The indie world often runs at the speed of lightening which is often faster than me at 7AM before my first cup of coffee. With such a downpour of indie news and games recently in the past week, I thought now would be a good time to take stock of everything that’s going on in the world of indie from events, news, and the games you need to be playing now.
I also never pass up on a chance to talk about
What You Should Know
Speaking of the woman who makes all the geeks swoon and happen to share my love of Kingdom Rush, Felicia Day will be the host of this year’s IndieCade ceremonies. Having just launched Geek & Sundry, it seemed like a match made in virtual heaven as some of the top indie developers and rising talent within the field. And as always, G4 will be there to cover all the great games coming to beautiful downtown Culver City this fall.
Oh geez. If Felicia is going to be there this year, I’m going to start picking out what to wear now. Bowties are cool, right?
Speaking of timing, developers looking to come to IndiCade this year should submit their games to the website before the May 1st deadline. If you’re feeling particularly lazy, there’s a May 15th deadline that you should keep your eye on as well.
On to other news, Vlambeer releases an old prototype and teases their next game on their website. The good gents who code with golden keyboard in order to make such amazing titles such as Super Crate Box, Ridiculous Fishing, and GUN GODZ drop two more surprises on their fans. The team releases a previous space sim prototype, Space Murder, that didn’t seem to go anywhere. Check this rather rough project out on their website. But it seems as though unlike NASA, Vlambeer looks to that deep dark void yet again for their next game, Luftrausers.
Happy Birthday, Ludum Dare! Just ten years ago, a couple of developers got together to spend a weekend working on their own games. Check out the best little keynote that you’ll actually be able to play through here.
For their tenth anniversary, Ludum Dare celebrated the only way they knew how, by throwing another 72-hour game jam. This time around, the theme was “tiny world” and whatever that means to you, there’s probably a game based on it. Actually, there are over 1100 games based on that one suggestion. With developers all across the globe working together to create games just for the love of creating games, maybe their theme fits what this event has created, a smaller and more playful world.
For those of you out there not yet ready to tackle the over 1100 games waiting for you at their site, we’ve picked out some of the better games you can play right now.
Memento XII – This point-and-click adventure lets you explore the world of your cell. Touching and amazing, anyone looking for a unique experience needs to play this game.
Disregard All Humans – Do what any monster wants to do – smash buildings, eat humans, and grow large enough to escape your world.
Super Mario Summary – Journey through all the levels of the original Mario game in only one screen.
Planet 161 – Three guns and one world to escape, this little game makes you feel like the walls are closing in with every step.
Why can’t everything be solved with Quake III? After Notch confronted one gamer pirating copies of Minecraft from his website, the gamer challenged the indie giant to a game of Quake III to see whether or not he could keep his site running. This young hacker probably got the idea from Notch himself when he challenged Bethesda to the same game after allegations that the title for his card game, Scrolls, would confuse buyers looking for the video game, The Elder Scrolls.
After some initial delays, both men met on the virtual field of battle, but only Notch left with he head held high that day. Watch the replay and you’ll see that maybe Notch’s opponent should have pirated a few more first person shooter before the match.
What You Should Be Playing
Today, I’m starting off with one that just dropped on the virtual shelves. A Valley Without Wind takes the idea of dungeon crawls and throws it on its head by casting you as a magic user in this 2D platforming labyrinth of a world. From NPC’s to rescue, spells to learn, and a whole civilization you practically need to build back from scratch; this adventure takes to a new world where few other games dare to go. With multiplayer, permanent death, and an ever-changing world to explore and conquer, A Valley Without Wind might be the place you’re looking for if you need to escape the same dreary titles.
One of my favorite titles for the iPad makes a leap to the slightly larger screen of my computer. Swords and Sworcery takes you into a world of mystery and music. With sword and shield in hand, the one thing you really need to worry about is getting lost in the vivid pixel artwork. For those of you who have not had the privilege of taking on this journey, truly do yourself a favor and down load Sword and Sworcery on the closest PC. I really don’t care if it’s on a stranger’s PC. They will thank you as soon as the first couple of notes of the soundtrack start to play. Catch it now on Steam.
Speaking of things hitting Steam, Lone Survivor crawls out of the shadows to deliver pixel horror as well as a sale if you act on it now. This slice of Silent Hill takes me back to the days where enemies were disturbing just to look at and you could count the number of bullets in your inventory on one hand. Sickening, maddening, and at times down right creepy; Lone Survivor is perhaps one of the best games you’re not playing. I think it’s time you do something about that.
Action-puzzle? Difficult-casual? Call it what you will. Waveform puts you in charge of the wavy pathway of a ship in space. Hit the good stuff and avoid the bad things. While it sounds simple, this title will keep you on your toes as you try to navigate the dark inky space. By hitting the items you want or following the correct path, you build up your combo as well as your speed. The added speed bumps the difficulty into that sweet spot so you’ll never need to worry about being asleep behind the wheel.
From the makers of Machinarium comes another game that will keep you scratching your head while smiling ear to ear. Bontanicula put you in charge of a group of little woodland creatures who must protect one of the last seeds of a tree from some rather nasty baddies. In this point and click adventure, each of the friends lend their own talents to the group as you try to solve ways around obstacles or look for keys or little feathers for one of the many other creature inhabiting the tree. Botanicula is both wonderfully silly and clever in all the best ways.
Not all the best games are on PC. This Xbox title takes you to the greatest show on Earth where sentient goo flip, fly, and as the title describes, splatter their way across small arenas. Keep the gel flying in order to rack up the points and keep your audience happy. Speed, precision, and a little creativity are needed to reach that high score to keep that combo alive. Anything but casual, The Splatters let you take it again from the top almost instantly, no matter how many balls of goo you need to sacrifice.