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Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Drawn: Dark Flight ® Collector's Editon released by Big Fish Games

Iris has escaped from the Tower but she still needs your help! Explore the Kingdom of Stonebriar and solve the mysteries of the shadows that prowl its streets in this fun Adventure game. Enter magical worlds through colorful paintings and meet a host of fantastic characters that will help you on your quest in Drawn: The Dark Flight. Only someone with the power of imagination can unravel the mysteries of the three beacons, and save a future queen that will bring hope back to a people!

This is a special Collector's Edition release full of exclusive extras you won’t find in the standard version. As a bonus, Collector's Edition purchases count toward three stamps on your Monthly Game Club Punch Card!

The Collector’s Edition includes:
  • New quest with special ending
  • Unique achievements to earn
  • Concept art and wallpapers
  • Incredible original soundtrack
  • Integrated Smart Guide
System Requirements:
  • OS: Windows XP/Vista
  • CPU: 1.0 GHz
  • RAM: 1024 MB
  • DirectX: 9.0
  • Hard Drive: 787 MB
Drawn: The Dark Flight Screenshots:

Indie Game Magazine Issue 12 Out Now

Issue 12 is Available Now!

Limbo has been praised as one of the best games of the year, but does it live up to the hype? In this issue we take a look a Limbo and also review Xbox’s Zeno Clash, PSN’s Joe Danger, Deadly Sin 2, Tidalis and more. You can also read our ’5 Ways to Actually Make Money in the App Store’ along with our final beginners guide to indie development and a great piece on ‘What Makes an Indie Game Indie”. Check out IGM and support the little guys and the geeks who write about them.

Check Out Issue 12 Right Now!

Monday, 30 August 2010

Dawn's Light 2 Released!

Includes free strategy guide when you purchase!

Harvey is struggling to adapt to his post adventure life. Days and nights no longer have any meaning. That is until his deceased brother Victor shows up at his doorstep.

Victor offers Harvey a chance to give his life purpose again. Are Victor's intentions pure or does he have something sinister planned for our hero?

- Make your own weapons with materials you collect on your journey
- Collect over 30 outfits, each with a special bonus
- Collect stickers of all your favorite characters (and Jack)
- Keep track of everything in your journal
- Tons of side quests and exciting things to do
- Start a new game with all of your weapons, armor, items and levels intact

Download a demo from

Indie Gamers: The Armchair Historian’s Guide 2010

The Last Gamers of The Old Code, Egsa SoftWorks has teamed up with new gaming imprint Egsa Press to deliver the first new book of the “Geo Age”.

The Armchair Historian’s Guide (71 pp., tpb, $12.95) gives grassroots indie gaming fans the chance to make history.  The Armchair Historian’s Guide takes readers on a world wind tour through the rich shared tradition of celebrating achievements in gaming to the new World Standings Network (WSN) - the first leaderboard for indie games.

The first edition of The Armchair Historian’s Guide will be available as a limited run signature edition. The Armchair Historian’s Guide 2010 Edition will be available for pre-order at the Egsa Outfitters ( beginning July 19th and is tentatively scheduled to be distributed by Egsa Press to global retailers in mid September.

About Egsa SoftWorks(tm)

Chicago-based Egsa SoftWorks develops video games for mobile devices, personal digital assistants, notebook and desktop based computers systems.  Devoted to the true hardcore gamer, the company’s titles include the cult hardcore hit Circuit Breaker. For more information visit Egsa
SoftWorks, Egsa Press and Circuit Breaker SE are trademarks of Egsa Corp.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Ray Ardent: Science Ninja - Thoughts on Pre-Release Version

This game is a platform game along the lines of Super Mario Bros / Sonic the Hedgehog - a genre I'm really not very fond of, but it's fun nonetheless and there's a great sense of humour behind it.  Using your amazing science powers you gain a new power-up every level.  Graphics are nice, music is good and the speech samples are very funny.

All in all, if you like Sonic / Mario Bros style games, you're going to have a blast with this one.

Related Links:

Exclusive Screenshots from Ray Ardent: Science Ninja

Ray Ardent: Science Ninja Trailer


Exclusive Screenshots from Ray Ardent: Science Ninja

Related Links:

Ray Ardent: Science Ninja Trailer

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Ray Ardent: Science Ninja Trailer

Ray Ardent: Science Ninja is a high-speed platformer where you battle through dangers that only a man who is a scientist and a ninja can survive. Dr. Ray Ardent is a man of adventure, a man of the world, but most importantly, a man of SCIENCE!

Ray Ardent charges into battle with 11 different power-ups which he uses across 15 levels.

Find out more at

Friday, 27 August 2010

GabCab released for PC

After 2 plus years of development GabCab was released today.

The game follows the same spirit as Airport Mania, but was made with a different team.

