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

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Become a Pilot ‘Flight School Tests’

flightschooltestsIndie developer MobileBits has released an “action and reflex game” to the App Store. Flight School has you dodging obstacles by controlling your aircraft with your fingers. There are six available types of aircrafts with five tests for each. MobileBits promises that while the game is easy to pick up and learn, becoming an elite pilot is actually challenging. With OpenFeint integration, players can show off their achievements after completing each of the six domains, which are:

  • Paper airplane test
  • Model aircraft test
  • Helicopter test
  • Airliner test
  • Spacecraft test
  • Elite test

Flight School Tests can be found on the App Store for $0.99, available on the iPhone and iPod Touch.

Press Release:

New iPhone Game: Flight School Tests

Do you have what it takes to be a pilot?

Flight School is an action and reflex game: The player controls an aircraft with his fingers and has to avoid to crash with other flying objects. For each aircraft type there are five tests the player has to pass. The game mechanics are easy to learn, whereas it is still hard to become an elite pilot.

The most important skills for a pilot are focusing on multiple things at once while dodging other objects. How long can you avoid the objects? Do you have what it takes to be a pilot? Test your skills and find out, if you have!

Prove your skills in 6 different domains:

  • Paper airplane test
  • Model aircraft test
  • Helicopter test
  • Airliner test
  • Spacecraft test
  • Elite test

Pass all 5 tests to master a domain! Pass all tests and become the best pilot in the world.

Share your achievements on twitter and Facebook!
Compete in the international ladder with OpenFeint.

iTunes link: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/flight-school-tests/id369028607?mt=8
Video & Pics: http://mobilebits.de/flightschool

About MobileBits
MobileBits is an independent game developer and publisher for every platform with an AppStore (iPhone, Android, …). The 25-people-strong-team is based in Hamburg, Germany and has been developing games since their childhood and now for more than 10 years for PC, XBox360 and the PS3 under the name exDream (see exDream.com). MobileBits now fully concentrates on AppStore-platforms and will be releasing several big budget but also smaller titles in the years to come. For more games from MobileBits please see mobilebits.de/games


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‘Chromodyne Lite’ Makes Way Onto App Store

chromodyneColin Walsh’s match-three puzzler left a good impression on me. Now, almost 7 months after its release, gamers who were skeptical about whether they would enjoy the two-dollar indie can give it a shot through Chromodyne Lite. Celsius Game Studios unveiled the new app with a brand new 5-level story to introduce players to the Quantum Chromodynamic Cyclotron, or Chromodyne.

Since my review, the story has been expanded, there is a brand new soundtrack from Kevin MacLeod, and…well, a “lite” version. The 3D match-3 gameplay isn’t the only thing that can get you hooked, as story mode will take you through some hilarious story elements involving you saving the world.

Try Chromodyne Lite out now!

Press Release:

New iPhone Game Release: Chromodyne Lite

Celsius Game Studios is proud to present Chromodyne Lite, the free version of its unique and exciting match-3 puzzle game, Chromodyne! Chromodyne Lite is available for the iPhone and iPod Touch, on the Apple App Store.

Chromodyne Lite features a brand new 5 chapter story introducing the player to the Chromodyne as they work their way through the Chromodynamic Academy’s accredited Accelerated Chromodyne Operator’s Course. Through this program, you too can learn the skills necessary to save the world from impending doom from outer space!

“Course?” You say.

“That sounds like it might be expensive…” You say.

You would say that, wouldn’t you?

Well, you might expect to pay tens of thousands of dollars and rack up years of crushing student debt at some “university” to learn how to save the world. Not so at the Chromodynamic Academy. No, you too can learn all this today for the low, low price of FREE!

Not only do you get this valuable training, but you’ll also find that Chromodyne Lite offers fun and challenging 3D match-3 gameplay, colourful and striking visual effects, and an awesome soundtrack by Kevin MacLeod.

