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


Browser Game Pick – Words & Physics

Words & Physics

Like words? Like physics? Then you’ll love new Words & Physics! I caught sight of this neat little puzzler on Newgrounds today and, for a bit of light relief, you can’t go far wrong with it. Just take a short coffee break and grab your thinking cap.


Halloween Browser Game Pick – Gyossait

It’s been a while since we’ve seen something of this magnitude from indie nightmare-smith Amon26. To celebrate this most haunted of nights, Newgrounds is giving front-and-center stage to him and his new game, Gyossait. Those of you who have played his previous works, especially All Of Our Friends Are Dead and Au Sable will know what to expect here. Turn out the lights, turn up the sound, and take a deep breath.


Browser Pick: Prototype-inspired Thelemite

We don’t do browser picks nearly often enough here at DIY HQ. It’s not that we don’t like them it’s just that we have so much to write about each and every day it’s often way too difficult to actually find the really good ones. Which is why I always encourage indie developers (browser or not) to email us.

In any case, today’s browser pick is seriously one awesome game. Inspired by Activision’s AAA mutant sandbox game Prototype, developer Sosker brings us Thelemite, an awesome sprite-based side scrolling mutant beat-em-up that’s just about as fast paced as Prototype.

Here’s the official game description:

Melex archer is a boring programmer who out of boredom signs up to Free Medical Experimentation at and thus, becomes a mutant ninja.

This game was inspired by AAA title Prototype. It involves fighting off hordes off mutants, military, tearing down buildings, fighting off giant bosses and having the attack button go right through your keyboard and the desk.

The game is surprising challenging, but also has a lot of depth to it. You’ll be able to upgrade multiple part of your character to improve things like endurance, agility, hit points, etc.

If you’re looking for a browser game with some challenge and progression there’s little reason not to check out Thelemite.




Perceptions Constantly Change in Vision by Proxy Second Edition

Vision by Proxy Second Edition from a group of Georgia Tech students lead by Andrew Ho is a clever puzzle platformer well worth the time. This is a “re-visioning” (LULZ) of an E3 2010 Indiecade Showcase. The second edition has six times the content of the first, in terms of levels, yet is fun and engrossing enough for one extended play sitting.

The game’s goal involves finding a missing piece to the alien’s crashed ship. The alien is aided by gaining possession of different visions: a young girl, a gardener, and an architect. These visions shift the physical properties of the stages, allowing the alien to interact with the environment in cleverly different ways.

Along with the visual aesthetics changing, the audio does, too. There is one slightly jarring animation issue. When the alien jumps as high as it can, it still doesn’t seem high enough, yet it stumbles almost forcefully to the higher cloud or platform. That feels somewhat forgivable with the great visuals provided by Rose Peng and Christine Wu. I especially enjoyed the young girl’s view and the crazy effect on the alien view:

The challenge of the game increases dramatically in the aptly named challenge levels. I personally felt this is where the developer became more experimental and thankfully strayed further away from the formula in the first three levels.

I spoke with designer Chris DeLeon about my love/like relationship with Vision by Proxy Second Edition. He told me about half the feedback he gets from people is that they like the first 3 levels but hate the challenge levels. The other half of course is people that dislike the first 3 levels but enjoyed the challenge levels. He surmises, “From my position, especially in the context of the game being as short as it is, I maintain this means there’s something there for everyone.”

As Chris says, there is something for everyone, so I hope everyone gives it a try. I guarantee you won’t look at platformers the same way again.

Play Vision by Proxy Second Edition on Newgrounds or Kongregate.


Browser Game Dev and Klax, Canabalt, and Llama Lover: Gian Luca Malagnini [Interview]

Medieval Wars programmer and designer Gian Luca Malagnini of Mitomane loves Klax, games like Canabalt, and llamas. He’s recently made a game about two of those things (sorry, llama fans). Gian Luca is here to talk about Kabalax, which borrows more than just Klax‘s namesake.

When the main character is not jumping to avoid obstacles and performing midair tricks, he is collecting colored pieces that one by one fill a board until a match is made. It’s an intense combination of starkly different genres of gaming, almost to the point of overload. The title is currently without Flash sponsorship, but its icon is currently ranked #4 out of Top 100 Icons on Luckily, the game itself matches its icon’s style, so Kabalax shouldn’t be sponsor-less for too long.

I had to ask Gian Luca what brought the two ideas together in his head to make one game experience. Those who read on will find out he’s already made a game about llamas, but not a game about llamas and his other passion: rock and roll… yet. In addition to details about Kabalax, he mentions a sequel to Medieval Wars.

