Indie game news, reviews, previews and everything else concerning indie game development.

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Waves Demo: Now Available


One of the top games from the Eurogamer Expo Indie Arcade was Squid in a Box’s Waves, and unreal engine powered twin stick shooter. You can catch my impressions from the expo here, and my interview with designer Rob Hale here. But you probably don’t need to, since thanks to the magical technology of a free demo, you can try the game for yourself. Go and grab the demo for yourself over here.

The demo gives you a taste of the Crunch Time game mode: You’ve got unlimited lives, but just three minutes to kill as many baddies as you can. I got 254,731 on my first go, but you can be sure I’m going to go back and beat that later.

It’s great that there’s a free demo for this, since you really need to see the level of polish and witness how slick everything is for yourself to really appreciate it.

Why not have a look at this trailer whilst the demo is downloading.

The full version of Waves should be available “soon”.

[Squid in a box]


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Bit.Trip.Runner Sequel Announced: Introducing Runner 2


Fantastic news, pixel fans: For the second time around, it looks like they are dropping the “Bit.Trip” prefix, but Gaijin Games are hard at work on a sequel to the fantastic Bit.Trip.Runner. Bit.Trip.Runner was the first of the Bit.Trip games to put you in direct control of the series’ mascot, Commander Video. Running from left to right, rhythmically jumping and dodging obstacles, I thought it was the highlight of the original Bit.Trip series, so I’m pleased to see that it’s the first game Gaijin have decided to give the sequel treatment.

We’ve not got much to go on so far (In fact: almost nothing) but what we do have is this delightful brainstorming session:

Moonwalking gets my vote.

Head to the Runner 2 website for not much more information, but hopefully we’ll get to find out what Gaijin Games have in store for us with this sequel some time soon.

[Gaijin Games]


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Hot Springs Story – On Sale For Just A Dollar


It’s time for Kairosoft’s Hot Springs Story to get in on the temporary flash sale price reduction action, with an 80% off sale. It’s been temporarily reduced to just $0.99, or 69p for UK folk. Mere spare change. You grab it straight from the iOS app store here: USA/UK. There’s no word on how long this sale is going to be available for, so if you’re interested, I suggest you hurry up.

Following on success from their game-dev managing sim, Game Dev Story, Hot Springs Story is, perhaps unsurprisingly, a management sim where you’re put in charge of running a Japanese Hot Springs Inn. I’m not exactly sure what Hot Springs Inn is, or what managing one requires, but if it’s anything like Game Dev Story, I’m sure it will be pretty addictive. I’m downloading it myself now, but in the meantime, perhaps this video will help explain things:

Hot Springs Story is available on Android too, but the sale is only on the iOS version, it would seem.

[Kairosoft]


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Scoregasm: Out Now


Scoregasm, the long awaited twin stick shooter from one man shmup power-house, Charlie’s Games, has finally been released. Charlie Knight been busy working on this for ages, and it really shows. It’s slick, highly polished, and it’s packed with creative and interesting levels.

Scoregasm is like a bullet hell shmup, but designed so you don’t have to be anywhere near an expert to fully enjoy it. You can move and shoot like you would expect, but there’s also a short range area attack. This is your tool to help you survive the hundreds of bullets the game will throw at you, and kill dozens of enemies in one click: Brilliant for building up big combos.

Each level has a different pattern of wave of baddies to fight, and there is tonnes of variety between different levels. Depending how well you do in each level, you unlock up to three different portals to the next level, each escalating in difficulty. It’s up to you to decide how much of a challenge you want, so you’re in control of the difficulty curve.

Get it on PC/Mac/Linux for just $10, right here. There’s a demo too.

