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For the past twelve years, the Independent Games Festival has been a platform upon which indie game developers could showcase their work and receive some constructive feedback in return. The event is held annually at the Games Developer Conference and is the best place to see up-and-coming developers strut their stuff. This year, we got to talk to a developer whose team used Utility on their Macs to produce an engaging top-down platformer, and two developers who are utilizing the accelerometer on the iPhone to develop imaginative mobile games.
First up, we have a game from a team of students from The National Academy of Digital Interactive Entertainment (DADIU), who managed to put together this artsy looking puzzle game in no more than four-weeks time. The game is called Puzzle Bloom, and the premise of it is to assist a kindred tree spirit named Canotila in restoring the vitality of the land in which she lives. You control her using your mouse, and you can use the scroll wheel to zoom in and out. The protagonist moves by jumping on top of various animals and moving them around the map, solving puzzles along the way.
Unfortunately, the team of developers have disbanded, as most of them have graduated since finishing the game and moved on to full-time jobs. However, both levels of Puzzle Bloom have been left up on the internet for passersby to casually play, so head on over to the Puzzle Bloom site, or watch our video for a quick demo.
Fans of electronica music and the dubstep genre will love the game Lilt Line. This retro rhythm racing action game includes fourteen levels of game play fueled only by the music playing in the background. Guide the rhythm line through a side-scrolling obstacle course using the iPhone's accelerometer and tap the screen when the bass hits. You'll need headphones that will enable you to hear every bit of the music. Each song is about 2-4 minutes long and there's over half an hour of original music produced by the dubstep musicians, 16bit.
The game was developed by Different Cloth, a one man endeavor headed by Gordon Midwood, who refers to himself as the "head of everything." The game is available in the App Store [iTunes link] for $2.99 and was one of IGF's Mobile finalists.
AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! A Reckless Disregard for Gravity
Aaaa!!! A Reckless Disregard for Gravity is under massive development to be released as an iPhone game that will fully utilize the accelerometer and get gamers moving their bodies along with their mobile devices. The premise of the game is to jump off buildings floating above Boston, Massachusetts and control your character as they fall through the sky. Along the way, your character can receive points for "hugging" a building, which is gliding along the side of a steel super-skyscraper, or "kissing" one, which is managing to avoid the many obstacles surrounding each structure. You can also flip people off or give them a thumbs up--the choice is yours, but the game has a really open ended user experience.
The game featured in the video is a prototype, but Ichiro Lambe, president and founder of Dejobaan Games, hopes that the game will be finished soon to submit to the app store. "Getting into the game [seems almost] impossible on PC," says Lambe, because you're sitting down in front of a monitor and keyboard. The company is also looking into developing games for the iPad and porting over their current PC titles to Mac OS X. Lambe says that in the future, the company plans to "strongly consider cross platform." Aaaa! is currently available to PC users for $9.95.