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

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Free Content: ‘FTL: Advanced Edition’ And iPad Launch Slated For 2014

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Last year’s ground-breaking roguelike FTL is gearing up for an all new free expansion that will coincide with its jump to the iPad next year.

FTL is a roguelike set in the depths of space and has players piloting a ship of hopeful explores to the end of the universe to bring down the corporation which is hunting the player across the expanses of space.

FTL is one of those games that can be picked up and played time and time again, with the levels being procedurally generated this means every mission holds a new and exciting outcome. I reviewed it last year and loved every minute of it so this new update (which is free I might add) is just another reason to reinstall the game.

The update coming next year FTL: Advanced Edition will add a huge array of new elements to the game, including:

  • Mind control systems – who doesn’t hate a boarding party, well no you can turn your foes into friends with the all new mind control systems!
  • Hacking systems – now you can hack into the enemy’s ship and alter how each system affects the ship. Each system will be hacked in a unique manner giving even more variety.
  • New sectors and events – the single biggest element in the game which shaped each run through these new events and sectors will breathe a whole new lease of life into the game.
  • New weapons and effects – a whole host of new and exciting weapons will be introduced along with the ability to overcharge, stun, freeze, etc. Basically a ton of new weapons to sink your teeth into.

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Alongside these there will be numerous bug fixes and overall streamlining throughout the game. Although the biggest announcement has to be the iPad version, as the game lends itself so perfectly to the tablet system.

Expect the update and iPad launch sometime next year. You can find out more on the official FTL site.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Free Content: ‘FTL: Advanced Edition’ And iPad Launch Slated For 2014


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Under New Management (Sort Of…)

Dear IGM Friends, Fans and Industrypeople. I would like to let you all know that my good friend and business partner, Mr. Mike Gnade, has made the tough decision to part ways with IGM after five years as owner and publisher. This presented me with a great opportunity to acquire the site from him. In doing so, we will be continuing on with the traditions of The Indie Game Magazine. As with any change in ownership, there will be a few changes.

First, and perhaps most notably, I have decided to discontinue the print magazine. There are two main reasons for this decision. The biggest reason is time. Preparing the magazine requires a huge time investment, and frankly, the financial reward is not there. Other reasons would include fees and costs, payment delays from the distributors and the production labor requirements of the magazine. I hope to eventually replace the magazine with a weekly newsletter, but that is on the horizon.

Next I am going to be re-focusing IGM. Previously our focus had been on game reviews and news. While we are still reviewing games and offering indie game news, it is my belief that our focus needs to be on our audience. Content without you, the readers, is not going to get us very far. Therefore I am placing a strong emphasis on social media and forum participation. I want to jump-start our forums by creating developer contests, great conversation topics, providing resources for developers. I am even putting up an arcade to house great indie games here on the site that can be enjoyed by all.

I wanted to take a fast minute to thank you all for your continued support over the years. IGM could not possibly be what it has become without your support. The IGM team takes a great deal of pride, as an indie company, reviewing and promoting the indie game industry and really wants to develop a close relationship with our community. That is why I am placing such a high level of emphasis on getting to know you better. If you have any questions or comments, I invite you to get in touch with me and my staff. You can either leave a message below in the comments or send me an email. My person email is cnewton@indiegamemag.com.

A little about me: I am a father of two young boys and a lucky husband. Like most indies I have a day job where I work as a Mechanical Engineer. I have been in online media since 2004 where I began as a writer for a Magic: The Gathering fan site and worked my way up through the ranks. I owned my game review site for two years before joined up with Mike in September of 2011. My role here at IGM was initially content management of the website while Mike managed the magazine.

Also, if you are a developer and have submitted email to IGM for any reason, the voice that came back to you back was mine, and I plan on continuing that role as I really enjoy helping people as much as I can and that is one thing that is not going to change.