The idea behind the game was 'stringing' and it underwent some pretty big game play changes since inception. At first it was more strategy based with the game play focus being on players manually changing the order of the stops to try and optimize the cab's route. That proved too challenging for more gamers, so we went to auto-routing, and made it more like other TM games I suppose.

Russell Carroll
Airport Mania | Simplz: Zoo | GabCab | Blog-like thingy

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Rune Twister released by Bionic Nose

Rune Twister is a simple variation of Tetris and match-3 game, released by Bionic Nose.  Instead of collecting only rows of blocks, focus on colors and runes too. Rotate the blocks or the whole board, remove lying blocks by matching them or collect special runes and use them to your advantage. Green bonuses are waiting to aid you in your game, but watch out for the dangerous red ones lurking in the darkness of the board. Clean up the board and get ready for the next challenge. Have fun!


  • unlimited gameplay time
  • online highscores
  • 6 modes of difficulty
  • difficulty progression
  • 5 types of bonuses and 3 types of traps
  • soothing sounds and music
  • eye candy graphics
  • share with friends (1 game key works on 3 PC's)


  • 56 MB free disk space
    (installer size: 32 MB)
  • 64MB graphic card (or better)
  • DirectX 8 (or higher)
  • Windows XP (or higher)
  • mouse, keyboard
  • internet connection

Price: $4.99

Rune Twister Trailer

Rune Twister Official Webpage

Puzzle Dimension now available on Mac

Doctor Entertainment AB, a Swedish independent game developer, launches Puzzle Dimension for Mac on Steam today. The game is available at 33% off now through September 1st, 2010, 10AM Pacific Time.

The Mac version of Puzzle Dimension is a native port of the PC version which was released earlier this summer.

Puzzle Dimension is a "easy to learn hard to master" 3D puzzle game. The player is invited to 100 unique labyrinth-like structures. In Puzzle Dimension gravity depends on your movement, up and down are relative terms. Classic game play elements such as fire, ice, spikes, buttons and hidden sections give the player a diverse range of problems and satisfying eureka moments.

The abstract game world is visualized by the in-house engine which allows the audiovisuals to blend depending on the player's progress. When the player moves the retro inspired pixelblocks explodes revealing high end graphics.

Doctor Entertainment plans to release versions of Puzzle Dimension to the Apple platforms iPad and iPhone later this year.

About Doctor Entertainment
Doctor Entertainment AB was founded in May 2009 by developer veterans Jesper Rudberg and Anders Pistol. Together they have over 20 years of game development experience from companies like Starbreeze Studios and EA/Dice where they worked on several multimillion selling AAA games.
Doctor Entertainment is an independent games studio located in Uppsala, Sweden. They develop and publish their own IP:s via digital distribution. Puzzle Dimension is the studio's first game. 

Related Links:

PC Puzzle Game Review - Puzzle Dimension


Wednesday, 25 August 2010

DeRail Games releases Jump’n Bounce on Xbox Live Indie Games

DeRail Games releases Jump’n Bounce on Xbox Live Indie Games

Oslo, Norway – August 25. 2010 - DeRail Games are proud to present their first Xbox Live Indie Games title: Jump’n Bounce. Jump'n Bounce is a “new retro” game: featuring classic, skill based gameplay – just like in the good old days. 

Jump’n Bounce is now available on Xbox Live Indie Games for 1 dollar (80 points) and features 50 unique levels, including 10 additional Director’s Cut bonus levels specifically tuned towards the hardcore gamer. This is the first title in a series of three “new retro” games featuring Hug the bouncing emoticon.

Download the game
Jump’n Bounce uses a unique combination of old-school gameplay and modern-day level design: You play as a constantly bouncing ball, always on the move. Add the mid-air high jumps and brick smash abilities, and you get a very interesting combination of typical arcade games from the 80’s and the modern platform games, creating some unique challenges for you to overcome.

Each Jump’n Bounce level consists of only one screen. There's no screen scrolling or camera movement. This gives you the opportunity to plan your moves one level at a time. But remember: there is a lot of obstacles – as well as Hug himself – constantly moving around, and you may find out that your plan is hopelessly out of sync as soon as you make your first bounce towards the level exit. 

Just like the arcade games of old, Jump’n Bounce is about high scores, time bonuses, juicy pickups and destructible level elements. And of course we haven’t forgotten the “Speed Runners”: Streamlined level design give skilled players an advantage, as they master the bouncing emoticon movements. Challenges that seem impossible at first will easily be overcome by practicing over and over again. Exceptionally skilled players will be able to set amazing time records and unbelievable high scores. 

DeRail Games is an independent studio based in Oslo and was founded early 2010 by some award winning talents and an industry veteran. The studio’s design policy is bringing back the feeling of the golden age of arcade games, with good gameplay that appeal to old school gamers and modern gamers alike. 