If you’re saying: “Well, I can’t possibly go wrong with that! Plus I can’t argue with free… Especially when you put it in all caps like that!” I’d suggest you follow this link and give it a try. http://itunes.apple.com/lv/app/chromodyne-lite/id369298294?mt=8


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‘Marble Merge’ Now Absolutely Free!

marblemergeThe wonderful folks over at Superstar Games dropped me an e-mail the other day to let me know that one of my personal favorite iPhone games, Marble Merge, is now officially available for free on the App Store for an indefinite amount of time. Marble Merge is an addictive match puzzler that is a refreshing but reminiscent take on Tetris. Originally priced at $0.99, Superstar is hoping to give skeptical gamers a chance to sink their teeth into the gameplay and judge for themselves whether this truly is the new Tetris.

“We always hoped Marble Merge might be those slow burners, but tracking the feedback and online communities and reviews, it was quite a pleasant supprise that our customers thought it is possibly the next Tetris or Bejelewed. We know some may be reluctant at the view, but we’ve decided to widen the scope of opinion by making the full game absolutely free for the time being! We encourage all iPhone gamers to judge for themselves and let everyone know. We’d love to know what you all think.”

- Aamar Rana, Superstar Games

You had my recommendation when the game first came out, and this should be that extra boost of motivation that you needed.


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DIY Spotlight: ‘Hoops Madness’

hoopsmadnessNow that it’s basketball season and most of my friends and neighbors are hard at cheer for the Los Angeles Lakers, the mood is ripe for a basketball game. And, in this case, no, I’m not talking about NBA Live 10 or NBA 2K10, but rather 2n ProductionsHoops Madness. How was I supposed to know that searching for a fun basketball game on the iPhone/iPod Touch would lead me to my newest addiction? And who knew that it was created by an indie developer? I guess that’s mostly luck on my part, because I get to share a game with you that I’m so confident you’ll enjoy, I can guarantee it.

Hoops Madness is split up into two modes (Timed and Endurance) and two gameplay options (Arcade and Flick), thereby offering a total of four gameplay modes: one of which is available from the beginning, two of which are locked until you score high enough, and one of which is downloadable content. Right from the start, you’ll understand that Hoops Madness feels strictly like an arcade game. Actually, perhaps the only thing that sets it apart from being at an arcade and requiring you shoot the basketballs manually is that it’s on your iPhone/iPod Touch. Oh, and it’s a dollar.

Arcade mode is…well, arcade-y. No surprises there, obviously. Usually your game will turn into a full-blown tap-fest as you attempt to score baskets consecutively. The hoop will move from left to right, and you’ve got three stacks of basketballs to shoot from their respective locations. But since this is after all an arcade title, you’ll also be shooting atomballs, powerballs, and moneyballs. Each of the three has their own unique characteristic, like the atomballs — which basically just blow shit up. Playing Arcade in either Timed or Endurance mode, however, are two slightly different experiences. Timed mode is as it sounds: you have 45 seconds on the clock, so make every basket count and see how much of a combo you can cook up. Endurance mode is also as it sounds: survive by making as many baskets as possible and collecting more time as you go along.

hoopsmadness2As for the Flick-based gameplay, that’s pretty straightforward too. You’ll only get one stack of balls this time, but you’ll be flicking across the screen and be able to angle your balls (I know, I know, it sounds weird) into the basket. Playing with Flick is quite the challenge in Arcade mode, but unfortunately the Flick-based Endurance isn’t available unless you purchase it as downloadable content (for an additional $0.99). While this may be a bummer, I still don’t feel the need to purchase the mode because the game provides plenty of content for me at the moment.

I’m addicted to Hoops Madness, there’s no question about that. It instantly satisfies my twitch-gamer cravings. And for a $0.99 asking price, any argument against this purchase (save for the argument that you hate great games!) is pretty pathetic.

Now back to watching the Lakers and Jazz duke it out. (Let the flame wars begin!)

Vote on Your Favorite Indie Game!

We here at DIYgamer.com have started our very own bracket-styled tournament to find the best indie game, as voted on by you, the gamers. So head on over to our tournament page to vote on your favorite games!

