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

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Ether One Review – More than Meets the Mind’s Eye

Released by White Paper Games on March 25, Ether One is a puzzle adventure game with scenery reminiscent of Dear Esther, and gameplay elements very similar to the Portal series. The premise of the game..

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Ether One Review – More than Meets the Mind’s Eye


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Tower of Guns Review: Weak Foundation

Clutching my Pizza Thrower (which actually spits out flying sawblades, not an oven-baked flat bread), I shoot at the door, opening it, because Video Game Logic. I survey the large hall, a neo-gothic foundry with..

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Tower of Guns Review: Weak Foundation


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Eldritch Review

Eldritch is a game that manages to combine the thick, oppressive dread of H. P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos with the retro visuals of Minecraft while managing to sustain an identity all its own. Don’t make..

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Eldritch Review


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LD23 – ‘A Super Mario Summary’

A Super Mario Summary

Johan Peitz, creator of the well-received LD21 game BATHOS, returns to LD23 with a mini version of Super Mario Bros. The basic concept of A Super Mario Summary is to take that original classic and turn every level into a “summary”. By that Johan means that he has squashed each level into just one screen. Distinctive features from every level are kept and everything else scrapped to prevent the act of scrolling across the screen.

You’ll see below how the first level pans out. Left in are just the stairs, a single goomba and of course the flagpole. The graphics of the game are typical of Peitz’s Pixelizer and they hold a strength in their simplicity. The basic colors match those in Super Mario Bros. but have a certain glow about them, particularly the light blue sky. Later in the game the more complex (and I’m using that tentatively) elements of the classic platformer come to fruition. Rotating lines of fire, springs and flying lava all pop up. Of course, even the mighty Bowser appears and tries to disrupt your path of progress.

A Super Mario Summary

About the only thing missing from A Super Mario Summary is any background music. We have sounds in place, jumping and collecting coins will fill in most silent gaps, but the finishing touch would have been a little tune to bop along to. For a 48 hour effort though, A Super Mario Summary is very well realized – to be fair, it’s an impressive little game in general, despite the time constraints.

You can play A Super Mario Summary over on the official website for free of course.


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A Review Of Indie Game The Movie

Let me start off by saying that I am writing this review after getting up at 3:30am this morning and have been up for 22 hours straight.

At its core, Indie Game the movie is a story about Phil Fish’s struggle to finish FEZ and Team Meat’s development process and ultimate success with Super Meat Boy.

The film opens with a series of interviews with industry professionals and indie developers. Full disclosure here, I donated to IGTM’s kickstarter campaign and have been privy to their video updates over the past few years so I wasn’t surprised at the film’s opening. It was what I expected, a sort of communal look at the indie community. What did surprise me was the film’s focus on Edmund McMillen, Tommy Refenes, Phil Fish, and to a lesser extent, Jonathan Blow.

From a movie standpoint, the focus on these narratives works excellently. Phil’s story of early critical success, followed by immense personal and corporate strife is one of the most stressful stories I have ever seen captured on film. Team Meat’s passion for indie games is palpable throughout the movie, and incredibly inspiring. Their narrative follows the development cycle of Super Meat Boy up till it’s release (and ultimate success). Jonathan Blow adds wisdom to the film as the veteran game developer and indie game pioneer, but the film is ultimately about the very personal journeys of these select indie game developers.

These developers’ sacrifices are incredible. The movie expertly displays the personal touch that is at the core of every great independent game. Developers make indie games because it’s how they express themselves. For them, it’s incredibly personal. Indie games are not about making money, critical success, or prestige. These games are simply meant to be played and enjoyed.

The stories, personalities, and families will compel you throughout the film’s 96 minutes. While I believe this focus on only a few development teams makes the film more approachable and embodies it with a stronger story, I can’t help but be critical of this decision. Indie Game the Movie chooses to feature the developers of the top two highest rated XBLA games of all time (Braid and Super Meat Boy) and one of the most anticipated indie games of the past few years (FEZ). The former critical successes have already gone on to be huge financial successes (as the film portrays) and I can’t help but feel that the film is lacking some of the community perspective that would have been present with more indie perspectives. Maybe, I’m splitting hairs but the selection of games/developers seems a little Xbox Live Arcade heavy.

While I feel the need to point out this fact, in the end it comes from a yearning for more rather than a critique of the film as-is. The reality is that despite my incredible fatigue, I was riveted by Indie Game: The Movie. It turned out as good as I had hoped and I can’t wait to get my copy.


