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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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E3 2011: Strange Rain - Possibility In Amnesia

June 11, 2011 1:00 AM | jeriaska


Strange Rain video preview

Game designer Erik Loyer's Ruben & Lullaby was a finalist in the Achievement in Art category during the Independent Games Festival's 2nd annual mobile awards ceremony. His studio Opertoon's most recent iPhone and iPad release Strange Rain has just received a free update, providing further experiments in interactive storytelling.

One of the new features offered through the update is the ability to control how much rain is falling as the story unfolds, affecting the volume of the background audio. In addition, new music for the update has been contributed by composer Chris Schlarb, whose soundtrack to NightSky by Nifflas is available to stream in full on Bandcamp.

"Possibility in Amnesia" for Strange Rain (performed by Schlarb on acoustic nylon string guitar, Andrew Pompey on drums and cymbals, and Philip Glenn on violin) can be heard in the embedded player below, though this arrangement represents just one interpretation of the interactive score. The instrumental track unfolds dynamically within the context of the app, depending on how you play.

We had the chance to catch up with the designer and composer during the E3 Expo in Los Angeles to hear about these compelling additions to the experimental iOS application.

On the website for your studio Opertoon, you have expressed an interest in integrating together different disciplines, particularly game design, comics writing and music compostion. Would you describe a little further what it is you are interested in exploring in game design?

Erik Loyer: Pretty much my entire career I have been interested in combining storytelling, music and interactivity in some form. Comics have occasionally played a role as well, particularly with Ruben & Lullaby. Those are areas where I feel there is a lot of potential to explore in the context of touch and gesture-driven platforms, especially iOS.


Android Game Pick: Grand Prix Story (Kairosoft)

June 9, 2011 11:59 AM | Michael Rose

grand prix story.jpg

Whenever a new Kairosoft game hits the App Store, the rest of my week is ruined. No work can get done, and many late nights will be had, as my state of addiction rise to obscene levels. The developer has seen huge success on the App Store, which makes this latest move seem rather strange.

Grand Prix Story, the next game from the management sim dev, is now available via the Android Marketplace, rather than for the iPhone. Clocking in at around £3, it plays out much like past games Game Dev Story and Hot Springs Story, except with racing this time around.

You are the boss of a racing team, and you're tasked with training your drivers, getting sponsors, and then sitting back and watching them bring in the trophies. It's great fun, as you'd expect from Kairosoft, and well worth grabbing. Head over to the Android Marketplace and kiss your week goodbye.

E3 2011: Hands-On Impressions of Minecraft: Pocket Edition

June 9, 2011 12:05 AM | Cassandra Khaw



Seeing Notch at E3 was a bit of a surreal experience, something that may have had a lot to do with the multitude of fans that were swarming him relentlessly. It was something right out of Hollywood, a red carpet moment transplanted into the Xperia Play booth at E3. Like clockwork, cameras would flash and people would declare their undying adulation. The only thing that could have made the illusion complete would have probably been Notch in a Calvin Klein suit and a matching sneer. Fortunately, the Swedish developer retained both his hat and his unassuming demeanor. Either way, this was less a surprise than it could have been. After all, Minecraft isn't so much a game these days as it is a global phenomenon. It's everywhere and last night, I had the chance to see how well it does on the mobile platform in person.

Trailer: Robo Surf (Bitsize Games)

June 1, 2011 3:00 PM | Tim W.


Robo Surf is the first published title by Bitsize Games (a mobile division of Pieces Interactive, known for their work on Fret Nice and Puzzlegeddon) for the iOS and Android devices, with a free-to-play web version for the same game also set to be launched shortly afterwards. You play as the last robot on Earth who decides to go on an adventure and surf the sea across five different regions, grabbing oil barrels to charge his turbo power and defeating the bosses that it meets along the way. Robo isn't the only character that you can use in the game - Daniel Remar's Iji, the whimsical character from Blueberry Garden, and the robot from Pieces Interactive's Walkie Tonky also make special guest appearances here.

The game retails at ninety-nine cents in the App Store and Android Marketplace, but if you don't own an iOS or Android device you can still look forward to playing the web version of Robo Surf which is due to be released very soon.

Gravity Hook HD is Free for the Weekend

May 27, 2011 6:00 PM | Tim W.