The Tournament


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‘Space Miner: Space Ore Bust’ from Venan Ent. on Sale Soon for $0.99

spaceminer“One of the best independent titles on the App Store.” According to developer Venan Entertainment, that’s how the press and players have lauded Space Miner: Space Ore Bust. And by the looks of it, this game is one of the most promising. Since it’s original price is at $4.99, the announcement of a sale price of $0.99 starting May 1st makes this entry into the Venan Arcade brand a must-have.

“We’ve had an incredible response to Space Miner since we’ve released it, and it is undoubtedly one of the best-reviewed titles on the App Store. But so far we’ve only scratched the surface of our potential audience. With our newest game, Ninjatown: Trees Of Doom! coming soon, we see this sale as a great opportunity to reach more people and to raise the awareness of our Venan Arcade brand.”

- Brandon Curiel, CEO of Venan

As the recent “UltracORE” update added enhanced graphics, more items, and a perma-death difficulty mode, the idea of obtaining one of the App Store’s best reviewed and full-featured games for only $0.99 this Saturday sounds pretty awesome to me.

For more info, check out Venan’s official website and the press release below.

Press Release:

Venan Announces ‘Space Miner: Space Ore Bust’ $.99 Sale


April 29th, 2010Space Miner: Space Ore Bust has been one of the surprise hits of 2010, lauded by press and users alike as one of the best independent titles on the App Store. And starting this Saturday, it can be yours for the ridiculously low price of $.99.

“We’ve had an incredible response to Space Miner since we’ve released it, and it is undoubtedly one of the best-reviewed titles on the App Store, “ said Brandon Curiel, CEO of Venan. “But so far we’ve only scratched the surface of our potential audience. With our newest game, Ninjatown: Trees Of Doom! coming soon, we see this sale as a great opportunity to reach more people and to raise the awareness of our Venan Arcade brand.”

With its recent “UltracORE” update adding enhanced graphics, more items and a new perma-death difficulty mode, Space Miner already represents one of the greatest entertainment values on the App Store. This price will be for a limited time and won’t be coming around again soon, so don’t miss out!

For more information, visit www.venanarcade.com, become a fan at www.facebook.com/VenanEnt, or follow the Twitter feed at www.twitter.com/VenanEnt.

[Source: GamesPress]


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Assyria’s ‘The Glowing Void’ Featured, New Game Mode

The Glowing Void - 02One of indie dev’s Assyria Game Studio’s newest iPhone/iPod Touch titles has some awesome incoming news. The Glowing Void–in which “your objective is to fill up at least 70% of the screen with as large circles as possible while avoiding a number of red dots of an unknown entity”–has been Featured on the App Store.

With an updated version, however, Assyria delivers a new gameplay mode called “Avoidance.” This mode is a time-based, tilt-controlled avoid-a-thon. The new update also provides “improved performance, shorter loading times, and the ability to toggle music and sounds effects on and off, in addition to a few more cosmetic changes.”

The Glowing Void is currently available on the App Store for $1.99.

Press Release:

Bigger & Better Glowing Voids On The Apple iPhoneTM & Apple iPod touch®


The Glowing Void Receives An Update & Is Featured In The US App Store!

Since the initial release of The Glowing Void no more than a few weeks ago, the game has already received popular reviews, and is currently featured in the US App Store! In case you mistakenly overlooked this awesome game, your objective is to fill up at least 70% of the screen with as large circles as possible while avoiding a number of red dots of an unknown entity. The game is made harder because the red dots are dynamic and bounces around all over the display.

The updated version of The Glowing Void features a brand new game-play mode called “Avoidance”: This unique mode is timer-based, and it is your objective to tilt the device to navigate the void around the screen, while avoiding the red dots for as long as you possible can for maximum points. Other enhancements in the update include improved performance, shorter loading times, and the ability to toggle music and sounds effects on and off, in addition to a few more cosmetic changes.

[Source: GamesPress]


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‘Sketch Nation Shooter’ Boasts Over 800 User-Created SHMUPs!

sketchnation2Remember that little rant I did about a week ago for this new iPhone/iPod Touch game called Sketch Nation Shooter? Well, as it turns out, I’m not the only person in love with it. After only two weeks on the App Store, Engineous Games confirms that over 800 user-created shoot-em-ups are now available for download through this amazing $0.99 app. Engineous has also made a video (viewable below) highlighting a few of their favorite user-created shoot-em-ups.