What made you combine Klax (I love Klax by the way) with run and jump?
I always been attracted by games like Klax and Columns and lately I played a lot of jump and run games like Canabalt for example, that is a little gem in the genre. So I thought why not trying to mix the two concepts? Kabalax was the result.

Do all Klax scoring apply (special bonus or warp when you make an X with the pieces)?
No, the scoring system is simpler than Klax more similar to Columns, you can only make combo chains that will increase your score multiplier.

What kind of story or background would you give Kabalax to explain the puzzle and platforming elements?
(From the concept to the execution) Bascally Kabalax is an extreme sport that kids will practice in a futuristic world.

What games have you made before becoming indie?
Before becoming indie, I worked 2 years in the mobile industry. Working for Gameloft, I was the lead programmer of XIII: Covert Identity.

What are you most proud of making as an indie?
I am most proud of Medieval Wars, a turn based strategy war game. We reached more than 2 million plays on the web. I made all the design and programming by myself working with a graphic artist friend of mine Andrea K.I.A..

At the moment I’m working on the sequel of Medieval Wars. We introduced the possibility to manage your hero, and we changed the battle system trying to make something more similar to Advance Wars, with a lot of different units, ranged, mounted and infantry.

[Older games on Newgrounds][Kabalax on Kongregate]


Freeplay Pick: ‘Prior’

I pre-maturely judged this game as Limbo-like, but in doing so I also increased my motivation to play it. Prior is a delightfully constructed puzzle-platformer from krangGAMES. Much of it centers around the unknown, so it’s hard to pick and choose which details to tell you and which to leave out. It’s pretty apparent at the beginning of the game that you know nothing. In fact, this is probably further illustrated by developer’s own description of the game. It goes a little something like this:

Who are you? Where are you? Why are you there? PRIOR: You know nothing.

You move about by using the WASD keys, among a couple of other buttons, and go from area to area attempting to solve puzzles to progress and discover notes with hints as to what has happened to you, who you are, and where you are. There is certainly an air of eeriness throughout Prior. As you go searching for answers — or, at least, it seems — you may come up empty-handed. Much of it is even affected by choice. I can’t discuss this without spoiling the game for you, albeit this is a weak spoiler: there are three endings to the game. Each is tragic in its own way. How you reach them is essentially up to you. There are a number of walkthroughs for the game, most notably on, but I suggest piecing the puzzle together yourself.

Simply put, it’s much more rewarding to delve into the dark ambiance of Prior and learn about the environment by yourself. Although some may surely look at the game’s story laughably, those of us who are akin to Flash games and don’t mind suspending disbelief should have no problem connecting with its malaise tone and meaning. Likewise, there are a few interpretations of the story — which takes center stage along with the carefully constructed and wonderfully designed environment.

Prior is a game worth playing, and it’s absolutely free. What you may gain from it, however, may be priceless. See for yourself.



Fishbane Puzzles Absolutely

fishbane Probability 0 designer Alexander “Droqen” Martin has developed a new puzzle platformer for Newgrounds. Fishbane is a little like Miles Drummond’s Jigsaw, except weirder, tougher, and stricter.

You play as… I guess a diver guy, throwing harpoons at walls and collecting incidental goldfish. At the end of every level is a golden harpoon; snag it to move on. The main mechanic involves the harpoon; lodged in a wall, you can use it to clamber up and over surfaces. If you run and jump on the harpoon in mid-air, you can ride it like a broom. The levels will introduce gizmos and complications, but these are the basics.

The game seems, at times, impossible — and it does the bare minimum to help the player along. Yet this is probably a good choice, as the solutions always are logical and in retrospect often obvious. Any level might contain two or three moments of head-slapping epiphany. A good test of a puzzle is when the solution always feels like it’s in the player’s hands, rather than being held at arm’s length — and that is the case here.

You can play Fishbane online here.


Can’t Wait for Super Meat Boy? Play Regular Meat Boy!

super-meat-boy-artworkSuper Meat Boy is planned for release sometime relatively soon onto both the PC and, more excitedly, Nintendo’s WiiWare service. As many propably already know, SMB is a hugely anticipated game for the indie scene, up there with the likes of Braid and World of Goo before it. Unfortunately, it’s not actually available to play yet so we are left here, alone, twiddling our thumbs in a derisively Meat Boy-less life… or are we?

For those who absolutely can’t wait to get there hands on Super Meat Boy there’s actually something out there that should hold you over pretty well. I am, of course, talking about the prequel flash game: Meat Boy. Yep, that’s right, a little over a year ago the same developers making Super Meat Boy created and released Meat Boy on NewGrounds flash game portal and it can be played by anybody who wanders over there.

So what are you waiting for? Go get your Meat Boy on and start honing those skills for when the real deal drops a little later this year.

[Play via NewGrounds]