I’d like to offer my wishes of luck to my former partner and current friend Mike Gnade. You may have left the building, but you are always family.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Under New Management (Sort Of…)


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Indie Intermission Sunday Round Up: Ludum Dare 27 Top 5

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This week has been a rather special one as I have ran down the top five games from the latest Ludum Dare (27) . All the games have been great but these games where deemed the best of the best. The list goes from Monday (number 5) to Friday (number 1) enjoy.

As always clicking the title will take you to my article whilst clicking the image will take you to the game.

#5 Monday: ’Friends Of Potato Lagoon’ The Feel Good Factor

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Friends Of Potato Lagoon is a very cute arcade shooter in which you must defend this friendly bunch of vegetables from all manner of bad guys flying at you. It looks and sounds great but don’t let the cutesy graphics fool you this game gets very difficult.

#4 Tuesday: ’Time Shifter’ Turning Back The Clock

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Time Shifter utilizes the ability to rewind the time in each room up to 10 seconds. This makes for some interesting puzzles and some even more interesting solutions, very innovative and well worth checking out.

#3 Wednesday:  ’Proletarian Ninja X’ Working Class Ninjas

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Proletarian Ninja X is a superb stealth action game in which you have just 10 seconds to execute your contract with pin point accuracy. The strict time limit makes for one hectic game that requires quick reflexes and lighting fast reasoning skills.

#2 Thursday: ’Clockwork Cat’ A Well-Oiled Machine

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Clockwork Cat has a brilliant graphical style that immediately entranced me and is much of the initial draw for the game. Although the game is rather short the ideas used are great and work very well helping create a very fun little puzzle game.

#1 Friday: ’Probe Team’ Greater Than The Sum Of Its Parts

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Probe Team seems to of had special attention paid to perfecting the retro aesthetic of  the game. The look of Probe Team is truly one that evokes a great deal of nostalgia, although the game is also pretty great. It’s a lot of fun and has some rather great ideas implemented making for one fun nostalgic game.

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That about wraps up the Ludum dare 27, although over the coming weeks I will still be looking at some games from Ludum Dare I will largely be moving away. Searching the web for other great games a little further afield.

I hope you have enjoyed the top picks from Ludum Dare and I look forward to seeing you all back here at the same time tomorrow for an all new Indie Intermission.

If you are a developer with A fun indie game that can be played over a coffee break, we want to hear from you! Private message us on twitter @IndieGameMag or shoot us an email at editors@indiegamemag.com with the subject “Indie Intermission” and you could be our indie intermission pick of the day!

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Indie Intermission Sunday Round Up: Ludum Dare 27 Top 5


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Dark Vale: ‘Forge’ Must Go Free-to-Play

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Earlier this week, developer, Dark Vale, announced in a blog post that their MMO A-RPG, Forge, is transitioning to a free-to-play model. Just a few moments ago, Dark Vale tweeted that the transition is happening today, and that game servers were being brought down to make room for the change.

Since the game’s launch, last December, Dark Vale has tweaked and patched Forge numerous times, and now they believe that to ensure their title’s survival, it needs to shift to the free-to-play model.

“…this next release is all about Forge’s survival,” Dark Vale explains on the game’s official website. “As you all know, we’re an Indie developer and are able to continue to support the game with new features from the sales of Forge every month. In order to continue to do this we must change our business plan in order to get more players playing Forge so it’s fun for everyone and to continue funding development. This is why Forge must go F2P.”

Dark Vale makes it very clear that Forge will not become a pay-to-win title. The developers point out that all items in their item store are cosmetic (apart from the XP boosters), and hope to add in the feature to further allow the player to customize those items, in the near future. Starter packs are also in the works, allowing for players to purchase packs of items on Steam, for themselves or their friends. Dark Vale plans to give out everyone who has previously purchased Forge a starter pack that includes an XP boost and a set of skins, for free.

“This is a really big change for Forge,” Dark Vale says. “We are hoping that with the new progression changes from the last patch that the new influx of players will have an easier time finding out how fun Forge can be. We are targeting next week for this release. The release will also contain some stability fixes as well. Thank you all again for all your help and suggestions that went into our F2P transition.”

