34 articles Articles posted in Indie games


Thought I was clever, didn’t I, posting a link to this on TIGForums? Then realised the authors themselves had beaten me to it. I’ll get back into my hole.

Anyway, Nudo is well worth all the links and mentions it’s bound to rack up. Developers Ben Esposito and Manuel Pardo describe it as “a platformer on top of a Rubik’s Cube”. Apt description: you slide each screen’s rows and columns up, down, left and right until your man can leap his way to the treasure and the exit. It takes a while to get your head around, and it’s far from easy – but what I love is that the difficulty comes from puzzling out the solution rather than any pixel-perfect jumps or over-complicated chains of moves. As in all the best games, if the answer seems too fiddly to be fair, you need to go back to the question.

There are some real forehead-furrowing twists later on – and unlike a Rubik’s Cube, you can’t cheat by peeling off the colours and sticking them back on the other sides. Nice to see the colour scheme latching on to the latest Hollywood trends, too.

Play Nudo (Windows, download)


Guilhermo v.S. Heldt’s Blockage is much better than its name. It’s a puzzle game, pure and simple – not flashy, not very long. You guide coloured blocks to their homes, with the trick being the ability to ‘lock’ blocks in place to form helpful new platforms. 20 levels of that, and it’s over.

But it’s one of those games where the increasing complexity of the puzzles is so perfectly tuned – making your brain stretch and strain just a little bit each time to reach the solution – that I couldn’t leave it alone. At least until I got really stuck on the level pictured above.

I do like the way the blocks roll clunkily along, too. Makes you wish car wheels worked the same way. Play Blockage (Flash)

While I’m here…

The free games everyone’s talking about right now (which I might do a proper post for later):

  • E7 – atmospheric platform/physics thing that’s worth seeing, but not necessarily playing for all of its 20 very similar levels
  • Solipskier – which is just instantly enjoyable, has a rainbow trail like Bit.Trip Runner, and which I’ll probably review properly later
  • Give Up Robot – which reminds me that my dream is that, one day, developers will stop making games with bloody grappling hooks

Radial Plus

Something Awful have been running a game development competition, but many of the entrants must have wept tears of pure wasted effort when Radial Plus was submitted. Sticking to the challenge’s theme – ‘You can’t…’ – developer Spatial (aka LSnK) has created a puzzle-shooter where you’re unable to hurt enemies with direct fire. Only wall-bounced shots are effective.

It’s a lovely little idea, but in Spatial’s hands it isn’t just that – it’s also hypnotizingly gorgeous for your eyes, and a rare treat for your ears. Listen to what happens when you emerge from an airlock into open space. Mmmm.

Unless you’re a master of angles – a pool-playing professional maybe, or a robot, or a professional pool-playing robot – things get quite hard surprisingly quickly. Keep ploughing on: there’s One Hell Of An Explosion™ waiting for you near the end.

An end which comes way too soon, by the way. Spatial, if you’re reading this: make more. Make more now. Play Radial Plus (Windows, download)

(All the other games – and having played them all so you don’t have to, I recommend Barrier, Huggy Raptor and You Can’t Eat Your Cake And Have It Too – are available from a single page on the Something Awful GameDev Challenge Wiki. Don’t forget to vote for your favourite.)

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Indie game: Crop Defenders


You know the world’s running out of twists on the Tower Defence concept when you get a game where bazooka-carrying birds are protecting a vegetable garden from bunnies. But it’s that odd twist that makes Rob Scherer’s Crop Defenders kinda pretty much all right. Things are so much more interesting when your ‘grenade tower’ is actually a parrot indiscriminately chucking explosive barrels all over the shop — especially when, satisfyingly, there’s very little attempt to cutesify everything up. The RSPCA would probably be appalled, but even they must want the terrifying shadowy lake-monsters to be killed with maximum brutality. The game’s one flaw — and it’s a big one — is asking you to direct your birds’ fire, which means that when the feathers start flying and explosions are exploding at ten a second, it’s impossible to work out what the hell is going on. Still. Pretty good. Play Crop Defenders (Flash)

Indie game: Fat Slice

Fat Slice

Aaron Neugebauer of Chew On Glass is your new best friend. And then your most hated arch-nemesis. And then your best friend again and possibly something more. Because his new game Fat Slice is great, then really annoying, then pretty special and funny. It’s a neat concept: swoosh your mouse to slice chunks off an on-screen shape — the catch being you can only do it when all the bouncing balls are grouped together on one side or the other. Challenging, satisfying… until it turns into a lot of waiting, endlessly, for balls to move into the right place and burning your eyeballs through staring. But THEN, just when you think it’s done, it has a few cute tricks up its sleeve. Give it a go. Play Fat Slice (Flash)