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Indie Games

Welcome to G4's Knuckle Up, where we bring you a byte-sized view of our five favorite mobile games every week. The phone and tablet space is filled with incredible games that will keep you busy for minutes, hours, or even days -- we'll let you know what we're playing and why we're playing it. Here are our five favorite games this week:

GAME OF THE WEEK

DREAM OF PIXELS

iOS ($2.99)

We’re all familiar wtih Tetris, the classic shapes-falling puzzle game that captured gamers’ hearts (and left them with the soundtrack incessantly playing in their heads). Strategically placing tetrominos are back in a big way with Dream of Pixels, an interesting puzzle game inspired by the old classic. This time around, though, you’ll be playing what amounts to “backwards Tetris,” in a way.

A cloud cover descends on your iOS device’s screen, and you’ll be presented with a tetromino to place at the cloud’s edge. Dropping a piece clears that bit of cloud, so instead of making lines, you’ll be clearing them -- and the descent speeds up every 10 lines cleared. There’s more than just one way to play, too: in addition to Classic, other modes include Pro, Nightmare, Shattered Dreams, and Puzzle.

Dream of Pixels is a brilliant twist on classic Tetris, offering an interesting and somewhat relaxing jaunt through the world of tetrominos and stunning visuals, all set to a mellow soundtrack that will keep you calm as you reach higher levels.

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IGF Entrants Than You Need To Know About -- That Indie Column

Don’t think for a second that the indie action is letting up to make way for the triple-A titles this Fall. The nights may be longer and the air a little cooler, but this only gives you more of an incentive to dive into some of the best games to hit the digital medium. And the Independent Games Festival just released their short list games they’re looking to bring to the big dance at GDC next year.

And by little, I mean nearly 600 games hitting the stage. As I mentioned, these are the games in consideration for the big prizes and the far shorter selection will be announced early next year. Until then, peruse through the selection this year ranging from the retail favorites (FTL), story focused games that transport you into a personal journey (dys4ia), many of your favorite games from IndieCade (Analogue: A Hate Story), and some new faces that you need to keep an eye on in the coming months.

I dare you to look through the list and not become excited by what indie games can offer. But knowing that your time is precious, I’ve picked out a couple of select games that you need to know about right now.

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Indie On Indie -- XBox Indie Developers Pick Their Favorite Xbox Indie Games

It’s that time of the year. Sixty bucks here. A special edition there. And perhaps a bank loan just for all the Borderlands 2 DLC. Sometimes the fall season seems to refer to bank account, but it doesn’t have to be that way. There’s a whole world of amazing games at your fingertips for only a couple of bucks.

Finding it is just the hard part.

Xbox Indie Game section presents some of the oddest, most unique, and sometimes, even the best gaming you can download straight to your console. Just recently, Indie Uprising III brought together some of these indie developers to show off their vision for the 360. For a change of pace, I asked the developers to recommend other games on the XBLIG marketplace that you should be playing now.

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IndieCade 2012 brought together top indie game developers who wanted to show off their latest passion projects. In the video below, we speak with the developers behind Hidden In Plain Sight, Qasir Al Wasat, International Racing Squirrels, Open Source, and Vornheim to learn more about these unique titles and to get more insight about being an indie game creator.

IndieCade 2012: Hidden In Plain Sight, Qasir Al Wasat, Racing Squirrels, Open Source, Vornheim Interviews »


G4 Extra Life Charity Drive - We Need You!

Extra Life, a charity-drive dedicated to Children's Miracle Network hospitals across North America, begins this Saturday, October 20th.  G4 is proudly participating, and in the spirit of giving, we will run a live-streamed 'telethon'-style event, starting Friday, 12pm Pacific at G4TV.com. We need you to contribute!

We'll play games, and you'll tell us what to play and how to play it. Some games we'll be running through: Dishonored, Borderlands 2, Dance Central 3 and Transformers: Fall of Cybertron... and some surprises! If you have some suggestions for us, leave them in the comments.

