Each year, the Game Developers Conference hosts the Independent Games Festival (IGF), a self-described “Sundance for games.” The festival features an awards show, and we checked out a few of the nominees and winners, including Bit.Trip Runner, Helsing’s Fire, and Minecraft.
Gaijin Games’ Bit.Trip series had two nominees, Bit.Trip Beat and Bit.Trip Runner. Both games feature colorful, retro-styled graphics, and are available on the Mac (Bit.Trip Beat is also available as an iOS app). Bit.Trip Beat is a pong-type game on steroids, while Bit.Trip Runner (which received the award for Excellence in Visual Art) is a retro-styled platformer.
In the mobile games section, we looked at MikeNGreg’s Solipskier, an iOS/Android game that has players control the terrain to keep the skier going, instead of the other way around. The player uses a finger to draw mountains and valleys, and tries to get the skier to make it through slalom-like checkpoints.
Helsing’s Fire won the IGF award for Best Mobile Game. It's a “line-of-sight” puzzle game in which the player must destroy enemies by lighting them up and using potions. Enemies can only be destroyed by their corresponding potion color (red, blue, etc.), and so the player must place Van Helsing’s torch in the correct place (behind walls, around corners, etc.) to light up the correct enemies before deploying the potion.
Finally, we looked at the Seumas McNally Grand Prize winner, Mojang’s Minecraft. Minecraft is a sandbox game—everything in the game is de-constructable, and players gather, build, fight, and survive in a procedurally generated world. The core of the game revolves around building, but there are also monsters and animals that players can kill and use as food. Minecraft is available on Mac, Windows, and Linux, and there are plans for both iOS/Android and console version.
[Sarah Jacobsson Purewal is a frequent contributor to Macworld.]