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October Indie Game Round-Up 34

Posted by Soulskill
from the diverse-field-of-choices dept.
cyrus_zuo points out the October edition of the Indie Game Round-up, where four reviewers give their opinions on ten recent independently produced games. This month, their top choice was Multiwinia, a casual, abstract take on multiplayer RTS. The second installment of the Strong Bad series also scored high, as did a side-scrolling platformer called Archibald's Adventures. "The levels are short and sweet, the graphics are cartoon-y and clear and the challenges fit in wonderfully with the paradigm of a young hero attached to a skateboard. The puzzles are all timing and creative thinking and can really be taken on by anyone of any skill level. Also, since levels can tackled in any order (you have large chunks available at a time), you can jump around if you get stuck."
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October Indie Game Round-Up

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  • BG2 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by negRo_slim (636783) <mils_oRgen@hotmail.com> on Saturday November 01, 2008 @04:28AM (#25593275)
    I still have a feeling that the indie crowd can step up to the plate and pick up where Bladurs Gate left off... 2d by the way side and gimmicks for miles... I've always held faith that independent developers or kids making mods would end up fulfilling this ginormous gaping hole... It started with the PS1 and N64... 2d bad 3d good. Well I disagree, just as I disagree with nearly any independent game I find on XLA. They seem to cater to a crowd already well served by emulators, they just add the fancy graphics and extra buttons to press. But they never seem to bring the greatness in all but a few genres. And I'm not trying to say 2d is the only way to make a game, but what I am saying is that in the shift to go from 2d to 3d people lost something, something that truly made games worth raving about to people 10-15-20 years later... its found here and again, but never truly captured as it once was in it's pre-3d focus era.
    • Re:BG2 (Score:4, Funny)

      by SSpade (549608) on Saturday November 01, 2008 @05:02AM (#25593381) Homepage
      I don't disagree much with this, but I think it can be expressed much more concisely as "I'm old. I want games to be just like my rosy memories of games when I was young, maybe prettied up a bit."
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by johannesg (664142)

        Haha, well summarized. However, I would propose that we really did lose entire genres during the shift to 3D. Things like Marble Madness were lots of fun, but who is making that kind of thing now? There are not that many weirdo's experimenting with weird games these days. And scrolling shooters and platformers really were better before they were given a semi-3D makeover; that sort of thing just worked better in two dimensions.

        And don't even get me started on puzzle games. These days people think that means

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by damnbunni (1215350)

          If you want something like Marble Madness, try Mercury Meltdown Revolution for the Wii.

          Or the rolling-ball game that came with my Mac. (I forget what it was called. The Mac it came with didn't actually have enough RAM to run the thing!)

          Or Super Monkey Ball.

          And there are plenty of puzzle games that aren't Bejeweled clones. Boom Blox, for instance.

          Every scrolling shooter I've played HAS been 2D; sometimes they have rather fancy 3D graphics, but they playfield is still 2D. Granted, I'm not an obsessive fan of

          • by KDR_11k (778916)

            I think he meant puzzle games that aren't just about blocks, there's Toki Tori though which is more like Lode Runner and Braid which I heard is a puzzle game too (haven't played it yet).

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          There are not that many weirdo's experimenting with weird games these days.

          There are plenty. However, the set of people who succeed in making the game, find the concept actually works, polish it enough to hold a new player's interest, explain it well enough to hook people, make it run on as many systems as possible, run a website, and actively market it to get people to notice it, is much smaller.

          • by johannesg (664142)

            A better choice, perhaps, would be Rolling Madness 3D which is a complete remake of Marble Madness. But I was not aiming for remakes of old games, but rather for the spirit of experimentation and the level of abstraction needed to make such games a reality. And I don't see much of that these days, not as much as in the old 8 and 16-bit times.

            And don't get me wrong, 90% of that stuff was utter crap. But occasionally you would find a gem as well...

            • Well part of it is that back in the 8-bit era, nothing much had been done. It wasn't hard to be original when there was so little out there. Actually when you got down to it most games (then and now) drew from other parts of culture and thus weren't truly "original". As a medium becomes mature, it is harder and hard to do something that hasn't been done before in some form or another. That doesn't mean there aren't still lots of fun, and generally original games coming out. Mass Effect would be a good examp

    • by Esteanil (710082)
      For a recent example, compare Fallout 2 to Fallout 3. :-(
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by wrook (134116)

      Probably everyone here knows about Kenta Cho, but in case you don't:

      http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~cs8k-cyu/index_e.html [asahi-net.or.jp]

      These are 2d retro games. But the level of creativity is astounding. I found some of them to be a bit weird, but others are total gems. Mu-cade has got to be my favorite. It took me a long time to get into it, but once I did I realized how deep this game is. You can literally spend 10s of hours devising new strategies. And the games generally last less than 5 minutes which means that it

      • by KDR_11k (778916)

        Can you get Mazer Mayhem to work? It always crashes when I try to start it and yes, I have installed the .net and XNA stuff it needs.

        • by wrook (134116)

          Sorry. No windows here... I've only played the games that work under Linux. But I'd love to take a look at some of the other ones too. What I can't believe is how many of them he's written... Real dedication.

    • [Xbox Live Arcade games] seem to cater to a crowd already well served by emulators

      Some of the Xbox Live Arcade games are emulators. This is true of the Wii as well: every title in the Virtual Console section is an emulator. What exactly did you mean by this?

    • by grumbel (592662)

      I don't think the issue is really the 3D part, even so I agree that there should be much more 2D games these days, I think the real issue is simply the development process. Many games of the good old days where written by small teams and thus had much more freedom to experiment around with stuff. Today on the other side you have pretty huge teams, which makes doing something new pretty close to impossible, so everything gets based on tried and tested game concept. The indie fraction on the other side seems

  • I'm surprised that Mount&Blade wasn't mentioned. It was released recently, and it's awesome. For those that never heard about it, think Pirates! in a medieval setting. It's a great (if not the best) melee combat simulator i've ever played, and horse combat is amazing. It also has some light RPG elements.

    Check the developers' site ( http://www.taleworlds.com/ [taleworlds.com]), and play the demo. You can enjoy the full game until level 7. After that you either create a new character or buy the full version. And I hig
  • by Dr_Banzai (111657) on Saturday November 01, 2008 @06:23AM (#25593651) Homepage

    Brain Workshop [sourceforge.net] -- a free, GPL brain game (downloads available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux).

    It could be called a memory game, mental challenge or puzzle. It's been shown in a peer-reviewed study to improve working memory and fluid intelligence (one component of "IQ"). This is huge because intelligence was previously thought to be static or immutable.

    More research is currently underway at multiple universities to confirm the positive effect on fluid intelligence. You can see the results for yourself by practicing this game 20 minutes 4-5 times a week for a few weeks.

    This could be hitting the front page of your morning paper in a few months once more research is published.

    • Interesting that the posttest was only a day after daily training ended - is there any evidence that these effects are lasting?
      • by Dr_Banzai (111657)

        Interesting that the posttest was only a day after daily training ended - is there any evidence that these effects are lasting?

        Not yet - hopefully this question will be answered through additional research.

        Even if it turned out to be a short-lasting effect, I would still add it to my daily routine to maintain a high level of mental fitness (along with physical exercise, good food & adequate rest).

  • Sounds a bit like Kernel Panic [clan-sy.com].

  • How could World of Goo [2dboy.com] not be on there?
  • Are both listed at the end of the article as games that will be reviewed in November. The games are reviewed as they are received, which means the article is always about 20-30 days behind :).

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