Visit the official website for Forge and follow Dark Vale on Twitter.


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Indie Intermission Ludum Dare Count Down – Number 3 ‘Minimalismism’

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Today’s game came in number three in Ludum Dare 26 and brings some awesome ideas to the competition. Minimalismism is a game that has been created by Tayl1r and offers some rather interesting and innovating ideas not commonly seen in video games overall.

Minimalismism is a very interesting 2D platformer that takes place entirely on one screen. The whole objective is to reach the glowing block at the end of each level, once reached the level reforms into something altogether more difficult.

It really is a novel mechanic that creates some very fluid and fun gameplay as you try to figure out the best way to reach the goal. Although the levels overall are not that taxing, and you may only die a handful of times the beauty of the game is in the design and the way it plays out.

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Average play time – 5 minutes

Minimalismism as a game concept is a fantastic model and one I feel could go far. Of course it would require a lot more levels, added mechanics, and the ability to lose (or at the very least for it to have some negative affect for when to die too many times).

If you would like to give Minimalismism a go be sure to head over to the Ludum Dare site and download the game for free.

If you are a developer with A fun indie game that can be played over a coffee break, we want to hear from you! Private message us on twitter @IndieGameMag or shoot us an email at editors@indiegamemag.com with the subject “Indie Intermission” and you could be our indie intermission pick of the day!

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Indie Intermission Ludum Dare Count Down – Number 3 ‘Minimalismism’


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Indie Intermission Ludum Dare Countdown – Number 4 ‘Undercolor Agents’

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Today I look to the game that managed to break into the fourth position of Ludum Dare 26. Today’s game is Undercolor Agents, created by FarmerGnome.

Undercolor Agents is a fantastic arena based shooter that has a very distinctive minimalistic look to it making for a great all round game. In Undercolor Agents you must (either alone or with up to seven other friends) battle through the streets and take down the Hue invasion that threatens the town.

Of course dealing with this invasion is not for the faint of heart as you must battle these square monsters in order to reach the pylons which contain the Hue’s power.

Undercolor Agents plays very well and offers a great deal of fun either solo or with some close friends. Playing with friends does offer some advantages such as the ability to save your friends from the killer squares by shooting them off of them, in a Left For Dead inspired mechanic.

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Average play time – 10 minutes

Undercolor Agent is a very creative arena based shooter that provides a great deal of enjoyment for the time you spend playing it. The addition of local co-op is great and really adds a lot of replayability to the game.

Be sure to check out FamerGnome’s site for the latest download of Undercolor Agent. If you enjoy Undercolor Agent be sure to check out some of his other great games.

If you are a developer with A fun indie game that can be played over a coffee break, we want to hear from you! Private message us on twitter @IndieGameMag or shoot us an email at editors@indiegamemag.com with the subject “Indie Intermission” and you could be our indie intermission pick of the day!

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Indie Intermission Ludum Dare Countdown – Number 4 ‘Undercolor Agents’


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GDC: Dungeon Dashers


Dungeon Dashers is a slick and instantly enjoyable dungeon crawler. It features 4 different characters (Assassin, Knight, Ranger, Wizard) all with their own abilities which can be used for some interesting puzzle solving for each level. The controls are really simple to grasp and as the name implies, the game moves really quickly.  The game combines a lot of great things in a streamlined fashion.  There is a turn-based combat system which is barely noticeable because of the speed of the turns.  Turns actually vanish if you are not in combat so the game can feel like a puzzle game and a roguelike RPG depending on the level and circumstances.  It’s quite awesome.

Dungeon Dashers promises traps, multiple styles of play, tons of replayability, additional challenges and objectives and online multiplayer.  Honestly, the whole package sounds too good to be true.  The graphics are really nostalgic without being too chunky and pixelated.  This game is coming along great, be sure to checkout our preview in 2012 for even more impressions and information.