The developer has also clued us in on an upcoming update, which will allow creators to post their games up on Facebook so that they can easily share with their friends.

“I’ve been overwhelmed by the response to Sketch Nation Shooter – it’s very fulfilling to see so much unique and imaginative content being created by the community already. With the upcoming update, it’ll be even easier for game makers to share their latest creations with friends – I think the floodgates of games have only just opened!”

- Nitzan Wilnai, CEO of Engineous Games

For anybody who still doesn’t own this incredibly inspiring piece of genius, the price is only $0.99 on the App Store. Get to it!

Press Release:

Sketch Nation Shooter: Over 800 iPhone Games (and Growing!) for Only $.99

Imaginative Shooter for the iPhone and iPod Touch Lets Players Create Their Own Games – Over 800 Available After Only Two Weeks

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – April 22, 2010

Engineous Games today announced that its debut iPhone game, Sketch Nation Shooter – which allows users to create their own games using only their imaginations and drawing skills – has already produced over 800 user-created games after only two weeks on the App Store. Available for only $.99, Sketch Nation Shooter is an endless treasure trove of inspired and inventive games, all created by the growing community of artists and aspiring game designers.

A new YouTube trailer shows off some of the best user-created games from Sketch Nation Shooter’s first two weeks of life: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTuvX4oWaPM

The first update to Sketch Nation Shooter has been submitted to the App Store, which will allow users to post links to their games on their Facebook wall, making it seamless and simple for users to share their latest games with friends, as well as a number of bug fixes and tweaks to improve the overall experience.

“I’ve been overwhelmed by the response to Sketch Nation Shooter – it’s very fulfilling to see so much unique and imaginative content being created by the community already,” said Nitzan Wilnai, CEO of Engineous Games. “With the upcoming update, it’ll be even easier for game makers to share their latest creations with friends – I think the floodgates of games have only just opened!”

Sketch Nation Shooter is available in the app store for 99 cents. For more information, visit their website and follow the game on Twitter.

A press kit with screenshots and a fact sheet for Sketch Nation Shooter are available here.

About Engineous Games
In June of 2008 Engineous Games Inc. was formed to begin development on mobile titles. Their first game, Tatomic, was launched in October 2008. Their second game, Sketch Nation Shooter, was the winner of AppsFire App Star Award in the games category.

[Source: GamesPress]


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‘Fruit Ninja’ OpenFeint Competition Announced

FruitNinja000Are you ready to take part in the Great Fruit Massacre of 2010? Indie devs Halfbrick are putting together a little something for the owners of Fruit Ninja (seems like Geoff had a lot of fun with it). Thanks to the iPhone/iPod Touch title’s OpenFeint integration, they were able to fashion a competition in which “the Openfeint player who is sitting atop the Best Score leaderboard and has slashed the most fruit in one game will have their username written in Fruit Ninja history.” Doesn’t that just sound lovely?

The competition will close at 11:59pm PST on April 30, 2010. Halfbrick has promised to feature the winner on their official Fruit Ninja and Halfbrick websites, and a future update of the game will add a new achievement–named after the winner of the competition. Fruit Ninja is available for $0.99 on the App Store and the update should be available “very shortly after” the competition.

Press Release:

THE GREAT FRUIT MASSACRE 2010


April 23rd, 2010 - To celebrate the release of Fruit Ninja on iPhone, we are putting together a little healthy competition. It’s fruit, so of course it’s healthy.

Thanks to Openfeint integration, Fruit Ninja tracks your highest score in one game of Fruit Ninja, and it also tracks total fruit killed over all games played. Today we would like to announce the Great Fruit Massacre of 2010 – the Openfeint player who is sitting atop the Best Score leaderboard and has slashed the most fruit in one game will have their username written in Fruit Ninja history. We will include an Achievement in a future update to the game, and this will be named after the fruit-hating hero. The competition will close on 11:59pm PST on April 30, 2010, and the top scorer will become immortalized!