We'll give you video games, swag, collectibles and more when you donate money to Extra Life. Giveaways will include:

  • Metal Gear 25th Anniversary collectibles, autographed by Hideo Kojima and the Platinum Games team
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Care Package, autographed by the Treyarch team
  • Dance Central 3, includes new game, t-shirt, cap and more plus Dance Central 2, signed by the Harmonix team
  • SEGA's limited edition Sonic collectibles, The Cave puzzle, Jet Set Radio cocktail shaker and more
  • Halo 4 collectible book, t-shirt and a McFarlane Toys' Halo: Reach Warthog
  • An EA Games bundle which includes Dragon Age, Dragon Age 2, Mass Effect 3, Crysis 2, Bulletstorm, and Need for Speed: Shift 2 Unleashed
  • The Walking Dead season passes, Pinball FX 2 Marvel tables, Microsoft Xbox Summer of Arcade hits and much, much more on the way...

Be sure to donate now to be in the running for all this sweet swag, and definitely stay tuned for Friday, 12pm Pacific to see how you can get your hands on even more exclusive video game merchandise!

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IndieCade 2012 Winners -- Or How I Was Wrong With All My Predictions

Like I was telling someone before the big IndieCade Awards, this year’s selection of games demonstrated an unprecedented amount of talent and creativity. Any one of these titles could easily take home any of these awards without anyone batting an eye. That doesn’t make me feel any better at getting every single prediction (as usual) completely and utterly wrong.

I sometimes wonder if they don’t wait until the night before to start switching games around just so I have to write the article explaining how wrong I really am. But, I will take my defeat in grace and will never shy away from any opportunity to talk about some great indie games.

Now without further ado, I present to you the award winning games of IndieCade 2012. If you haven’t played them yet, you’ll want to get your hands on them as soon as possible.

IndieCade 2012 Winners -- Or How I Was Wrong With All My Predictions

Grand Jury Award – Unmanned

It takes minutes to play, but Unmanned sticks with you for long after the credits roll. As a part of a two man team for an unarmed drone, you experience one day in the life of this man who’s tired of staring through the camera of a drone flying around the Middle East and keeping his finger on the trigger. The day starts off with you waking up from a terrible dream and ends with you counting sheep. Between it all, you go to work, deal with you attraction to your co-worker, the slow death of your marriage, your son’s ADHD, and the life of the man in your sites.

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Indiecade, the International Festival of Independent Games, is the only gaming event in the nation focused exclusively on indie gaming.

We stopped by the show to chat with some up-and-coming developers like Shawn McGrath, Dain Saint, Jason Roberts, and Christine Love to get more information on their indie games Dyad, Splice, Gorogoa, and Analogue: A Hate Story. Check out the video below to see each one in action and to learn more about these passionate developers.

IndieCade 2012: Dyad, Splice, Gorogoa, Analogue Interviews »


For more from Indiecade, read our latest feature on the event: The Importance Of Being IndieCade -- Lessons We Can Learn From Past Games.

The Importance Of Being IndieCade -- Lessons We Can Learn From Past Games

The heat wave that’s been blasting the LA scene finally broke sometime yesterday as the cool ocean breezes of the fall slowly drift through downtown Culver City. With only a week before the big event, IndieCade proves to be bigger than ever with over 80 games hitting this event. Even with all the articles I read about the games at there, there’s always something surprising awaiting me.

But more than just a weekend of playing games, talking to developers, and meeting the future of our industry; there’s an important reason for all of this. As I might have mentioned before, these events to me represent where were are now and where we’re going in gaming. Every game that makes it into the festival says something about what games can really do.

I picked out several games from the previous festivals to demonstrate what we can learn from IndieCade. So when you head out to Culver City on October 4th – 7th and wait for that amazing indie game, know that there’s also something here that you can learn about gaming and why events like IndieCade are so important.

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Understanding Indie Development Through Greenlight

The dominance of Valve Software’s digital distribution platform Steam rarely gets challenged. Back in 2009 it was estimated that Steam enjoyed around 70 percent of the digital distribution market in terms of dollars generated per month, and the service certainly hasn’t grown any smaller since. Valve makes big money in PC-centric markets like Germany and Russia, and these successes underscore how influential and important Steam is in the PC sector of the video game industry.

For independent developers who lack the budget to run effective marketing campaigns, whether or not people can discover their game is a huge concern. This makes Steam extremely attractive to indies.

There are plenty of other ways for indie developers to distribute their games like selling off their own websites or working with other digital distribution services, but nothing beats having space on a platform like Steam which is hugely successful and popular.

