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Another year, another group of stellar IGF entrants. Unlike two years ago, where Darwinia seemed to be the clear favorite going into the competition, I don’t see an immediate front-runner. On the other hand, there seems to be more innovation this year than any previous year. It feels like indie game developers are gaining some confidence in their wacky designs: while there are plenty of traditional strategy, SHMUP, and platformer style games, there are also quite a number of truly unique games as well.
Another thing to note is that every year I seem to know less and less about the entrants. Partly this is because there are many MORE entrants (173 this year) but also because there doesn’t seem to be a centralized place where I can follow indie games anymore. TIGSource is starting to be my primary reading these days, though their coverage (like GameTunnel’s) tends to be a mite skewed towards a particular style of game.
Anyways, in my cursory glance through the entries, these are the ones that stood out to me. It’s heavy on titles that aren’t out — it’s easier to see potential in something you haven’t actually experienced.
Hard to ignore this one, but my prediction is that if it’s an evolution of the original concept rather than a revolution it will be rewarded by customers but not the IGF.
World of Goo
Another game about sticky balls. Based on a much smaller experimental title that got huge critical acclaim. My guess is World of Goo FTW.
Horror and Little Red Riding Hood. Production values look stellar. One to watch.
A coop gauntlet style shooter. Looks like a ton of fun.
An impressive and unique strategy hybrid. Multiplayer focused games haven’t fared that well in the IGF in the past, but this one certainly makes an argument for its inclusion.
Tree of Life + Axiom Overdrive
Reflexive has been known to put out some real pablum, but they also poured their hearts into the unique Wik & the Fable of Souls. These two titles could have promise, though to be honest, I have no idea what they are.
A text adventure that has a unique feel to it.
Control a platformer with a Guitar Hero controller. Somewhere in the cobwebbed portions of my brain I remember several people speaking highly of this. Sounds interesting.
Soup du Jour
From Digital Eel, the makers of IGF-nom Weird Worlds. Is this something interesting or a casual-friendly portal sell-out?
Polychromatic Funk Monkey
A fun, simple puzzle game. Would be nice to see the concept expanded upon.
The best tower-defense game ever created. Probably not different enough from other titles of the same genre to pick up awards, but certainly notable.
Yes this is my game. I like it a lot. Unique gameplay, interesting topic.
Phew… what a great group of games.
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