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The Budget Gamer: How to Game on $5 Next Week (1st Edition)

 Week #1

Hello, my name is Petey and I am totally broke. Well, not quite broke, but close. I only bring in a small amount of money each week. After bills, taxes, food, entertainment, and severe budgeting, I end up with a small amount of cash which I use to satisfy my gaming habits. That small surplus in my budget always totals exactly $5 and anybody who says anything contrary to that statement is a liar and terrible person. Now, I could go spend this fantastic $5 on a much (and I mean much) needed new bottle of body wash or buy a friend lunch, but I always end up spending it on the best possible gaming deal I can find. To supplement my $5 spending habit, I also play as many free-to-play games as I can find. It is near impossible to beat the price of $FREE (the technical way to say $0), and in the current era of technology, these free games have become impressive, and often, worthwhile. The digital era of downloadable games has cut down production costs, and thus product costs, to incredible lows.

So, with that said, here is my list of recommendations on how to game for $5 this upcoming week.

Recommendation for Monday

SWOOOORDS! Colon Lords of the Sword from Nihilocrat (Price: $Free on Kongregate)- So it is Monday and you hate the planet and all its inhabitants. You get out of bed and begin grunting and moaning, all the while forgetting to put the coffee on the burner and eating an expired bagel. It is a brutal morning. Luckily, I have a way for you to take out your aggression. SWOOOORDS! should assist your gaming needs. This game is outright vicious. The graphics are simple, the music is primal heavy metal, and the gameplay is unforgiving in its difficulty.  I have not made it past level 3 in that monstrosity of chaotic sword combat since each time you die it sends you back to the very beginning of the game. The combat is outrageously tight and rewarding, but punishes frivolity. Think of it as an isometric action RPG like Torchlight II, which strips out all of the RPG elements and forces the player to use skilled combat tactics. These qualities, plus a beautifully rigid metal soundtrack, make for a fun, yet brutal, game. You wake up early on Monday to play this and I guarantee you will be wishing you had a broadsword, guitar, amp, and long wavy blonde hair when you head to work or school after playing this one.

Recommendation for Tuesday

Dukes and Dirigibles from Backward pieS (Price: $Free on Kongregate and Newgrounds)- Tuesday has rolled around and you are happy to finally be away from that damned Monday. The week has now gotten rolling and you so badly need something casual, as you know your brain will be as fried as an egg which inevitably got left on the grill too long at waffle by the end of the week. Therefore I have something not so demanding, but incredibly fun which I have been enjoying when I have an hour or so off during the day. Meet Dukes and Dirigibles, a steampunk-inspired arena shooter from developer Backward pieS. Players control a 1930s (read: old) aircraft fitted with a turret and a shell launcher which they must use to defeat different bosses, who control massive Hindenburg-type blimps. D&D (reminds me of something else I do in my spare time) never demands too much out of a player, even though the latter stages get somewhat more difficult.  It demands only a joy of aerial assault and hilariously named enemy ships, such as “Sir Thomas Derringer’s Terrible Dirigible”. Backward pieS also is planning a full release of Dukes and Dirigibles which they have put on Steam GreenlightDukes and Dirigibles is perfect for a Tuesday afternoon lunch or coffee break where you want a break from monotony and want to spend $FREE.

Recommendation for Wednesday

VVVVVV from Terry Cavanagh (Price: $5 on Terry’s Website)- My best friend and SOMEONE WHO REFUSES AN INTERVIEW WITH ME! created a gem of a platformer in VVVVVV and you can now get it for $5 from his website. I suggest it for Wednesdays because that is about the time I feel I am going to lose my mind during the week. It is not the weekend and it is too far into the week for any human to keep their sanity. Thus, play something which further challenges your sanity, which VVVVVV absolutely does. It is so positively quirky and focuses on minimalism to such an extent that it challenges the way video games are approached. I do not feel the need to say much about it, as it is famous enough to have been heard of by the majority of indie gamers. All you need to know is that it is a focused and unforgiving platformer well worth the $5 it requires you to pay for purchase. Take Wednesday to embrace your craziness and play a game made by a man likely crazier than all of us. Play VVVVVV.

