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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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Mobile Game Pick: Cube 3 (Robot Bear)

May 18, 2011 11:14 AM | Michael Rose

cube 3.jpg
Cube 3 is a competitive puzzler for iPhone, iPad and Android. It's essentially a two-player game of Tic Tac Toe, with both players trying to match three in a row on any side of a 3D cube.

The trick is that you can only put your colour in a space on the currently selected side of the cube, and you then choose the next available side - hence, the idea is to keep your opponent away from the sides which they have nearly completed.

Pieces put on corners or edges fill the space on the adjacent side too, as you can see from the screenshot, so it's intriguingly tactical. You can play on your own against the computer, or grab a friend and take turns against each other.

Cube 3 is available to download from the Android Marketplace or the App Store, depending on your device of choice.

Android Game Pick: Hextacy (Magnus Lorentzon)

May 17, 2011 4:30 PM | Michael Rose

Here goes with the Android picks then! I do like my mobile puzzle games, and Hextacy kept me going for a good hour before I decided it was probably time to go to sleep. The idea is to make matches of 3 or more adjacent hexagons of the same colour.

When you make a match, all the hexagons above will fall down into the space. However, when you can't make a match anymore, all the current pieces in the grid become blacked out, and more pieces fall on top. You can then only match the new pieces together.

Now here comes the big twist - once you've exhausted the latest pieces, those pieces black out, and the pieces from the first round come back to life again, plus new pieces fall on top. Pieces will continue to alternate between blacked out and active with each new level. If you manage to completely fill the grid with no active matches possible, it's all over.

The Lite version comes with just the Normal mode to play through, while the full version also has Hardcore and Pure, plus online highscore boards. The game is currently half price, at just $0.99/€0.75/£0.68. Jump below the cut to find QR codes that you can scan with your Android device to get straight to the Marketplace page. It's the futuuuuure! Now Covers Android Games

May 16, 2011 3:00 PM | Michael Rose

We've been covering iPhone games here and there for several months now, but alas, none of us had Android phones, and therefore couldn't give the Android Marketplace a look in. However, as of this week I've now grabbed myself one, and the Android picks can commence.

If you're looking to have your Android game featured on the site, feel free to email me at, and I'll make sure to check it out. As with our iPhone game picks, I won't be doing too many of them (as the majority of our readers are looking for browser and freeware games), but I will definitely highlight the best Android games available at the time.

For those who couldn't give a monkey's about either Android or iPhone games, remember that you can use the tabs to select Desktop, and only read news that will interest you.

iPhone Game Pick: Deckmake Fantasy (Beeworks Co. Ltd)

May 15, 2011 8:13 PM | Cassandra Khaw

Localization can be one of those things that make or break a game. Depending on your tolerance for Engrish, you might find yourself either adoring DeckMake Fantasy or wanting to fling your iOS mobile of choice into a wall.

Filled with absolutely adorable visuals, DeckMake Fantasy is Magic the Gathering re-packaged for fans of Squeenix - it's not a bad thing, really, not unless you have problems with cutesey material. Then again, if you have issues with games that induce diabetes, you probably shouldn't be even thinking about getting this then.

At $2.99, however, some might find it a little steep given that you'd likely spend most of your time with your head slightly tilted to one side going, 'What the heck are they talking about?'. I was personally fine with it but then again, I grew up in a place where English is seldom the first language if you get what I'm saying.

Those interested in the game can pick it up here.

Spaces of Play's Spirits is Free for Today Only

May 12, 2011 3:00 PM | Tim W.

Spaces of Play's iPhone puzzle game Spirits is free to download from the App Store for the next twenty-four hours or so, and if you've somehow not picked up this excellent Lemmings-style game yet for whatever reason then this is your best chance to do it while the developers are feeling overly generous. The game looks great and runs well on just about any iOS device, the soundtrack is lovely, and just about every review posted awards Spirits a five-star rating - you'd be beating yourself silly if you don't give it a go.

Have an iPad? No worries! The game is free for the iPad too, and we promise you it looks even better on a larger display screen. Get it now from the App Store before anyone from Spaces of Play realize their follies or recover from their madness.

Opinion: The Gods Of Goo

May 11, 2011 3:32 PM | Michael Rose

worldofgoo.jpg[In this opinion piece originally posted on sister site Gamasutra, contributor Richard Clark offers a personal meditation on the implications of deity in 2D Boy's World of Goo.]