The kind folks at Semi Secret have made the iOS version of Gravity Hook HD free to download from the App Store, but just for the next three days. Though the Flash game is still available to play on their website, it's not hard to admit that playing Gravity Hook HD feels much more natural and accurate with touch-based controls.

We've written about both HD and original version numerous times in the past, and though it's a bit old by now booting up the game for a few more plays is still an excellent way to pass time on the bus or the train. You can find and download the iOS port of Gravity Hook HD from the App Store by going here.

GemCraft Free With Not-So-Secret Code

May 26, 2011 9:48 PM | Cassandra Khaw



Oh, hey. Guess what? Weather forecast indicates the possibility of free stuff this weekend and as proof of this, it seems that the folks over at Game in a Bottle have decided to give away GemCraft for free. According to the instructions in my inbox, those interested in getting a free copy of the game should download the FREE version of GemCraft from the App store, swipe across the main menu and enter the secret code 'protector'.

That's it. No strings attached. At least, we hope not.

Go here to pick up GemCraft.

iPhone Game Pick: Bumpy Road (Simogo)

May 24, 2011 3:04 PM | Michael Rose

bumpyroad.jpg

An iPhone essential for you now, folks - Bumpy Road is a gorgeous and well-crafted little thing, with oodles of charm and innovation. An old couple have gone out for a relaxing drive, and you need to control the curves in the road to make sure they don't come a cropper.

As they trundle along, you can hold down anywhere on the floor to make bumps appear. The car will roll down any bump you make, and you can also bounce the car into the air, allowing it to climb platforms and dodge deadly pits. Along the way you'll need to collect gizmos to keep the car running and gain big scores.

There's the main Evergreen Ride mode to tackle, along with Sunday Trip for a more relaxing ride. Bumpy Road is available to download from the App Store for $2.99.

Android Game Pick: Meganoid (Orange Pixel)

May 24, 2011 10:41 AM | Michael Rose

meganoid.jpg

Meganoid is a free (ad supported) platformer for Android that focuses on short, challenging levels with plenty of replay value. You're tasked with simply reaching the end of each level, but there's also diamonds to collect, baddies to kill and times to beat.

I'm not a huge fan of touch-screen d-pads, but Meganoid handles fairly well. It's got a great soundtrack, tons of levels, and a whole extra Sarge mode when you've managed to beat the first 70 areas. A great touch is the use of your OpenFeint friends list - if anyone has played the game, they will appear as bystanders in the background, and shout words of encouragement at you as you run by.

Really nice stuff, especially for free! Make sure you grab a copy, and watch out for the iPhone/iPad version coming soon.

Freeware App Pick: Drumcircle (Run Hello)

May 23, 2011 3:00 PM | Michael Rose

drumcircle.jpgFrom the creator of Jumpman comes Drumcircle, a simple yet entertaining toy. By placing symbols around a central circle, you can create a beat with lots of different samples to choose from.

A line swings around the centre at a constant rate, and will play any sample it passes through. All you need to do is drag samples from the bottom and place them on the grid. You can use the points provided to stick to the beat, but you're also allowed to play them wherever you want. Clicking on the arrow in the corner will allow you to look through more different beats.

It's available for free for Windows, Mac and Linux, but you can also pick up an iPhone or Android version too, for a dollar each. Note that the PC version also comes with the ability to add your own samples. Go give it a download.

Android Game Pick: Tales of Pocoro (Curved Cat Games)

May 20, 2011 11:07 AM | Michael Rose


talesofpocoro.jpg

Loooving this one, so much so that a rather late night was had. Tales of Pocoro is a puzzle game that is seemingly set in an RPG-styled world, giving it a really nice atmosphere.

It's essentially a simple idea that has been done numerous times before, yet the setting makes it feel so fresh. On each level, you need to reach the end portal, but must first destroy all the platforms in the water by stepping on them. Grey platforms disappear after one step, while blue are destroyed after two, green three, and so on. Then there are special platforms that bounce you, blow you over gaps, and other such ideas.

There's nothing particularly difficult about it, but it's strangely addictive, with easy swiping used to move your character. The amount of detail surrounding each level is pretty amazing, considering that levels can last just 10-15 seconds at times.

There's a demo available if you'd like to check it out for free, and the full game can also be found on the Android Marketplace.
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