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‘Sugar Cube: Bittersweet Factory’ Review – Meat Boy’s Clever Cousin

When I say that puzzles enliven any genre of game, I mean it. Although I will admit that there are a few exceptions. As a gameplay element, puzzles lend themselves very well to portions of other games due to the pre-frontal lobe stimulation they bring within the context of a greater challenge. For example, crossing a room is one of the simplest challenges that exists.

Original Source: ‘Sugar Cube: Bittersweet Factory’ Review – Meat Boy’s Clever Cousin

This Article was originally posted on our sister site, The Indie Game Magazine written by Doug Walter.


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‘The Ballads Of Reemus: When The Bed Bites’ Review – Great Infestations

Have you ever wanted to play a fictional exterminator with a small wallaby purple bear sidekick whose fights are relied upon to save a town from anthropomorphic bed bugs? Of course you have! Wait, are you sure because The Ballads of Reemus: When the Bed Bites would be perfect for you. Playing as the beer jut toting exterminator, Reemus, you must solve all the world’s infestation problems. Using those ever popular point and click mechanics you’re out to save the medieval town from destruction.The game is based on the web game/series, The Several Journeys of Reemus, which is a throwback to the old LucasArts adventure games of the 1990s. Developed by the original series’ designers and animation, The Ballads of Reemus is filled with all sorts of crazy predicaments and puzzles that need similar tactics to the rubber chicken with the pulley in the middle (made famous by the older adventure games).Technically, The Ballads of Reemus isn’t going to crush your PC, but it is filled with a slew of different environments to puzzle through so there’s no loss in variation to keep your eyes occupied. Let me be frank, these puzzles will keep you guessing.

Original Source: ‘The Ballads Of Reemus: When The Bed Bites’ Review – Great Infestations

This Article was originally posted on our sister site, The Indie Game Magazine written by Geoff Hathaway.


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‘Amp, Watts & Circuit’ Review – Electric Sheep, Cabbage, Wolf

Three cute robots grow tired of their lives as worker drones and decide to strike out on their own for adventure. Each of them has his own special ability that will help them escape the office and factory where they begin their quest and the trio will have to work together to make it through the outside world too. Amp, Watts & Circuit by Jamo Games has the rudiments of a good puzzle game, but despite its cute charm, it provides more of a frustrating battle against its own interface than a mental challenge of puzzle solving.Players control this trio of adorable little robots who must make their way through a dangerous world full of traps and hazards. Every level has a starting point for each bot and a separate exit for each of them too. The levels have many locked doors and there are often spikes popping out of the floor. Basic movement around the levels requires one robot to stand on a button in order to open a door, or retract the spikes so that his pals can make it through. Once through, they’ll have to find a button on the other side or another way to get that first robot through to the end as well.

Original Source: ‘Amp, Watts & Circuit’ Review – Electric Sheep, Cabbage, Wolf

This Article was originally posted on our sister site, The Indie Game Magazine written by Charles Battersby.


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‘Conquest of Elysium 3′ Review – A Turn For The Worst

Man, writing a harsh review really bums me out ya know? Especially when the game in question happens to be a Heroes of Might and Magic-esque turn based strategy sim. I really love em’, but almost no one bloody makes them anymore! I should be treasuring each and every one of them dammit! But that aside, to make a game of any genre the developers have to work their asses off at great personal expense for extended periods of time, so it’s never much fun trying to tell the general public that all that effort was in vein.And a what a monumental amount of effort it must have been to make Conquest of Elysium 3!

Original Source: ‘Conquest of Elysium 3′ Review – A Turn For The Worst

This Article was originally posted on our sister site, The Indie Game Magazine written by Gerrard Winter.


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‘Virus Wars’ Review – Tic-Tac-Toe’s Big Brother

Emulating the look of a paper and pencil interface, Virus Wars feels like the big brother of tic-tac-toe. Fortunately the gameplay is a bit more complicated then that, requiring a good deal more thought and strategy even when playing against an AI opponent and is a compelling and worthwhile experience for it.Visually speaking, Virus Wars comes across as clean and simple. You won’t find any breathtaking animations, intricately rendered 2D sprites or 3D models, but the visuals are still very well presented and perfectly serve the requirements of the gameplay design instead of in any way overshadowing them. The sound design matches this effort and compliments the visuals in such a way that it is pleasant to the ears, for example the well emulated sound of pencil on paper.As expressed before, the gameplay is a simple affair and gives off a vibe that you might expect from a game of tic-tac-toe.

Original Source: ‘Virus Wars’ Review – Tic-Tac-Toe’s Big Brother

This Article was originally posted on our sister site, The Indie Game Magazine written by Daniel Aaron.