Jump'n Bounce Trailer:

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

More features of the Hadron Game Engine

  • Simple and intuitive API access
  • Support for password protected standard ZIP files
  • Support for streaming music from standard ZIP files
  • Support rendering via hardware large images (automatically breaks them up into renderable textures and stitches them back together during rendering)
  • Efficient sprite management (they are organized into pages and groups for more efficient rendering)
  • Unified audio system (all formats are handles in the same manner, for example .ogg can be used for sound effects in addition to used for streaming)
  • SQL database support (MySQL local & remote | SQLite local only).
  • Light-weight embeddable script compiler (generates x86 code) supporting Pascal, Basic and JavaScript syntax.
  • A thin Object Oriented framework for efficient object management (optimized for each supported language binding).
  • Out of the box, all the great features needed for game development (surfaces, textures, sprites, audio, streams, archives, configuration files, render targets, swap chains, databases, networking, scripting and much more).

New Build of the Hadron Game Engine announced

Are We Ready For the Close Encounter of the 9th Kind? J.U.L.I.A. Game Announced.

Are We Ready For the Close Encounter of the 9th Kind? J.U.L.I.A. Game Announced.

Popuvky, Czech Republic – August 24, 2010 – From the depths of Space flies J.U.L.I.A., a logical video game built upon the story of Rachel Manners, a 35 year old astrobiologist, who was among a close group of scientists chosen to embark upon one of the most critical mission ever conceived on Earth.

Early game information can be seen at :

”Imagine how you would feel if you were jolted out of a cryogenic sleep by an emergency alarm.  As your surroundings come into focus, you recognize the huge space probe on which you find yourself but only vaguely recollect the reason why are you there. “, said Jan Kavan, director at CBE and continued describing the game's atmosphere. “Disoriented, you rush into the control room and realize that you have been asleep for several decades already. As the probe's A.I. fills you in, you discover that you are the last surviving member of the entire crew with no ordinary mission: to encounter extraterrestrial sentient life-forms. Yet something went terribly wrong...”

In your mission you will:
- Step into the spacesuit of Rachel Manners and find out why you were singled out of the whole expedition.
- Utilize an ingenious MOBOT - mobile robot suited for planetary exploration - to discover secrets and mysteries of the solar system far away from ours.
- Solve the mystery of the mission's failure.
- Travel to six unique planets and uncover their secrets.
- Solve puzzles, gather clues and communicate with the probe's temperamental artificial intelligence: Julia.

J.U.L.I.A. will be available in Q1/2011.

For additional information about J.U.L.I.A. visit or contact CBE at
Follow us on Twitter:
Or see J.U.L.I.A. in motion on our dedicated YouTube channel:

About Cardboard Box Entertainment

Founded in 2006 by Jan Kavan and Lukas Medek, a duo of creative independent developers from the Czech Republic, Cardboard Box Entertainment has a clear mission: to bring to life strong stories and explore new possibilities beyond the traditional gameplay paradigm. Debuting with paranormal comedy Ghost in the Sheet, both developers also individually contributed to such games as Dark Fall 2, Barrow Hill, Tale of a Hero, Colour of Murder or The Black Circle.

Press Release: Announcing new music-based PC game - "Substream"

August 24th, 2010 -- Experienced independent developer Ben Bradley reveals a unique new game currently in development. "Substream" is a highly animated, abstract 3D shooter which show cases multiple innovations and has already been in development for several months.

The following details have been made available:

Substream is a single-player game, currently being developed for Windows PC with other platforms in consideration. Gameplay involves flying a futuristic fighter ship over a dynamic landscape, whilst attacking and defending against various and numerous enemy ships and other entities. The game is built from the ground up in order to incorporate multiple innovative new technologies:

+ Substream uses a complex new approach to music synchronization, which allows in-game events to be associated with the notes and intensity of individual instruments, melodies, drums or sounds within a song mix. The approach here is one of careful and considered human design, which allows for a much broader and stronger set of associations than are normally seen within synaesthesia games.

+ The game features a fully dynamic environment. In Substream, the entire ground below the player is able to morph simultaneously. Color schemes, shapes and lighting methods are all designed to be dynamic. When combined with its music synchronization technology this leads to a game which is able to constantly reflect the themes, patterns and emotions in its music.

+ Substream exists in a universe with a spatial distortion causing objects to appear at multiple positions simultaneously. Within the game the player is effectively controlling an infinite chain of ships that are fighting infinite chains of enemies. This requires no additional controls or understanding from the player but leads to several interesting new gameplay possibilities.

The game will be independently funded and published, and developed with a creative freedom which focuses on the quality of experience. A release is planned for 2011.