Dungeon Dashers is still in-development but can be purchased in it’s current state for $10 from the game’s official website. Be sure to follow the developer on twitter @JigxorAndy

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – GDC: Dungeon Dashers


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Indie Intermission – ‘Murder Dog IV: Trial Of The Murder Dog’ It’s A Dogs Life

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Murder Dog IV: Trial Of The Murder Dog (Murder Dog) is a rather interesting take on the judicial system that is full of comedy from start to finish. Created by Thecatamites Murder Dog is a point and click adventure through court as you take command of a murderous dog on the look out for blood.

It is up to you to try to get this Dog off the hook, although this will not be easy considering just how much of rampage you have been on prior to this hearing so expect a rather bumpy ride. Full of humours dialogue and awesome witnesses the game feels like a great deal of fun with ever surprising outcomes.

Although the visuals often feel lacking the game seems to have been constructed rather well overall and the dialogue makes up for it creating a rich and interesting game.

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Average play time – 10 minutes

Murder Dog is a fun little game that has some rather fun dialogue really transcending the game above the average. With numerous different outcomes for our hero you can spend quite a while trying to figure out ways to play the system and maybe even get the dog off the hook.

Be sure to check out Murder Dog now and see if you can say the murderous dog.

If you are a developer with A fun indie game that can be played over a coffee break, we want to hear from you! Private message us on twitter @IndieGameMag or shoot us an email at editors@indiegamemag.com with the subject “Indie Intermission” and you could be our indie intermission pick of the day!

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Indie Intermission – ‘Murder Dog IV: Trial Of The Murder Dog’ It’s A Dogs Life


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Indie Links Round-Up: Forest Pool

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Among the games covered in today’s Indie Links are a platformer inspired by the classic Ghosts n’ Goblins, a strategy game starring an undead samurai, a parking simulator that a reviewer apparently finds to be almost as much fun as actually parking a car, and not one but two player-run sandbox RPGs where players can create their own highly customized worlds (is that an upcoming new genre or something?)

Maldita Castilla (TIGSource)
“Like Hydorah before it, Locomalito’s Maldita Castilla stays very close to its inspirations, in this case the venerated platformer series Ghosts n’ Goblins. From the overall look to the invariable jump, you’ll feel very much like you’ve stepped into the greaves of Arthur’s Spanish cousin.”

60 Seconds To Park (Indie Gamer Chick)
“…And I’m sorry to my readers who were looking for a game review and read that nonsense above.  But what else can I do with a game like 60 Seconds to Park?  There’s almost no actual game here, so I have to fill the space with something.  The game is exactly what it sounds like: find an empty parking space within 60 seconds.  Every stage, the parking lot gets larger, but there’s only one space that is randomly selected to be empty.  Find it, put your car in it.  It’s that simple.”

Feeding on Undead Armies in Skulls of the Shogun (Joystiq)
“Here’s your high-concept, catch-all elevator pitch for Skulls of the Shogun: samurai zombies meets turn-based strategy, and a dash of Words With Friends thrown in for flavor. 17-BIT’s charming top-down strategy title captures the action-flavored flow of the Advance Wars series, though it ditches the grid-based world in favor of more natural radial movement. The whole package comes together around an ambitious multi-platform release that features asynchronous multiplayer match-ups and a meaty, multi-hour campaign.”

TIGSource Devlog: Dom2D’s Visual Showcase of Awesome New Games, Issue #11 (Venus Patrol)
“Would you look at all the colors in this week’s issue? In it, we explore the dark corridors of spaceships filled with evil robots in Steam Marines, jump around Another Castle in our brand new jetpack, swim in the crazy seas ofGeisha Novia, and skulk creepily in a foggy forest in Stealth Vampire.”