Recommendation for Thursday


Cryptozookeeper from Robb Sherwin (Price: $FREE from Cryptozookeeper’s Official Website)- Thursday is typically when I begin playing a long game for the weekend as the week is winding down and my schedule clears up a bit. Cryptozookeeper is about as long of a free game as you can find. It is a text-based adventure based on who the hell knows what idea and requires a little over 12 hours, but the whole adventure is well worth it. The story is teeming with hilarious moments and presents a Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy style of delivery. The puzzles are insanely creative and require careful thought and abstract thinking. Within the first five minutes of gameplay, I had to make my character vomit to solve a puzzle. To me that just wreaks of greatness and solvable obscurity. The soundtrack is another highlight, which features over 70 tracks of methodically conceived original music. There was so much care put into Cryptozookeeper by Robb Sherwin and his team that I am honestly thinking about buying the physical copy, despite the game being available to play for free. If you are into comedy and need something free to occupy your weekend, look no further than Cryptozookeeper.

Recommendation for Friday

A Game for Ana from David S Gallant (Price: $FREE on David S. Gallant’s Official Website)- So it’s Friday: the work week is near over and you begin thinking about your boo. She exists out there somewhere and you want to be romantic with her, but still get in your gaming fix. Well here, I have for you an amazingly simple platformer which is a romantic statement David Gallant made for his wife on Valentines Day. A Game for Ana is simple in the message and in the gaming style, but it is positively adorable in the delivery of the sentiment. It is a gaming programmer using his ability to express a direct and personal emotion, which he makes apparent that he is not afraid to share with the rest of us. It does not do anything overly complex and can be finished in about 10 minutes, but all the while is touching in a way that these 200 words could never describe. Play A Game for Ana with your boo and do something nice for her the following night. He/she deserves it.

That is all I have for you this week! Now go out, game for $5 this week, and I will begin compiling a list of games for you to chew on for next week’s feature. If you have a free game you would like to see featured here, please contact me on Twitter: @indiepeteyigm. I am always looking to try out free games and getting the word out about small developers is kind of my thing. For this and all your other indie gaming needs, stick right here with indiegamemag.com.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – The Budget Gamer: How to Game on $5 Next Week (1st Edition)


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Nicalis to release ‘Cave Story’ 2D in 3D

Nicalis, the publisher responsible for porting Terry Cavanagh’s rage inducing VVVVVV to Nintendo’s three dimensional magic machine is busy making yet another port of the ever popular Cave Story. This time around the title will see itself realized in 3D using its original two dimensional engine (much akin to Mutant Mudds). Considering most of us have played Cave Story in one form or another, Nicalis has gone ahead and included several new features and game modes to hopefully breathe a bit of life into an otherwise old title, giving players a new reason to pick it up all over again.

The coolest of which is “Curly Story” in which I’d assume you get to play through the story from the perspective of Curly Brace as she tries to protect the Mimiga from the evil doctor. Other notably fresh additions include: Nemesis Challenge, Boss Rush, Hell Time Attack, and Wind Fortress challenge modes. Nicalis has also stated Cave Story for eShop will support a native 4:3 and “real” widescreen resolutions for the 3DS as well as two button configurations.

fyi: this is a normal cavestory screen

Expect to dive back in come October 4th for the rather fair price of $9.99, those of you without a nifty new 3DS can still get in on the Cave Story fun (if you have yet to experience it) by picking up one of the various other versions avaiable as DSiWare. Hopefully players won’t confuse this for NIS’ Cave Story 3D which runs on an entirely three-dimensional engine unique to that title.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Nicalis to release ‘Cave Story’ 2D in 3D


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Steam Summer Sale Indie Roundup – July 20th – Day 9

TGIF? We’re entering the final weekend stretch here – will it have the best deals to date, or the greatest disappointments? Let’s check it out. It’s the ninth day of Summer sales over on Steam, and this means that a metric ton of indie games are going to be very cheap, although usually for only one day at a time. IGM are here to help you pick out the wheat from the chaff while the daily deals are active.