 "Musical synaesthesia has been used in several games now to great effect and I'm a big fan of it, but I wanted to take it further than automatic beat detection would allow. The best way to describe designing levels for Substream is 'choreography'. I'm creating a sequence of movements and physical changes that reinforce the themes, rhythms and moods of the music. Essentially the game is dancing." - Ben Bradley

Substream Trailer:

Substream Official Website

Substream Screenshots:

GravelTrain 'RPG2' title revealed as 'STONE AGE SQUARE BATTLE'

GravelTrain has released the permanent title of their upcoming Strategy Role Playing Game to be 'Stone Age Square Battle'.

As the title suggests, the entire game is set in the Prehistoric era. While the game's story was still in the concept stages, it was decided that the setting would be thought of as the 'first or second adventure of mankind' (which explains the '2' in the former working title), and that self-mockingly, various elements that are commonplace in the RPG genre would see their first incarnation within this game. While there remains an element of that in the current version of the script, it has been modified to be less obvious. For those who are aware of the original intention, it will be noticeable as they play through the game.

Just to bring some relief to those who are imagining an adventure where the entire premise is to live out the known milestones of early Mankind, keep in mind that the term 'Alternate Prehistory' would be more accurate. Consider the heavy influence of early JRPGs when thinking of the game. In other words, there will be wildly powered skill attacks as well as hand to hand combat with Dinosaurs and various other Megafauna. Also the game is full of creative variations on the standard RPG types such as Knight, Ninja, Samurai, Attack Mage etc.

Stay tuned for more upcoming information, and if there are any questions head over to and send a quick e-mail. We'll do our best to respond promptly.

peas out.

Perplaxis now onavailable Xbox Live Indie Games

Perplaxis is an intense action puzzle game where you rotate pieces around a board matching based on color, constantly battling against time to keep your board clear. The pieces that show up are based on the seasons of the year: more reds and yellows in summer, blues and purples in winter for example. There are plenty of power ups to help and even a monster named Chompo who scarfs down pieces!

Now that this is out, Walk N' Squalk Productions are going down a different route to most indies and making several smaller games to test out some ideas, rather than saying "our next game will be bigger, better, more amazing" etc.  It will be interesting to see how that idea works out for them.

Perplaxis on Xbox Live Marketplace

Perplaxis Screenshots 


Sunday, 22 August 2010

Les Miserables is now freeware

Head on over to where Les Miserables has just become freeware!

The Divine Comedy, Hesiod's Theogony and A Tale of Two Cities are still available to buy.

The Count of Monte Cristo is coming soon

New Build of the Hadron Game Engine announced

Hadron Games™ is please to release a new build of Hadron Game Engine™ (HGE) an advanced 2D game engine for PC's running Microsoft Windows® and uses Direct3D® for hardware accelerated rendering. It's robust, designed for easy use and suitable for making all types of 2D games and other graphic simulations.

HGE has support for use from multiple programming languages and you access the features from a simple and intuitive procedural API to allow you to rapidly and efficiently develop your graphics simulations. There is support for surfaces, textures, sprites, audio, streams, archives, configuration files, render targets, swap chains, databases and much more.

HGE comes standard with language bindings for Pascal (Delphi, Lazarus/FreePascal) and standard C++. For Pascal, simply add HGE.pas to the project uses section and for C++ add HGE.h and HGE.cpp to you project. The bindings will dynamically load and bind to the exported routines from the HGE.dll.

There is also a thin object oriented layer (optimized for each supported language binding) for fast and efficient object management. Features include Actors, Actor Lists, Actor Scene, AI, Entities and Game Management. You can create an actor, drop it on a list it will be updated and rendered automatically for example. There is enough to provide a foundation to build your own higher level object management system from this.

Indie Games nominated for this year's Milthon Awards

Best Indie game
  • Limbo (Xbox 360)
    Playdead (Denmark)
  • LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias (Wii)
    Frontier Developments (UK)
  • Machinarium (PC)
    Amanita Design (Czech Republic)

See for the full nominations list.

All about the Milthon Awards

I reported previously that the prestigious European Milthon awards were including an indie game category for the first time in 2010.  I asked them about the history of the competition and the decision to include the indie game category this year -  Jonathan Dumont, President of Paris Game Festival and Milthon Awards Committee, answers...

“First of all, the Milthon ceremony is presented by Games Fed which is a French communication agency dedicated to videogames and interactive entertainment in general. The event has been co-designed and strongly supported from the beginning by all the French government branches implicated in Video Games development for years now like the Cultural Ministry and the Industrial Ministry.

The event used to reward French developers and games in its early years, with a great success in the French industry and media. The Milthon awards have been created to reward in priority creators and creativity, not only games (featuring license, package…) or distributors that pay to exhibit in a convention. Paris and France have a tradition of Cultural Festival in Cinema or Music. It seems natural to have the same ambition for videogames.