That’s all there is to it! Grab the game from the App Store for 99 cents and shoot for legendary Fruit Ninja status. The winner will be published on both the Fruit Ninja and Halfbrick website, with the update including the winning Openfeint Achievement coming very shortly after.

Trailer

www.fruitninja.com

App Store

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/fruit-ninja/id362949845?mt=8

About Halfbrick

Halfbrick is a professional game development studio based in Brisbane, Australia. Founded in 2001, it has developed popular titles for the Game Boy Advance, PSP, PlayStation 2 and Nintendo DS, with expansion into XBLA, PS3 and iPhone development. For further information, please visit www.halfbrick.com and follow on Twitter, Youtube and Facebook!


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‘Alive 4-ever RETURNS’ Announced for End of April

alive4everOne of the most popular games on the iPhone/iPod Touch is getting a sequel at the end of this month! Meridian Digital Entertainment announced Alive 4-ever RETURNS, the sequel to one of the most highly-acclaimed titles on the App Store in 2009–Alive 4-ever. This survival horror top down shooter will be packed with tons of new features, improving vastly on the original.

As one of four survivors in a zombie apocalypse setting, you must do the obvious: kill zombies and make your way to safety. Alive 4-ever RETURNS is said to feature a brand new game engine with upgraded visuals and zooming as well as environmental effects, new weapons such as dual handguns, grenades, and rocket launchers. Alive 4-ever RETURNS will also feature more RPG elements–in terms of skills and power-ups–and two brand new gameplay modes: Survival and Horde.

Expect the title out on the App Store late this month (I’ll keep you updated!) and get your OpenFeint account ready for over 40 more achievements!

For more info, check out the press release below.

Press Release:

Alive 4-ever RETURNS!


Meridian Digital Entertainment Launches Sequel To Critically Acclaimed Apple iPhoneTM Game

Meridian Digital Entertainment today announced Alive 4-ever RETURNS, a sequel to the popular zombie shooter game for the Apple iPhone™. The original game, Alive 4-ever, received rave reviews ranking among the best games available in the App Store in 2009.

Alive 4-ever RETURNS features a brand new and improved game engine that provides even more stunning visuals and specials, including zooming, and realistic environmental effects. New weapons include dual handguns, grenades for mass killing, rocket launchers, and sticky bombs that slow down the zombies. Alive 4-ever RETURNS also features improved RPG elements, including new skills and power-ups, and two brand new modes of play. With Survival Battle and Horde Battle modes it’s time to get bloody!

Says Victor Dao of Meridian Digital Entertainment: “We are excited about the release of Alive 4-ever RETURNS. With the new features in this sequel our fans will not be disappointed! We have developed a brand new game engine, added RPG elements and made survival horror gaming on the Apple iPhone™ a truly awesome experience”

Alive 4-ever RETURNS picks up where the original ended: A month after the outbreak of the virus accident in Nefount City, Dr. Lederman, who is a Research Director of the pharmaceutical company, was issued a warrant for his arrest due to his involvement in the accident. His plan was to smuggle the virus sample into South America by sea, and hand it over to an unknown organization. The ship accidentally wrecked on a reef, and eventually sunk somewhere around California’s Marilla Island. On that same day, Greenshore City, a beachfront city with smooth sand and pristine water on Marilla Island was packed full of tourists as usual. A lifeguard didn’t pay attention and was sleeping on the job until he discovered the terrible situation, but it was too late, and the beach was quickly covered in blood! Still in a state of shock, the lifeguard didn’t see the infected person who had climbed the lifeguard tower, and the situation quickly got out of control. As one of only four survivors it is your mission to take control of the situation.

“Alive 4-ever RETURNS reinvents one of the best survival shooter games in the App Store,” said Eros Resmini, VP of Marketing and Developer Relations at OpenFeint. “The game is fantastic and you can tell Meridian really invested in making some amazing improvements.”