Indie Pleas: Indie Game Crowd Funding Roundup for December 14, 2012 (indiePub)
“This week’s Indie Pleas include: Galcon 2: Galactic Conquest, a strategy game where you have to conquer the galaxy and defeat the enemy planets; The Red Queen of Oz: Two Fates, an adventure game where you play as Alice and Dorothy through Wornderland and Oz as they try to stop the evil Queen of Heats; Full Bore, a puzzle-adventure game where you play the role of a bore; and finally Epica Rex, a multiplayer sandbox RPG game where players can explore land and even go to war with others.”

Acclaimed Games Festival IndieCade Adds an East Coast Option with IndieCade East (Kotaku)
“Video game gatherings come in a few different flavors. GDC, as the name implies, is mostly for game developers and exists most as a professional networking/workshop space. The medium’s biggest hype machine is E3, where developers, marketers, press and select fans spread the excitement about upcoming games. But IndieCade—which has happened for the last few years in Culver City, Calif.—is arguably my favorite games-centric gathering. So I’m really glad that there will be an East Coast version from February 15th to 17th of next year.”

Oh Godus… Molyneus Has a Kickstarter (Independent Gaming)
“For those of you who haven’t heard of this infamous madman, Molly is the creator ofPopulousBlack and White, and the Fable series. He has become pretty well-known known for being utterly crazy-bananas in terms of hyping games, continually surfing a tidal wave of his own ambition, making promises he cannot keep and just generally leaving a path of rubble in his wake.”

A Common Thread: azurenimbus (Quote Unquote)
“I’m André. I’m a 27 year old starving artist cliché, born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and I do not speak Spanish. For the past two years I’ve been living in New Jersey, Murika with my girlfriend. When I’m not making games or working on other similar starvation-inducing personal projects, I work as a reluctant graphic designer. My aim is to further starve by becoming a full-time independent developer soon.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Indie Links Round-Up: Forest Pool


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‘Tip The Cows’: Students Cow-Tipping in New Hampshire

tip the cowsWe often joke that Zynga-style social games involve clicking virtual cows and spamming friends’ Facebook walls. A new Facebook game, Tip The Cows, uses just these elements as a prototype for a future transmedia game experience.

In CowClicker, Ian Bogost’s Facebook game hilariously satirizing Facebook games, players are asked to click a virtual cow, earn clicks by clicking, or paying premium currency, and then invite their friends to do the same. Players can also share their progress on their Facebook walls, or see their friends’ progress that way. The joke’s on Zynga-style Facebook games, where the vast majority of interactions are not what most of us would consider gameplay. But it’s playable, too, so it causes players to think about player motivations in click-wait-click social games, as they click the cows. (CowClicker has recently taken Farmville satire to a new level, and you now click the empty space where your cow used to be.)

Tip The Cows is less a satire than a proof-of-concept, but it distills the social side of Facebook sharing and leaderboard competition to its most basic elements. The game is part of a capstone creative project by students studying Animation Graphic Game Programming at New Hampshire Technical Institute.  Kyle Lambert is the main developer in Flash and Facebook, and Dan Chamberlain is the project backend and server programmer.

Gameplay involves earning points by clicking the cows that appear on your virtual field. Players can then share their scores on their Facebook wall. The game takes a maximum of thirty seconds, but can be played indefinitely, without waiting or paying in.Find and click the golden cow, and you can send special wall spam, er, a special Tip The Cows message to the students’ advisor, Greg Walek, a professor of game animation and design at NHTI.

Disclosure: Greg is my friend from college and while I’m quite interested in his social game experiment, I would also enjoy watching his Facebook wall blow up with game spam. Yeah, yeah, working prototype for a larger experience, blah, blah, student creativity, yeah, the real highlight of this game is spamming my friends.

The developers say that Tip The Cows is an early proof-of-concept in what will become a larger transmedia game experience, creating games based around the idea that “what you do in one game should and will affect another. For example, we are planning to have items only in one game, but usable in another level. “ Walek says.

I hope these Golden Cows I keep tipping onto Greg’s wall will come in handy later on.