Milthon awards reward European studios. The online platforms and distribution (PC, mobile, consoles…) have changed dramatically and durably the structure of the industry. It seems trivial now, but the studios are no longer concentrating on their national market, but at least on regional ones, just like Europe. On the other hand, European Union has designed some tools to help European studios to work together. Furthermore, Europe makes sense today, because there is a real European industry of videogames which has demonstrated its capacity to produce very good games. People sometimes think most of the games are designed and produced in the US or Japan. Obviously that’s untrue. This ceremony will be an occasion to highlight the excellence of the European industry.

An indie award makes sense as well, just because it’s the way of History. Some studios have become their own publishers, and sometimes with a great talent. “Indies” have been there from the beginning of videogame with “garage games”. Indies haven’t appeared 3 years ago, they have just more opportunities today to communicate and spread their games Worldwide. We want our indie award to emphasize it, and also to showcase emerging talents.

The Milthon awards will also be the occasion to once again reward the Video Game Creation schools and universities and their students' artwork excellence, thanks to the Paris Game Festival Student Award. Learning and not only self-learning is an undeniable proof of videogames maturity.

The 2010 President is the utmost charismatic Martyn Brown, co-founder of the Britannic (indie!) studio/publisher Team17. Well known for the international true phenomenon Worms, Martyn Brown and Team17 represent one of the major Independent studios with over 60 titles (130+ skus) on over 20 platforms in their history.

8 Milthon awards will be given, among them the highly anticipated “Game of the Year”. This year, 15 European games have already been nominated in 7 categories. You can see the nominees on the Milthon Website:

And for those who want to know what Milthon is, it’s a who and not a what. Milthon is the one who has designed Trophy especially for the award. He is a Columbian sculptor living in Paris for 20 years now.”

Demo Video - TV Station Manager

TV Station Manager is a simulation game that lets you take control of a small independent TV station, about to go bankrupt.

TV Station Manager Official Website

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Chronic Logic's game "Gish" has been updated

Gish Game Update Trailer:

Gish Homepage

Related Links:

Behind the Scenes at Chronic Logic

Chronic Logic announces AstroDriller3020 for Windows and Mac!

Pay What You Want Marketing in the Indie Gaming World

I've often wondered what the success was of the "Pay What You Want" promotions I've seen many indie game developers trying, and recent correspondance from Chronic Logic has given me some answers.  I think indie game developers and game players alike will find it interesting:

Our game Gish has become very popular in the indie community, and just recently we released an update for it that has a number of new features. The most notable aspect of this new release other then the great community created levels is the choose-your-own-price promotion, where gamers do exactly that! So far, we have gotten a great response and we would like to spread the word even more.

Choose-your-own-price means exactly what it sounds like. As the gamer you decide what value our game, Gish, is worth to you, and pay exactly that amount, no questions asked. A casual gamer might decide that they want to play through the content once or twice, enjoy the story and then move on to a new game. Other players might be out to immerse themselves in the community, and play classic levels again and again to challenge their high scores. We feel that players who appreciate parts of the game for certain aspects should still be able to extract that enjoyment without digging deep into their wallets. At the other end of the spectrum, players who are absolutely in love with our work and want to support us shouldn't be timid or limited.

This pricing strategy often times raises eyebrows and people ask the question, won’t everyone just pay the minimum? As an indie company the relationship we have with our customers is much different than what you would see between huge corporations and gamers. We are not just out to make money, but genuinely enjoy producing unique game experiences for our fans. Our motivation is to accumulate loyal fans and customers more so than wealth. Within the community most gamers respect the role that indie developers play in keeping content fresh and competitive. We are not out to feed the masses with top notch graphics or put out bulk gameplay with already famous icons. The content generated by indie companies gives a unique feel with every game that just can’t be created by the giants alone - sort of like that favorite song no one else knows about. Gamers are different than the average consumers, they are more aware of the roles small companies play in game development, and because of this, are more willing to support the developers who create the games they love to play.

In our own experience, the choose-your-own-price system has attracted many more gamers and customers, where a considerable amount of them pay more than the minimum. Less then half of the total  sales have been at the minimum value and the non minimum sales have an average price of almost 700% of the minimum value. The higher end sales sometimes exceed the original value of the game before the choose-your-own-price promotion (real-time stats for this promotion can be found here,  Many of the more interested Gish players and die hard Chronic Logic fans had already purchased the game prior to this recent promotion, making us believe that the numbers could even be higher if those players had the price naming opportunity.

Chronic Logic : Http://
Gish :

We are very happy with the way our Gish promotion is progressing. You may see more Chronic Logic titles priced with this system in the future.

