IGF 2018 celebrates a bumper crop of diverse and exciting entries

about X hours ago from
IGF 2018 celebrates a bumper crop of diverse and exciting entries

The 20th annual Independent Games Festival -- the longest-running and largest showcase for independent game developers -- recently closed its call for submissions, and organizers are very proud to proclaim that nearly 600 entries have been accepted into the IGF 2018 Competition.

The long-running and perennially popular festival -- which is co-located with Game Developers Conference 2018 -- welcomed those submissions from a diverse array of experienced indie developers, first-time entrants and students.

Among the hundreds of exciting submissions entered into this year's IGF Competition are notable games like Infinite Fall's Night in the Woods, The Sexy Brutale from Cavalier Game Studios and Tequila Works, and Suspicious Developments' new game Heat Signature.

Hunt Down Stolen Pastries And Kill Some Space Baddies In Son Of Scoregasm

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The King of the Earth, that bumbling old fool, has managed to get his cosmic cookies stolen by the space baddies. Again! What is he good for? I really don't know. Looks to me like all he ever does is getting his pastries purloined, and then he wants you to bring them back. And well, that's what you do. At least you can shoot some things on the way.

The original Scoregasm was a wonderful little arena shooter that tasked you with surviving in rapidly changing playing fields while shooting all the baddies. Its levels were never just one big arena, but smaller stages that required specific strategies.

The sequel, Son of Scoregasm, doesn't deviate too much from this formula, except that everything feels... smaller? Well, certainly, considering that the game is only available on Sony's ageing PS Vita so far. It also feels tighter in its design, in its challenges, and in the margin for error that it allows you.

The Shrouded Isle Q & A - Conveying A More Administrative Monstrosity

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The Shrouded Isle explores a different kind of evil - one more based in cruel decisions that affect and harm people. Placing players in the role of a high priest, it's up to them to choose sacrifices, suss out sinners, and keep a vicious god contented, doing so through merciless, cold choices.

With a new update bringing new personality traits to sinners, new events to trip up potential high priests, and new purification rituals, we spoke with Jongwoo Kim, Designer and the Programmer for The Shrouded Isle, to learn a bit more about maintaining power at the expense of others, and conveying that, as well as the experience of running a cult, through gameplay.

What drew you to explore the idea of running a cult in a game?

Cure Magical Maladies In Charming Fantasy Medical Puzzler Wunderdoktor

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Being a doctor is hard enough with ghosts and living growths to deal with, so the traveling surgeon in Wunderdoktor certainly has quite a curious magical challenge to overcome while traversing the game's cursed fantasy world, filled with charming residents with all manner of gross illnesses to cure.

From within your medical buggy, you are greeted with various patients while traveling across the country, each suffering from some mysterious illness. But these ailments are far from a simple cough or rash; ghostly figures emerge from skulls, spider creature emerge from boils, clouds of insects pester and bite, eyeballs dangles, heads roll. While that may sound ghoulish, Wunderdoktor presents it all with whimsy and charm and a colorful aesthetic.

Curing these diseases is done through mechanics reminsicent of Papers Please and similar games; using specific rules and carefully matching symptom with method while being careful to follow procedure. Fast and frantic, you'll be deciding which pills to prescribe, popping pimples, slicing with scalpels, as more and more procedures and symptoms are introduced and your available time for each patient decreases. With each patient and illness cured, you'll learn more about them, the world, and even encounter special mini-missions that reveal more about Wunderdoktor's fantastical characters.

All Our Asias Helps Us Know A Dying Father By Exploring His Mind

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All Our Asias takes players into the mind of an estranged, dying father, with Yuito being able to explore his dying parent's memories and thoughts in this surreal, touching adventure.

Yuito can no longer communicate with his father, who is now on life support. This leaves the man with many unanswered questions about their father, but there is hope for some answers through a dangerous process. A Memory World Visitation will allow Yuito to explore his dad's memories, experiences, and secrets, helping paint a picture of the man who had little part in his life. It's through this journey, presented with vivid lo-fi imagery, that perhaps Yuito can get some closure on a piece of his life that is quickly closing off forever.