We all have authority figures. Some of us have as few as possible. Bosses, teachers, parents and elected officials are enough for us. But some people - people like me - choose to have even more. Most prominently, some of us choose to believe in an unknown force, commonly known as God, which guides us both directly and indirectly through life.

It's a belief that keeps me living purposefully, that makes sense of the world, and that gives me hope for the future. But sometimes I wonder if this belief places me squarely in the midst of a cruel game, wherein I am merely a pawn, used for the sadistic purposes of a cruel God.

The Accidental, Thoughtless God

We start World of Goo with a strong sense of power. We have complete control over the goo balls that live in the world. They grunt and squeak thankfully as we connect and divide them, building structure after structure. They are excited to see what's next, through that pipe that hangs overhead at the end of each level. They are at the whim of whoever comes along to control them. They trust in us.

We seek to progress as a civilization. According to the omnipresent Sign Painter, it is the best and only choice for the goo balls. When society is improved and made more efficient, only good can result, right? He encourages us to keep making progress. As is typical of the videogame format, we unlock stages and worlds one after another. The signs in the levels are full of helpful hints and tips. We begin to view the Sign Painter as the infallible source. We go to him first, and simply ask, "What now?"

iPhone Game Pick: Rogo (Creative Heuristics)

May 10, 2011 4:00 PM | Michael Rose

Rogo is a clever puzzle game for iPhone that uses the idea of the Nearest Neighbour algorithm to create a plentitude of head-scratching challenges. For each grid, you need to make a loop that uses a set number of squares, while also passing through the greatest number total.

Sounds simple, but it's really not. It's easy to think that the larger numbers on the grid are clearly going to be part of your loop, but then when you look elsewhere, you realise that adding all the smaller numbers up can sometimes equal more. If you manage to find the greatest total available on a level, you'll receive a gold medal.

There are plenty of puzzles included with the $1.99 asking price, although three packs of additional grids are available for $0.99 each. I was content with the included puzzles though. Grab Rogo from the App Store, or grab the free Rogo Lite which includes 36 puzzles.

Nordic Game Indie Night Showcase Announced

May 6, 2011 1:30 PM | Michael Rose

The showcase for the Nordic Game Indie Night has been revealed, with plenty of familiar names ready to be shown off at the Sweden-based games festival. Being run by The Copenhagen Game Collective, Games will be on display on the night of May 10, with awards presented to the best on May 11.

The eight games selected to be presented at the showcase are:

1916 - Der unbekannte Krieg, by Kriegsgraben und Stormvogel [Denmark]
Cobalt, by Oxeye Game Studio [Sweden]
Jesus vs Dinosaurs, by Martin Jonasson and Petri Purho [Sweden & Finland]
Mobiloid, by Monty Games [Denmark]
Nimbus, by Noumenon Games [Sweden]
Paul & Percy, by Mads Peter Vedsten Larsen, Klaus Kabel Kritensen, and Magnus Poppel [Denmark]
Spirits, by Spaces of Play [Sweden]
Vikings on Trampolines, by D-Pad Studio [Norway]

For all the details on the conference, visit the Nordic Game site.

iPhone Game Pick: Unpleasant Horse (4th and Battery)

May 6, 2011 7:00 AM | Tim W.

Unpleasant Horse is a score-based arcade game created by Popcap's new division 4th and Battery for iOS devices, where you play as the titular creature who has to fly around the sky stinking up clouds and killing ponies for points. You do this by landing on the back of an unsuspecting pony and dragging it down to the ground, where a sea of menacing saws await those who dare to approach them.

There are birds that you can crash into for feathers too, which are then used to execute mid-air jumps when you are unable to find a cloud to jump from. You can carry up to five feathers at any time. Extra points are also earned by getting a pritty pony (as the developers call them) grinded by the saw blades, or pulling a last second getaway just when you are about to be sliced and diced yourself.

Unpleasant Horse isn't a particularly memorable game by a long stretch, but for the price of free you could do a lot worse with other paid apps out there. The game can be downloaded from the App Store by clicking here.

Lazors is Free for Today Only

May 3, 2011 9:00 PM | Tim W.

Lazors is a puzzle game that was released by Pyrosphere just prior to Last Fish, featuring ninety levels to play through with the difficulty ranging from easy to pretty challenging. The objective here is to use a set of blocks to reflect laser beams at marked circular targets. Hit all of them, and you'd have solved the puzzle.

The lite version had just twenty levels to beat, but you can download the full app at no charge just for today. Lazors can be found in the App Store by clicking here.

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