Big Fish Games release Robin’s Quest (hidden object puzzle adventure game)

Rob from the rich and give to the poor! When an evil ruler taxes his people to near starvation, it’s up to Robin to save the day! Help our brave new hero rise from humble beginnings to becoming the champion remembered in history. Gather a band of merry men to help you solve tricky puzzles, master tough minigames, and win tricky archery competitions in Robin’s Quest, a Hidden Object Puzzle Adventure game.

Robin's Quest Webpage

System Requirements:
  • OS: Windows XP/Vista
  • CPU: 1.8 GHz
  • RAM: 512 MB
  • DirectX: 8.1
  • Hard Drive: 268 MB

Updates to Fashion Cents Deluxe and Fashion Cents Gents

By popular demand, our original dress-up puzzle games, Fashion Cents Deluxe and Fashion Cents Gents, have both been updated with lots of new features:

* All-new voiceovers created specifically for Fashion Cents Gents (no more valley-girl voices when dressing up the guys)
* Support for Windows Vista and Windows 7
* Support for more recent Linux distributions, especially those that use PulseAudio
* A new rendering engine that doesn't use OpenGL, so the game will run on nearly all Windows and Linux computers! (Always ran fine on Mac)
* Lots of bug fixes!

Both games are available for Windows, Mac, and Linux! They are also available for affiliate sales through Plimus.

Fashion Cents Deluxe 
Fashion Cents Gents

The original Fashion Cents game was a finalist in the 2004 IGF. It was featured in the August 2005 edition of Parenting Magazine. And even after tons of other dress-up games hit the market after us, Fashion Cents was still rated the #1 casual dress-up game by Dinky Divas in 2008. Since then, we have released lots of free add-on packs, a new Deluxe version in November 2007, and the Gents sequel in August 2009. Even after 7 years, our dress-up puzzle games continue to be our best sellers!
Troy Hepfner
My Game Company
Creator of Dirk Dashing, Rick Rocket, and Fashion Cents Deluxe

Friday, 20 August 2010

Fighting Fantasy: Creature of Havoc released for iPhone / iPod Touch

August 20, 2010 – Big Blue Bubble Inc. announced today that Fighting Fantasy: Creature of Havoc has been released to the iTunes Store!

Are you ready for the most unusual Fighting Fantasy adventure yet?

You begin this adventure not knowing where you are or who you are. All you know is that you are some kind of creature of instinct, understanding little. During the course of the adventure, it may be possible for you to begin to control your bestial nature, to find out more about yourself, and even to learn your destiny. But even if you know all this, success is by no means certain, for the traps and terrors of Trolltooth Pass are many ... Are you ready — to become the Creature of Havoc?

Fighting Fantasy: Creature of Havoc is the fourth release in the Fighting Fantasy series and includes iPhone/iPod Touch support, as well as our new iPad support.

Now you can experience the books that have sold over 15 million copies worldwide, on your iPhone or iPad. Fighting Fantasy fans will love the classic story and original illustrations with a technological twist. No more dice, pencils, or bookmarks. All the special features are built in!

• New! Player Achievements
• Universal app iPad support
• Scrolling image gallery of unlocked in-game art
• Tap the on screen buttons to flip pages (No papercuts!)
• Shake to roll the 3D dice using the accelerometer (or tap through with ease)
• Inventory items selectable via touch-screen
• Game-save feature allows you to retrace your steps
• Includes both original illustrations by Ian McCaig and digitally re-mastered versions
• Integrated iPod music library access

Remember to check iTunes for other Fighting Fantasy gamebooks!

  • Fighting Fantasy: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain - Big Blue Bubble
  • Fighting Fantasy: Deathtrap Dungeon - Big Blue Bubble
  • Fighting Fantasy: Citadel of Chaos - Big Blue Bubble

About Fighting Fantasy
The Fighting Fantasy book series was born in 1982 when authors Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone created a revolutionary new idea for the fantasy genre with the first title, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain. The reader became the hero of his or her own fantasy adventure in a story that was part book, part game. After each paragraph a decision must be made; which way to turn, whether to fight or flee, which mysterious character to approach, and what risks to take. Each decision sent the reader to a different page to discover the consequences of their choice, with each read-through ending either in disaster, or with the discovery of the ultimate goal. To date, the series has seen more than 70 titles published and more than 14 million copies sold worldwide. For more details, visit

Fighting Fantasy: Creature of Havoc Screenshots

About Big Blue Bubble:
With over 50 high profile games in its portfolio, Big Blue Bubble Inc. is one of Canada’s leading video game developers. Each of company’s three divisions (iPhone, Console and Casual) is dedicated to making the best possible games by combining innovative designers with top calibre artists and industry leading programmers. By maintaining a strong focus on the development of technology and showcasing it through award winning games, Big Blue Bubble will continue to lead the way in becoming a cornerstone of the casual gaming world.