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Indie Overload -- Indie Uprising, Sense of Wonder Night, Fantastic Arcade, Boston Festival of Indie Games, And More

One big game hits the store and the indies are going to make sure you forget all about it. If you’re not already playing FTL, then you’re getting ready to jump into Torchlight 2 or any number of the dozen or so games to launch between now and next week.

Complaints about the cost of games giving you a heart attack? Fear not. Again, the indie have shown mercy where others have not by launching Indie Royale, Humble Bundle 6, and Build-A-Bundle 3. You’re looking at over twenty games for less than what most DLC will cost you and with most of the money going to charity. And while some may hang up the “Mission Accomplish” banner and call it a night, indie developers work around the clock to produce even more games that will keep me up late into the night just trying to keep track of them.

But I say bring them on. Let’s take on innovation and creativity head-on. I’ve sorted through some of the big events happening around the world and in your backyard right now. With each one, you’ll find a couple of choice games that I’ve picked out just for you.

Read More »

At PAX Prime, indie games are king. X-Play sought out the best indie game while up in Seattle for all of you gamers who missed out on the event, myself included. Kristen Adams spoke with one of the minds responsible for each of these rad titles. Check it out!

Top Indie Games At PAX Prime 2012 »


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  • Cheats and Walkthroughs

The core of PC arcade shooter Loadout is weapon crafting, and as such, there's no limit to the type weapons you can create. In this interview with Mark Nau, Creative Director at Edge Of Reality, you'll find out just how important the system is and how the crafting system itself works. This seems like the kind of thing I'd get lost for days in. What type of weapon would you make in Loadout?

Loadout PAX Prime 2012 Gameplay Preview »


One of the most wonderful events of the year is about to hit Los Angeles – INDIECADE!

And knowing how you drag your feet through all the games already out there, you are not ready. Come October 4-7, the galleries of beautiful downtown Culver City will be transformed into a virtual wonderland of indie games, pushing every boundary and, at times, redefining what gaming can do. Some of the greatest minds in gaming such as Steve Russell, John Romero, and Mary Flanagan will be talking about every aspect of gaming, from developing the future of the medium to Kickstarting your own ideas.

So to make sure you're up to speed, let's take a look at five games you should have played through by now. These games are all finalists in this year’s IndieCade competition, and are all equally brilliant. These are not just game you need to play in order to survive the wild indie parties in Culver City. You need to play these games because it’s your right as a gamer to experience something truly amazing.

Botanicula

Turn back those who hate joy, merriment, or the act of a smile crossing your lips. If you tend to break out in a rash when it comes to exploration and discovery, you might want to keep moving. There’s a brown and gray shooter waiting for you right around the corner. For everyone else, your salvation has arrived...and it’s adorable.

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What You Need To Play At The PAX 10 And The Indie Megabooth -- That Indie Column

PAX Prime showcases some of the greatest indie games out on the market or about to hit in the near future. Anyone with a hunger for creativity, originality, and those who hunger for something more from their gaming experience will not be turned away once they reach this gathering of indie games from around the world. Anyone and everyone who love indie games will get their fill this year with the PAX 10 and The Indie Megabooth as nearly a hundred titles await your eager hands.

Except me. I’m on home team this year.

I can’t say that missing one of the grand indie galas of the year isn’t a bit tough. With They Bleed Pixels and The Basement Collection coming out this week, I will be happy enough with a stale bag of chips and soggy hamburger to celebrate the extended weekend. For everyone else, I present to you the games you need to play when you hit the PAX floor. And for those left behind, I give you a small taste of some of the indie goodness so you won’t go hungry as your read about the amazing indie titles you’re not playing.

Sit back and relax as we take a look at the lineup for The Indie Megabooth.

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  • Cheats and Walkthroughs

Matt Parker’s Recurse is an iPad game developed specifically to make you feel like a happy goofball. A party/puzzle game with allusions to Dance Central and Fruit Ninja Kinect, it’s a camera-based exercise in simplicity – touch the green shapes, avoid the red, push for high scores, and share your goofy pictures with the world. With origins as an art show installation and NYU Game Center No Quarter exhibit, the title recently won the “Play This Now” award at Come Out and Play.

We were able to get in touch with developer Matt Parker and talk shop about the game’s arty origins, the importance of being playful, and the reasons why indies like to party.

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Tags: Indie Games, iPad
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