Feast your eyes on this luscious trailer:

[Charlies Games]


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VVVVVV 3D Coming to the 3DS eShop


This is exactly the sort of thing Nintendo’s fumbling stereoscopic handheld needs right now. Terry Cavanagh’s utterly delightful gravity-shifting platformer is heading to the 3DS eShop, and will be published by none of than indie superstars, Nicalis. Here’s the skinny:

Nicalis, Inc., developer and publisher of independently awesome video games is VVVVVVery excited to announce a publishing agreement with Terry Cavanagh for VVVVVV on the Nintendo 3DS eShop. VVVVVV features the same amazingly retro gameplay, aesthetic and chiptune music (by Swedish musician, Magnus Pålsson), but now in 3D and on the go with your 3DS. Attendees of Indiecade in Culver City, California can play a near-complete preview VVVVVVersion for the first time on 3DS! Just find Terry Cavanagh or Tyrone Rodriguez and ask them to play!

Released in late 2010 for PC, VVVVVV is a 2D action-platformer deeply rooted in the days of 8-bit gaming with incredibly challenging gameplay and secrets. In VVVVVV, you play as Captain Viridian, who must not only save a dimension on the brink of collapse, but also find your ship’s crew–all of whose names begin with the letter V.

Now 3DS owners can experience the critically acclaimed game in 3D, anywhere. When asked for an obligatory quote, Terry Cavanagh said, “I’m VVVVVVery excited about it! This is the first time anything I’ve made has been on a console.”

VVVVVV 3DS Features:
Open-world environment with six unique levels
20 Trinkets to locate and collect
Full 3D awesomeness integrated into the retro-looking art style
- Dual screen functionality with a real-time map!
- Music by Magnus Pålsson
- New Featured Levels
- Future content updates

VVVVVV continues Nicalis’ partnerships with highly talented and super-awesome independent developers. Previously Nicalis has teamed up with Studio Pixel (Cave Story, Ikachan), Nicklas Nygren (NightSky) and NIGORO (La-Mulana). Now Terry Cavanagh’s incredible VVVVVV, too, will make the jump–er, flip–to console.

Cannot wait. If you’ve never tried VVVVVV, it’s a must play. In 3D, and being playable on the loo is just icing on an already delicious cake.


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Size Five Games Announce New Dan and Ben Game. Sort of.


Fantastics news, fans of comedy point and click adventures. It looks like despite having cancelled the third chapter in the Dan and Ben chronicles, Revenge of the Balloon-Headed Mexican, Size Five have decided to reconsider the series untimely, abrupt ending.

It seems that a recent Steam sale, as well as the updated Special Edition update of Ben There, Dan That! have triggered a spike of interest from new players.

In their own words:

The good news is: yes, we think we’ve thought of something. The bad news is: no, we’re not announcing a definite new Dan and Ben adventure. Just in case.

We are, however, willing to give it a go. As such, Ben and I are having a ‘development weekend’ this weekend, something we haven’t done since we made Ben There, Dan That!

It all kicks off tomorrow evening (Friday). We’re going to drink a fridge full of fizzy pop, sketch out ideas and start laying down the groundwork for an all-new Dan and Ben adventure. How much of a game do you reckon we can we make in a single weekend?

They’re actively looking for feedback via twitter, so get following @danthat and @timegentleman if you want to have your say.

[Size Five Games]


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Out Now: Orcs Must Die!


Robot Entertainment’s third person strategy title, Orcs Must Die! has been unleashed onto the Xbox Live Arcade, with the PC version getting a October 12th release, via Steam. Orcs Must Die! sees you doing battle with hordes of, what else, hundreds of Orcs. The combination of Action and Strategy has you setting traps at a distance, commanding minions, casting spells, and using either long or short range weaponry to dispatch the hundreds of Orcs coming your way.

It looks like an interesting mix of testing your both headshot skills and your strategic prowess. Tower Defence with a nice bit of hand-to-hand fisticuffs and man-shooting mixed in.

It’s available right now on the Xbox 360 for 1,200 MS points, and it’s up for prepurchase on Steam for £11.99/$14.99.

Here’s the launch trailer. You might want to turn your speakers up a bit to get the full effect, gotta love In The Hall of the Mountain King:

[Robot Entertainment]


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Hogrocket’s Tiny Invaders Temporarily Made Free


Tiny invaders, the first game from UK based Hogrocket, has been temporarilly made free on the iOS app store. You can grab it for sweet nothing right here. Hockrocket were one of several studios to form out of the ashes of Bizarre Creations when their owner, Activision, decided to shut them down earlier on this year, following disappointing sales for both Blur and James Bond 007: Blood Stone.