Find here a trailer to Alive 4-ever RETURNS
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7ksSDAc9ns

Complete list of features in Alive 4-ever RETURNS:

  • Fabulous Visual Effects
  • RPG Elements Such As Power-Ups & Picking-Up New Skills
  • 13 Amazing Skills
  • 18 Disgusting Types Of Zombies
  • 37 Different Kinds Of Destructive Weapons
  • 4 Player Co-Op Mode!
  • 36 Bonus Equipment
  • 40 Stages Of Challenges
  • Supersize BOSSES!
  • 3 Unique Game Modes
  • More Than 40 Achievements Through OpenFeint


Alive 4-ever RETURNS has a scheduled release date end of April 2010 in the App Store. For additional information please visit the developer website at www.meridiande.com/iPhone

Contest

Did you know we are running a kickass forum contest where you could win one of two copies of the hilarious, robot-ninja infused multiplayer game: Plain Sight? Well now you do… check it out at our forums!


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Musical Puzzles Soothe the Mind in ‘Chimes’

chimesSRRN Games promises that the pentatonic scale coupled with challenging puzzles are a near-perfect technique for relaxation. Available now on the App Store, you can find Chimes for free. Perhaps their description of the gameplay fits best: “Gameplay is accomplished by tapping five static colored spheres on-screen to clear like-colored obstacles that flow through the viewable area. Every time an obstacle is cleared, the soft notes of a chime is heard – a perfect antidote for stress.”

Obviously, as the game progresses the levels increase in difficulty and gameplay becomes more challenging. However, even though the intensity of the gameplay may be tested–SRRN ensures that the sounds of wind chimes are calming throughout the entire experience.

“Chimes grew out of a discussion about the intersection between sight, touch and sound. There’s something deeply satisfying about creating sounds, especially if they are pleasing to the ears, and, at its core, Chimes is about producing beautiful melodies. No matter how the game is played, the result is always perfect harmony.”

- Aujang Abadi, CEO of SRRN Games

Perhaps the best detail about Chimes is that its available for free on the App Store. If gamers enjoy the first ten levels, then they can purchase the other 13 for only $0.99. How’s that for relaxation?

Press Release:

SRRN GAMES’ ‘CHIMES’ TEASES THE MIND WITH MUSICAL PUZZLES


Indie-developed iPhone Game Expands Genre with Smart Gameplay and Soothing Sound Design

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia – April 14, 2010 – By mixing simple, challenging puzzles with the ever-satisfying, soft melody of a pentatonic scale, Chimes for the iPhone/iPod Touch encourages players to think critically – but relax while they play.

In Chimes, creative design and the peaceful tones of wind chimes give a fresh spin to the emblematic puzzle game genre. Gameplay is accomplished by tapping five static colored spheres on-screen to clear like-colored obstacles that flow through the viewable area. Every time an obstacle is cleared, the soft notes of a chime is heard – a perfect antidote for stress.

As the game progresses, obstacles enter the screen more rapidly and play becomes more complex. At higher levels, the screen is full of waves and obstacles and experts will find themselves creating a longer series of chimes, but even at the game’s busiest stages, the sounds produced by gameplay are soothing.

“Chimes grew out of a discussion about the intersection between sight, touch and sound,” Aujang Abadi, CEO, SRRN Games, explains. “There’s something deeply satisfying about creating sounds, especially if they are pleasing to the ears, and, at its core, Chimes is about producing beautiful melodies. No matter how the game is played, the result is always perfect harmony.”

Anyone in the family can play Chimes. Young children can conquer and enjoy the refreshing melodies of a level or two. At the upper levels, players will need extraordinary skill.

Chimes is available free on the iPhone store. If players like the first 10 levels, they can unlock 13 additional levels, along with an expanded “forever” mode that will let them play more and more challenging games until they make a mistake, for just $.99.

About SRRN Games
SRRN was founded by Aujang Abadi, Tyler Carbone and Nathaniel Givens in the spring of 2009. All three were students at the time: Aujang and Tyler were in their first year at the Darden Graduate School of Business and Nathaniel Givens, had just been accepted into the Economics Ph.D. program at the University of Michigan.

SRRN has produced two iPhone games, iLib and Chimes, and is in production on a third title, Ash. To learn more about SRRN, visit http://www.srrngames.com/

Contest

Did you know we are running a kickass forum contest where you could win one of two copies of the hilarious, robot-ninja infused multiplayer game: Plain Sight? Well now you do… check it out at our forums!