All Our Asias is a new game from Sean Han Tani, whose thoughtful, emotional work has already graced Anodyne and Even the Ocean. I expect that same incredible narrative skill and flare for the surreal will be present here, taking players through a story that will leave us with many emotional questions and tear-stained cheeks, when the game is released.

Wait For The Cue With Underhero's Rhythmic, Timing-Based Combat System

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Not everyone is cut out for their day job, and perhaps it's time for a change of pace for a certain underling. In Underhero, players will be taking up the role of a baddie turned good on a quest to restore power to a magical sword hilt. Your journey won't be without challenge, though, as you face off against some quick-stepping foes that will test your reflexes in the rhythmic,timing-based combat!

Drawing on Paper Mario and other RPG inspirations, Underhero's combat system aims for players to do more than slam the attack command. There will be no turns, and players will have to test their timing to deal devastating damage, attacking and defending to the tune of the beat of each battle (or invest in a metronome to get that rhythm down). With a great soundtrack to back up this system, players will no doubt feel the music while kicking cartoony-butt.

Visually Stunning Hob Tasks Players With Repairing A Broken Planet

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From the creators of Torchlight I & II, Hob steps up to the plate and dazzles with a beautiful environment, one you'll explore as you do your best to put a crumbling planet back together.

The first thing that players can see from the trailer is Hob's beautiful scenery that sets a stage for a grand adventure. The open world is vast and full of both puzzles, monsters and ruins to discover, and even befriend a couple of sprites along the way!

In this planet-repairing action adventure, there will be tons of large scale puzzles where players will be able to see the fruits of their labor come together instantly when they come to a solution, with environments shifting due to player actions. Players who crave a thrilling battle won't be disappointed either, for the world is plagued with monsters that you must combat with your mechanical arm to restore the planet to its former glory.

Sylvio 2 Disturbs With Ghostly Voices In Bleak Halls

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Juliette Waters awakens in an empty apartment complex, surrounded by otherworldly voices whispering in the shadows,
in Sylvio 2. With a useful EVP recorder, players will have to capture what they're hearing in the gloom around them, picking up clues, threats, and other sinister words spoken by the ghosts of the long dead.

Players are on the lookout for their missing boyfriend (who is supposed to be out looking for you), who is out somewhere in the flooded Saginaw Park. From the confines of the old, abandoned apartment complex to the open, water-logged park, players will go around these unsettling places, capturing the voices of ghosts hissing in the air. By figuring out what the phantoms are trying to say, they'll unveil the lost, sad histories of these places, as well as hopefully find their missing loved one.

Ghosts don't just come out and say things, though. Like in the original Sylvio, players will have to slow down, speed up, or reverse the recording to hear what is being said, slowly picking up on the garbled voices and their meanings as they work. Doing so while sitting in a dark room, the eyes of the paintings and pictures on the wall peering at you, promises an eerie experience, one heavy on frightening atmosphere.

Dress Up A Shark For Bloody, Goofy Mayhem With Shark Simulator

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According to an extremely lazy, brief Google search, sharks only kill a person every two years in the US.

Ed the Shark aims to bolster those numbers using machine guns, huge ball & chains, and other weaponry in Shark Simulator, a game about the shark's reign of terror on the beaches and beyond.

Players can control Ed's flopping, lethal approach through the streets of an otherwise peaceful paradise island. You might think this would be contained to the water, but Ed does all right by land, especially when you equip him with a rocket pack or some of the other tools that will let him roam the land and sky. Or you could just throw a hat on him and watch him flop across the streets. It's wide open.

Fight, Train (And Dance?) In This Point & Click Martial Arts Adventure

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Legend of Hand has players seeking the missing Grandmaster Hand, the only person capable of quelling some trouble amongst the martial artists of the world. A few point & click puzzles, some turn-based fights against other warriors, and maybe a dancing minigame or two stand between you and the venerable fighter, though, so you'll need to be prepared for anything.

Legend of Hand has players wandering through four different islands, meeting a cast of oddballs fighters as they seek out the missing master. With each hand-drawn person they meet, and with every silly quest or mini-game they complete, they'll get a little closer to bringing these kind (hostile) people together. While your quest of peace is technically a serious one, you're not above putting on a dragon costume to get things done, too, so expect some silliness along this dangerous mission.