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


So Many Me Has So Many Magical Things [Preview]

Thailand-based Extend Interactive was kind enough to give me an early build of its colorful 2D puzzle platformer, So Many Me, aiming for IGF 2012 fame. The 2D puzzle platformer is a popular genre among indie devs, but from the 13 levels I played, I think Extend has innovated enough to warrant praise.

I played So Many Me with WASD controls on a laptop. It didn’t inherently hinder my experience, but I am a natural-born controller gamer. As the green hero, Dave, collects his identical twins, the first mechanic that became available took me the most time to adjust to: the Clone Stone.

The head of the Me pack is the one that transforms, and I found myself hitting the button to transform a little too early or late, such that the following Mes did not land on top of the stone. I don’t blame the game design for this; I actually credit them for making me stretch and recondition my platforming skills. Fortunately, Extend has built in several restart points, so players don’t have to needlessly repeat large areas.

In addition to transforming into many different helpful objects like a ball to bounce high on and a bright globe that clears poisonous fumes, the Mes can fuse together to solve other puzzles. Players must make the Mes highlight all the white outlines in the fusion areas rather quickly. I could pull off the dinosaur fusion rather quickly, but the tank/elephant fusion took several tries.

I won’t go over all of the great gameplay mechanics, yet: the portals, the doors, the switches, or all the other transformations. The duplicating machine, however, was a welcome but challenging addition, making me focus on two batches of Mes jumping in different areas simultaneously.

For a glimpse of all the other mechanics of So Many Me, check this video:

So Many Me’s music is very soothing thanks to the eclectic talent at HyperDuck Sound Works (more of their great music and interview are here). With music, graphics, and gameplay all seemingly nailed in the preview, hopefully the teams will fill the 37 other stages with just as much great content.  I have a feeling fans of the genre will be very pleased when So Many Me finally becomes playable around March 2012 on PC and Mac.

PS: I think the world will want some So Many Me plushes or toys, but I could be wrong. What do you all think?


YYYYYYes!: ASCII demake of Terry Cavanagh’s VVVVVV Released [Freeware]

Oh man, I love it when lovely stuff love like this happens. Developer Robson has made a ASCII demake of Terry Cavanagh’s hit gravity puzzle platformer VVVVVV, now avaialble to download via Terry’s own distractionware forums (weighs in at 639…KB!)

Going by the name of YYYYYY, the game borrows the general bits and pieces of one of my all-time favorites. Creating its own puzzles instead of just replicating the original work. If you have any affinity for ASCII, or can barely stand it for that matter, go download this now and give it a run. Feel those emotions of joy and frustration rapidly rushing back yet?

Have a look at some non-spoiler gameplay (test levels only):


Limbo Breaking Exclusivity Shackles, Heading to PSN and Steam

Playdead has revealed great news for those without an Xbox 360 who, because of which, have missed out on their critically-acclaimed commercial hit Limbo. In a complete turn-around from earlier reports, the game is now bound for both PSN and PC. The hubbub stated a couple days ago when a Sony sought a rating for the game in Korea, with the developer confirming the news soon after.

The beautifully dark puzzle platformer will be ported for both platforms by the developer themselves. Other than that, there’s not too much information at this time. Though we do know that it will add to the stack of work they already have with the brand new, unknown IP they’re currently developing.

Anyway, a wonderful development; well only if you consider one of the best indies in recent years becoming much more available a wonderful development of course.



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.


Miles Drummond’s Jigsaw

2mpwuhg So a while back Enough Plumbers co-designer Arthur Lee started up his Action 52 OWNS game jam, the object being to remake, to the best modern creative standards, each of the famously terrible games in the Action 52 multicart (origin of that Cheetahmen game that 2ch was ironically wild about a while back). To date, nine of the games have been remade. One of those, tackled by a certain Miles Drummond, is the poor man’s Nail ‘n’ Scale clone, Jigsaw.

Add some creative deconstruction, and the end result is a rather charming puzzle platformer that plays a bit like Sega’s QuackShot, enhanced with some annoying-to-me, perhaps engaging-to-others SNES-style switch-block puzzles. You’re a carpenter armed with a nail gun against an army of rogue carpentry tools; you navigate two enormous levels by scaling walls and breaking blocks with your nails. Note that you can only use three nails at a time, a limitation that opens up all manner of puzzle situations.

Though it’s a bit bare-bones, given the circumstances of its development that’s fine. At two (albeit large) levels, the game doesn’t outstay its welcome or outstrip its premise. You can download the game here.