For more information on Big Blue Bubble and its ongoing projects, please visit

Interview with Alawar Entertainment

Alawar Entertainment have worked with several indie developers, one of the most famous releases being "Hamlet" by Mif2000.  I asked them a few questions about the indie gaming industry and their part in it.


Kirill Plotnikov, Vice President of Publishing

Kirill Plotnikov has been working as a game producer at Alawar Entertainment since 2003. During his first year with the company, Kirill was promoted from assistant producer to head of the production department. Since early 2009, Mr. Plotnikov has been the company's vice president of publishing. Over the course of his tenure, Alawar has published over 100 games (most of them commercially successful), including the Farm Frenzy series, The Treasures of Montezuma 1 and 2, the Natalie Brooks series, the Sprill series, Settlement: Colossus, The Treasures of Mystery Island, the Craze series and others. Kirill graduated from Novosibirsk State University with a degree in programming.

When and how did Alawar start up?

Two friends, Alexander Lyskovsky and Sergey Zanin, formed Alawar in 1999 in Akademgorodok, the famous scientific suburb of Novosibirsk, to create small shareware games and sell them online. After they released a few projects and started making money, other small companies began to contact them about launching their products in the western markets.  That's how Alawar became a developer and a publisher at the same time.

To date, we have released over 200 casual games for a variety of platforms, and our six internal studios are busy creating games for the PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, PlayStation 3, Nintendo DS, Mac, Android, J2ME and Blackberry, as well as various social networks. These studios account for about half of the games we publish. External teams, including indie developers, develop the rest.

What challenges have you faced as an indie publisher?

We face a few things on a regular basis, all of which we can solve. For instance, developers often lack the resources needed for developing products that would meet the current standards for quality. This problem applies to sound, graphics, text and other things; small companies just don't have the ability to polish every aspect of their product to perfection. We help them solve these problems, but there are things we can't change, such as production delays, inability or reluctance to fix bugs, delays in signing documents, and more.

Apart from outstanding talent and out-of-this-world energy and industriousness, indie developers often have unwavering confidence in the correctness of their actions. So when a publisher invades the sacred temple of their game concept with friendly suggestions to make the product more commercial, many developers take offense. When this happens, we spend a lot of time explaining to them that games are mass consumer goods, and they must excite not only the people who make them but also the people who might buy them.

What's your most successful release so far?

Our most successful project to date is "Farm Frenzy," first released in 2007.  A company called Melesta created the original game and its sequels.  The series consists of three standalone games and five add-ons for the PC, as well as versions for the iPhone, iPad, Android, J2ME, Blackberry, Nintendo DS and other platforms. Consumers have purchased over 1.7 million "Farm Frenzy" games, and sales are rising.

Due to the success of our collaboration, Melesta is now called Alawar Melesta, and is one of our internal studios.

Speaking of games from independent developers, our recent cooperation with mif2000 was a huge success.  He's the author of Hamlet, a game with unique gameplay and an intriguing storyline.

What's the most important advice you could give to aspiring indies?

Publishers invest not only their money, but also their experience on the market. If you want your game to be successful, take their recommendations and advice to heart.

What are Alawar's plans for the future?

We will continue to develop games for the mass audience and publish them on as many platforms as possible. We're interested in bright, colorful and inventive games with high-quality graphics and mass market potential. We're also interested in creating better conditions for game development.

(Many thanks to Tatiana and amd Alexandra for their help with this interview.)

Rainblood: Town of Death, the free-hand Chinese RPG gets its final English release

"Pang, a small but once-popular town just within the borders of Central Land was seized by plague by the time a mysterious black-dressed man arrived.  As soon as he had come, he could feel the incessant footsteps of his enemies - those sent by the very man he wished to see, but dared not. Twisted murderers appeared in Pang, and old friends now sent as his assassins. Then came the little girl whose violent death took place before his eyes, and whose laughter haunts him still... 

He has no choice but fight back. Even so, it seems that another clue remains hidden beneath these strange proceedings; what awaits him is a plot even more complex than he could have imagined."

Name: Rainblood: Town of Death (v1.17)
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Developer: SoulframeRPG
Demo Download:

Three years after its release in China and about half a million downloads from the official site, Rainblood: Town of Death had its first English version(1.10) released on 12th May, 2010. It was worked out by several dedicated native English speakers, including a free-lancer English writer. It is also the first translated work of SoulframeRPG, who is China's top indie RPG developer.

After several rounds of upgrade, the final English version has become available on the official site since Aug 15th. Improvements include mouse controlling, further text revision, and some bug fixing. The price is still $9.99.