It’s a nice little puzzle game, where you have to collect glowing orbs on a path, and chose the right path to get it done fast enough. The graphics are plenty nice, it’s got tonnes of levels (with more coming soon in an update), and it’s simple enough to kill a bit of time, but it has enough challenge to keep you coming back: Getting a three star rating on the latter levels is no easy task.

They’ve not said how this promotion will be available for, so if you’re interested, don’t delay.

Here’s the launch trailer:

[Hogrocket]


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Joe Danger: The Movie, Sean Murray Interview [Eurogamer Expo]

Here’s the last of my Eurogamer Expo interviews, and we’ve saved one of the best till last. It’s Hello Games’ top dog, Sean Murray, who was at the show giving the Great British public their first hands on with the freshly announced sequel to the 2010 breakout PSN hit Joe Danger, Joe Danger: The Movie. Listen on to hear Sean weighing in on how come they decided to make a sequel for their next game, the lessons they learnt making the first game, the important of health & safety posters, and thorny topic of platform exclusive distribution arrangements. Engage your ears with this here MP3 to get all the juicy details:

Sean Murray Interview

To find out more about Joe Danger: The Movie, check out my hands on with the game from the expo here, and stay tuned to DIYgamer for more on Joe Danger: The Movie as and when it happens.

[Hello Games]


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Fotonica: Nicolò Tedeschi Interview [Eurogamer Expo]


Included in the Indie Game Arcade at Eurogamer Expo 2011 was the one button, first person platformer, Fotonica. I caught up with Nicolò Tedeschi from Santa Ragione, to find out the inside scoop on Fotonica:

DIYgamer: Can you introduce yourself, and tell me a little about your game?

Tedeschi: I’m Nicolò, I’m from Santa Ragione, it’s a two person Italian game studio. We just released Fotonica, our one button game, more or less a month ago, and we released the soundtrack a week ago on bandcamp. The game is pay what you want, so you can get it for free, or just whatever you want to pay. And that’s it.

DIYgamer: It looks pretty trippy, with the vector line artstyle. Where did that come from?

Tedeschi: We are a fan of all games, whatever they are, wherever they come from. Especially: We own a Vectrex, and that’s a very trippy console, if you can put it that way. Also games like Vib Ribbon, or Mizuguchi’s Rez, played a very important role in the general aesthetic of Fotonica. Also, our passion for modern art from the 90s, and the 19th century, plays a big role in the game. I dunno, the aesthetic of the game came out pretty soon, so it felt pretty nice for us to do something like that.

DIYgamer: You kept it simple with the one button control scheme, what was the thinking behind that?

Tedeschi: Well since it’s our first digital project, we used to design board games, we decided to go the easy way. It’s not always the easiest way, because making a game that is fun and compelling is not an easy design to do. But since we are not programmers ourselves, but we learn stuff along the way, we decided to stick to the one button design thing, because we needed something that was easier to deal with from the programming perspective. We chose to make it part of the design, rather than choosing to design something we could not program.

DIYgamer: The balls of light that you collect, what exactly do they do?

Tedeschi: They are a basically a multiplier, but we also use them to suggest different paths to the players. So we use show you somewhere that you can actually reach, and at the same time it leads to a different path that you might have not followed otherwise. Also, along with the adding a multiplier to the general score, it also adds to your velocity.

DIYgamer: Have you seen much competition at the high end on the leaderboards?

Tedeschi: Well yeah, a little bit. I wouldn’t say a lot. There has been some competition on Kongregate, because we released a demo on Kongregate, and they have online leaderboards. It’s good to see people posting really high scores, because they actually do things that we are not able to do. There are also videos on YouTube of people taking paths that I never thought possible. It’s a really cool thing to see people using your game in an unexpected way.

[Fotonica]