Today’s Individual Deals:

  • Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad75% off – Not quite as good as the original Red Orchestra, sadly. A troubled launch, engine issues, balance complaints and attempts to please both hardcore military sim players and the Call of Duty online twitchfest crowd have left Red Orchestra 2 on dangerous footing. Recently revived as the ‘Game of The Year Edition’ (who’s game in the question), it’s a bit more polished and stable now, but with the quality of F2P shooters on Steam going through the roof this year, you might be best off paying nothing.
  • Dungeon Defenders75% off – Possibly the only game to ever get too much post-release support. Once a fairly mild-mannered iOS port of a third-person action Tower Defense game, and now a sprawling indie behemoth with easily triple the content it launched with, a massive range of character classes to play with, persistent online play and more. In a bizarre twist, the sheer activity and responsiveness of the developers in addressing imbalances has resulted in a downright strange difficulty curve, with it being obvious where things were hit with the nerf-bat and where difficulty has been jacked up. Still, there’s a lot here, even if it isn’t the most finely tuned of games, and it’s good fun with friends.

Today’s Flash Deals – They’ll Be Gone Soon!

  • Limbo75% off - 4 hours and counting down on this one. – Another discounted day for the award-winning platform horror adventure. A moody silhouetted style, an uncompromising difficulty level, and a willingness to do some utterly terrible things to a young child protagonist set this one apart. Well worth the money, especially if you liked Another World and Flashback, back in the day.
  • Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet75% off8 hours and counting down on this one – And ANOTHER indie game with a moody, silhouetted art style. What are the chances? This one is more Metroidvania and less brutal, but still impressive stuff, and very tempting at this price

Today’s Indie Bundle (75% Off When Bought Together):

  • Capsized - Beautiful graphics, but I can’t say I was too keen on this 2D platform shooter. Playing a bit like Abuse from back in the day but with some added physics bits, Capsized is a fairly straightforward game about running and jumping your way through series of levels, shooting slightly-too-tough aliens with some very weak sounding guns, and grumbling about the physics on the grappling hook being fun but wildly unpredictable. At least, you will if you’re me.
  • Jamestown – Classic vertically scrolling ‘bullet hell’ shmup gameplay with beautiful, chunky arcade sprite art. Were it not for the four-player support and widescreen playfield, this could pass for a late-generation Neo Geo game, which is pretty high praise. A clever alternative-history setting and a rousing if slightly-too-low-paced orchestral soundtrack tops this one off. Great fun if you like a bit of arcade shootery.
  • Revenge of The Titans - Creative, alternative tower defence from Puppy Games. Rather than constrain the gameplay to lanes or roads, the enemies in RoTT come at you from every direction, but have some exploitable AI that’ll lead them to avoid areas they perceive as dangerous, meaning that your defensive strategy has to shift along with enemy concentrations as the level rolls on. Really cute art and a nice sense of humour. Can be frustrating on your first time through, though, as some levels practically require clairvoyance to survive without foreknowledge.
  • VVVVVV – Ultra-low-fi but great fun. Terry Cavanaghs platformer without a jump button returns in this bundle. Explore a large non-linear world in search of your missing research crew, and navigate bizarre Spectrum-era obstacles and enemies by reversing gravity. All you can do is flip between ceiling and floor, meaning that a tiny block in your path can sometimes force you to take an impressively complex route. Clever level design all over, and now includes several user-made campaigns to boot.
  • Zeno Clash - Beautiful, creative, brutal. The sequel to this first-person brawler was recently announced, and the first game is still amazing to look at and fun to play. Imagine Streets of Rage in first-person, but set in a bizarre ‘punk’ fantasy world reminiscent of cult movie The Dark Crystal. A demented plot and some weirdly memorable characters top this one off.

Some weak items, but a generally strong showing, with some surprise items and some returning discounts. The bundle in particular is excellent value. As with the previous Winter sale, the previous days core deals are available for a few hours more, so snap them up if you missed any you wanted.

A bit of advice: As with all big Steam sale events, if something you want isn’t a daily deal today (or you missed out on the day that it was) then put it on your wishlist and hold onto your cash until the final ‘encore’ day of deals. You never know what’ll be featured! Shop smart, and you’ll come away from this with a fat sack of games to last you until Winter. And then the cycle begins all over again. Ain’t gaming great?

