Country Tunes for $9.99 using PayPal, Amazon, or Google payments. Those with trepidation can try a Windows or Mac demo first.

Trailer: Clairvoyance (Eric Svedang, Johannes Gotlen, Niklas Akerblad & Oscar Rydelius)

November 24, 2011 9:09 PM | Cassandra Khaw

Clairyovance is what would happen if you were to throw Chess and Rock Paper Scissors into a blender, run it on high before seasoning it with robots and all things plasma. An upcoming 3D turn-based strategy game, Clairyovance is being developed by Eric Svedang, Johannes Gotlen, Niklas Akerblad and Oscar Rydelius.

Scheduled for the Mac and PC (iPad compatibility is apparently in the pipe lines as well), Clairyovance reminds me slightly of Frozen Synapse. Not that the comparison's a bad thing, of course.

Official (albeit barebones) page can be found here.

Freeware/Browser Game Pick: Cabals - the Card Game (Kyy Games)

November 24, 2011 5:59 PM | Cassandra Khaw

Collectible card games have been a bit of a life time obsession. Though I'm mostly faithful to Magic: The Gathering, I've flirted with a whole parade of online and offline franchises. Some have been good, others not so good. Cabals: The Card Game, if the beta was any indication of things, looks like it might fall into the first category.

Then again, it could be a notable bias towards the fact that the Cabals is free, supports cross-platform (it'd be available for play on browsers, Android devices and iOS thingies) play, and has Lovecraft-esque aesthetics. Though the core product is free, it looks like they'll be using a freemium model here. Additional cards and various other features will be available for purchase with the in-game currency. Given the precedent that Elements has set, I'm not too bothered by this. Still, we'll see.

Currently, it seems like the mobile versions of the game are undergoing final approval. However, the downloadable version and the browser version are both up and running.

Check it out here.

iOS Trailer: Box Cat (Wild Rooster)

November 24, 2011 2:00 AM | John Polson

Wild Rooster's Box Cat feels like a catharsis or apology for all those animals that were shamelessly harmed in games such as Frogger. Instead of creatures being run over by cars, cars are being run over by Box Cat.

More specifically, players can smash Box Cat into cars and create a combo effect, hitting traffic head-on by using tilt or touch controls. Box Cat offers a charming looking world to explore, an adventure mode to complete achievements, and a handful of unlockable new Cats. The game also touts a survival mode and a 7-lane rush hour mode.

Box Cat with iCade and JoyPad support is currently $1.99, at 33% off before this Saturday. (I came up with this line about seeing road kill get its revenge, but that sounds more like a Zombie Box Cat spinoff. Here's to Rusty Moyher of Wild Rooster zombifying!)

Best of GameSetWatch: From Ghana's Devil May Cry To Custom Skylanders

November 23, 2011 11:00 PM | Eric Caoili

Over at our alt video game blog GameSetWatch, we shared a number of fun stories during the past week, including Ghana's Devil May Cry film, custom articulated Skylanders figures, and Skyrim without textures.

GameSetWatch's highlights from the last week:

Ghanaian Devil May Cry Film Takes Capcom's Series In A Bold New Direction - No matter how the next Devil May Cry turns out, it's probably not going to be as awe-inspiring as what you see here. This trailer for the Ghanaian film "Obonsam Besu" shows off several potential gameplay mechanics that will not be featured in any video game ever. kind of a shame, actually.

Yes! Jin Saotome Making Articulated, Poseable Skylanders - Jin Saotome is already familiar around these parts for producing wicked video game action figures out of G.I. Joe and McFarlane Toys parts, but now he is changing the world by customizing the latest toy craze: Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure figures.

Iphone Game Pick: The Show Must Go On (Hide & Seek)

November 22, 2011 5:43 PM | Cassandra Khaw

Apart, the five mini-games contained within The Show Must Go On are anything but cutting edge. There's a Cannabalt-esque game that will have you vaulting from rooftop to rooftop in an attempt to capture missing sheets of music, dodge pigeons and drink tea. There's one that will have you dodging trapdoors and incorrect costumes in an attempt to dress your cast. And then, there's one that will have you memorizing props, another that will have you playing DDR with lights and even one that will have you arranging colored boxes in a particular manner. Together, they're.. surprisingly nifty.

If it all sounds a little boring to you, I don't blame you. It sounded boring to me well. Nonetheless, driven by curiosity, I went ahead and checked it out. I was pleasantly surprised. The Show Must Go On will have you playing as a bumbling stage manager who must ensure that the show goes on. As a result, you'll have to take on the five mini-games and accomplish them to the best of your abilities. If you succeed, the game will treat you to a cutesy ending scene and give you the optimal amount of stars. If not, you might see cast members falling out of the rafters and cannons exploding in faces. The mini-games, while simple, are rather well-done and the sort that will keep you occupied during a boring stretch of the day.

For $0.99, it's a rather entertaining piece of work. The endearing, saccharine-sweet visuals, polished delivery and classical tracks also help a lot. Just sayin'.

Pick it up here.

Jak And Poi Wants To Bring A New Twist To Rock, Paper, Scissors

November 22, 2011 12:00 AM | Tim W.

Snickers Chamber wants to return to those days when kids would play Rock, Paper, Scissors, get bored with the standard loadout, and throw in all sorts of weird variants like dynamite, Superman, gun, Spock, west side, etc.

The developer wants to bring the millennia-old game and its inventive variations to iOS with a card game called Jak and Poi (apparently that's the Filipino name equivalent of Rock, Paper, Scissors, but I've never heard of it!).

Jak and Pok starts off like a usual R/P/S game, but each time you play one of those three standard "Jak" cards, you earn permission points that allow you to play more powerful "Poi" cards that can range from T-Rexes to tanks:

"For example, they can deal damage to your opponent, protect you, or heal you. Each player has a total of 20 life points at the start of the game, and the first to zero loses.

While one may be tempted to play Pois on every turn, players should think about his/her strategy as the effects of Pois can be countered, amplified, or diminished when played against a Jak.

So really, it's a constant guessing game between players, and the one who can best read his/her opponent wins."

The group is looking to raise $12,500 in the next six weeks to create the game first, though, and is running a Kickstarter with incentives that include the game's OST (by Scrolls composer osh Welchel), custom oil paintings of card art, and more.

Contributors can also get physical playable decks of the cards featured in Jak and Pok. Ken Wong (Alice: Madness Returns) and Thinkmore Studios' Darren Rawlings are illustrating the cards, so the art will definitely be on point, too.

[Originally posted on sister site GameSetWatch.]

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