Presented with gloomy and gray hand-drawn scenes, Rainblood leads you into an adventure enveloped in darkness and myth, set in "Central Land", where similar to traditional China but with stylish designs such as a headless samurai and killing puppets. May be too "story-telling" for an RPG, the game tells a short but complex plot and a dramatic love story with darkness. The total time in story is just one day and space is limited in a deserted town, but with montages and disordered story lines, the game was made an art piece with its unique graphic and music, as well as the story and battle system that are neo interpretations of Chinese martial art culture.

The game was scored 88 from RPGfans(, which is not only the highest among indie RPGs but even higher than many commercial works. It has been defined as an artwork by many reviewers and gamers since the English version got exposure.

1. The top Chinese indie RPG translated into English.
2. An RPG, and also an art piece in terms of graphic and story.
3. Free-hand scenes making the game an interactive animation.
4. Battle system based on the spirit of Chinese martial art.
5. Cleverly arranged screenplay guiding your adventure.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Independent abstract logic game "Dependant" - newest trailer released

Buenos Aires, Argentina, August 19 2010 – Independent developer Fernando Ramallo from Buenos Aires has released a trailer for his upcoming title. "Dependant" is a Flash-based abstract logic game about relationships between connected parts of an image.

Tha game takes the player to rebuild a divided image by moving or rotating the parts, wich are interconnected in different ways and behaviors. Each level has a unique logic that the player must figure out in order to solve it in the least amount of moves.

The visual style of the game is an abstract relaxing theme, with generative particle-based backgrounds that flow constantly and generate beautiful images. The soundtrack accompanies the mood with atmospheric electronic beats that fade according to the player's actions.

The final game will feature 40 different levels and is due for release in early September 2010 for sponsorship.


Dependant Trailer:


Dependant Screenshots:


Official Website

About Fernando Ramallo:
Fernando Ramallo is an independent video game designer and developer from Buenos Aires, Argentina. He has a degree in Audiovisual Design and has worked commercialy in online, consoles and social games as a game designer for three years to then start his own independent studio.


About Leemus Music:
Leemus Music is a music production company based in Los Angeles, started by musicians Kingsley Hine and Dickon Maciver. They write original and atmospheric music for independent video games.

Released Today - "Adventures in the Lost Castle"

Described as a "2.5d platform game", Adventures in the Lost Castle is the first release by indie studio Little Snail Studio.  It's been released as a "Pay What You Want" title. 

Head over to for more info and to download the game.

Indie Developers - Be Nice!

Jeff Vogel explains why Being Nice Is Good Business when you're an indie game developer. 

Zombie Escape for iPhone/iPod Released

Developed by Viqua Games, published by Chillingo, Zombie Escape is a unique mix of line drawing and zombie killing fun.

Drag survivors to safety, pickup and use weapons such as bombs and tesla coils to clear the way!

Zombie Escape Trailer One:

Zombie Escape Trailer Two:

Activision interviewed by GamaSutra

For any indie game developers who had been wondering about Activision's indie game competition (and the potential confusion / problems with this), GamaSutra's interview with Activision on this subject might clear up a few things.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Tidalis "Design A Block" Contest

Tidalis "Design A Block" Contest

For quite some time, Arcen Games has been committed to adding fan suggestions to AI War via general suggestions and our Community DLC poll in the AI War forums.  In the case of Tidalis, today's new official version 1.005 of the game continues that trend by including 12 new player-created levels, several bits of player-created art, a new player-suggested VS game mode, and a number of other updates and tweaks based on player suggestions.

So what's this contest, then?  Well, it's pretty simple: if you have ideas for new mechanics that you'd like to see in the game, submit them in our Tidalis Suggestions forum.  We'd most like to see new block ideas, but if you have ideas for new game modes, VS rulesets, or similar, those are also welcome.

Approximately every two months, we'll select one or more entries to actually implement into the game, with art and sound effects as needed, and with your name (or forum handle if you prefer to remain anonymous) featured in the release notes as well as the game credits.  Best of all, this is a contest where everybody wins, because all existing Tidalis customers always get these sorts of "free DLC" updates... for free.

Not much of one for gameplay design?  That's okay -- if you're into level or brainteaser creation, you might prefer to simply submit your custom levels for potential inclusion in the free DLC.  Twelve player levels have already become a part of the official release versions of Tidalis, and yours could be next.  Here again, we give full credit based on your name or forum handle (your preference).

A lot of games have community mods or levels, but what we're offering is a chance to affect the actual core official game, not just an obscure addon.  At Arcen, we really believe that players are full of good ideas, and we've seen the frustration that many people have with their inability to see anything come of those ideas with the larger companies.  With AI War we were so inundated with suggestions that we had to institute the Community DLC poll, and now with Tidalis we're going to handle it a bit differently with this bimonthly Design A Block contest.