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Steam Summer Sale Indie Roundup – July 20th – Day 9


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‘VVVVVV’ Coming To European 3DS Owners On May 10th

VVVVVV

Europeans hold off your jealousy from now and forever! Nicalis has announced that the platformer VVVVVV will be hitting the European 3DS eShop on May 10th.

Despite landing on the US 3DS eShop way back on December 29th, VVVVVV still isn’t available on the European version of the online store. However, with this simple tweet, cheers were ignited across Europe. Well, probably not.

But anyway, Nicalis has announced some good news for European 3DS owners, as you can see in that tweet, VVVVVV will be coming to the European 3DS eShop on May 10th. How do we know that’s what that tweet means? Well, apart from the obvious styling of thew tweet, it is a follow up to this one which said:

VVVVVV passed NOE’s submission process. We’re a couple of weeks out @terrycavanagh Congratulations!”

More information on VVVVVV can be found on the game’s official website.


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Freeindiegam.es – Terry Cavanagh Starts Up Free Indie Game Blog

Terry Cavanagh

Indie game developer and icon, Mr. Terry Cavanagh who you’ll most likely know for VVVVVV has started up a new blog that aims to highlight the freeware games that he finds interesting.

It took Cavanagh a little while to find an appropriate domain name, one that was suitable and not already take, but he eventually settled on freeindiegam.es. Cavanagh has already posted a few things on there, mostly it seems he’s going for a simple picture with a sentence and a link to download the game – appropriate really when games should be experienced.

Obviously all of the games he will be posting up there will be free but knowing Cavanagh’s taste, they’re bound to be games that push the envelope, have something to say or are just interesting in a way that not many other games are. Certainly, his picks so far reflect this. Anna Anthropy’s dys4ia, Kyratzes’ The Fabulous Screech and Vlambeer’s Yeti Hunter being examples of this. We’ll be keeping an eye on what freeware titles Cavanagh must share as we, as you would expect, share an interest in a game that is both “free” and “interesting”.

Just to remind you again, the site you’ll want to head over to for Cavanagh’s freeware pick is freeindiegam.es – how can you not remember that?


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VVVVVV Composer SoulEye Releases New Gaming-Inspired Album

What’s this? We’re talking about a musical album here on DIYGamer? I know! It’s weird, right? But I think this particular album has a special place in many gamers’ and indie gamers’ collective hearts as this is the same guy who did the wonderful soundtrack for VVVVVV which was widely lauded for its music.


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VVVVVV Landing on Nintendo 3DS eShop December 29th

Here’s a post-holiday Christmas present for you all, Terry Cavanagh’s fantastic retro-styled platformer is set to arrive on Nintendo’s 3DS handheld in just a few days time. No longer will Captan Viridian be stuck on your PCs screen, immobile.


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Humble Indie Bundle 4 Adds Five Humble Indie Bundle 3 Games Plus Soundtracks

Crikey! As if the Humble Indie Bundle couldn’t get any better it appears that the guys running the thing have just thrown everything they’ve got into the Humble Indie Bundle 4 to make it a bit more appealing to those who have yet to splurge on the package.


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Humble Audible Bundle? Pay What You Want For 10 Gaming Albums

Silly sale season continues with this Black Friday (move fast!) bonus – the Indie Game Music Bundle. 10 great videogame original and remixed soundtracks by some of the best in the business, including Danny B, Hyperduck Soundworks, Virt and Souleye, all available for whatever you want (starting at $1) with another 7 (!) bonus albums thrown in if you pay $10 or more. And the best part of it all? It’s all digital, so you don’t have to be trampled by crazy people to get it! Unless you like that sort of thing.

Weirdo.


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The Deluge Continues: Steam Indie Deals, Day 2

As some of you might have noticed, it’s Thanksgiving! At least, it is in America. I’m fairly sure it’s ‘mooch off of American holiday sales season’ for the rest of the world, and mooch we will! As of about five minutes ago, it’s Day 2 of the Steam Autumn/Thanksgiving sale, and there’s another set of 24-hour indie essentials to grab. Move fast – they probably won’t be this cheap again for… ooh, at least another month, when the inevitable massive Christmas/Winter/New Year sale rolls round. Indie choices of the day and some short thoughts on them after the break.