On the brighter side, there are 656 games entered into this record-breaking IGF 2013, and we’ve been through them all to find the ones that look really cool, but we’ve never heard of before.
Those are the only rules:
1. Never heard of it before
2. Looks cool
The Student Competition entry date for IGF 2014 isn’t until October 31st, which is Halloween, so that’s easy enough to remember. With that said and done, please enjoy the list we put together. It’s quite a special one; we can assure you of that.
“You’ve always dreamed of becoming a wizard; only one thing is missing: your own tower! Use all your magical skills to defy physics and build the tallest tower the world has ever seen. But watch out for the other wizards; they will stop at nothing to crumble your creation. 99 Bricks Wizard Academy is a fun and fast-paced physics puzzle game with intuitive single-finger touch controls.”
“Airship Q is a sandbox action RPG where players solve mysteries by controlling an airship in the open sky as a character who has been transformed into a cat. Airship Q is one of the first Japanese sandbox action games delivered by an independent game developer.
Rain falls, water flows, plants grow and land changes? While everything is rapidly changing, the character quickly runs, jumps, controls an airship, digs, builds, fights and dies. All actions the character takes will create a unique world you could never have imagined.”
“Inspired by games like Blade Runner and Pathologic, Alaska is an immersive sim/first-person adventure game set in a living world. You have been sent to a remote space station to investigate a murder. You must explore the station and investigate its occupants. Build a case against a suspect, but did you prove his guilt, or have you made a terrible mistake?”
“AXYZ is a PC first-person 3D platform game. It is unique in that it allows to control both the character and level at the same time as individual entities, combining classic mechanics to create a new game dynamic.”
“Biff! Bam!! Blammo!?! combines the fun and nostalgia of retro brick-breakers with the twists and mechanics of today’s indie games. By regularly introducing new gameplay elements, unique puzzles and evil bosses, BBB is proof that brick-breakers can be a lot more than just a casual experience. This purposely over-stimulating game explores emergent gameplay through the combination, and sometimes permutation, of item and block effects.”
“BREAKS is Gameplay as a music performance concept by breaking blocks and breaking music/sound.”
“Captain Astronaut’s Last Hurrah is a bittersweet story about an injured child’s trek across a beautifully painted alien world. His survival depends on the ability to wield swarms of sparks in fast paced, strategic battles against the world itself. It’s a point-and-click adventure with real-time strategy action instead of puzzles. Inspired by terrifying 1980s children’s movies, it’s like playing the love child of Starcraft and Monkey Island while watching The NeverEnding Story (with optional four-player co-op!).”
“Catacomb Kids is a very roguelike platformer. Fast-paced and highly deadly combat mixes with cautious exploration of the darkness, where an error in judgement could leave you missing a leg or eaten by vicious fish. Learn powerful spells to defend yourself and fend off the creatures of the deep, obtain equipment enchanted with magical powers to ignite your foes, freeze them or teleport them far away from you. Let your foes’ still-bloody flesh sate your hunger as you traverse procedurally generated levels. And when you’ve finished with that, kill your friends in versus mode.”
“Cuphead is a classic run-’n’-gun set in the style of a one-on-one fighting game universe. Inspired by cartoons of the 1930s, the visuals and audio were painstakingly created with the same techniques of the era, i.e. traditional cel animation (hand-drawn and hand-inked!), watercolor backgrounds and live jazz recordings.
Play as Cuphead or Mugman (single or co-op!) as you traverse the islands to find new challengers, rank up and eventually compete in the grand tournament. You must become acquainted with the boundless variety of weapons, supers and secrets to stand a chance against all 30+ battles.”
“Cylne is a first-person symbolic exploration game. Choose between different icons to explore unreal and poetic worlds. They are filled with psychic/environmental enigmas, aerian gameplay and crystalline guitars. Surrounded by a dark strange halo, dive into consciousness roots to find a meaning behind… or not.”
“Denisovan is a fictional imagining of a girl who died 40,000 years ago, published as an animated and interactive artist’s book for iPhone/iPad and Android mobile devices.
The story was inspired by the genomic mapping of a contemporary of early humans and Neanderthal, the denisovan hominin. A tooth and finger bone from a single individual were found in a cave in Siberia, and paleogeneticists were able to determine that they had discovered a whole new hominid. We know that the denisovan girl had brown hair and eyes, but we can only speculate about her relationship to her family members and how parent-child relationships may have evolved in the last 40,000 years.”
“Your bullets are your worst enemy in Don’t Shoot Yourself!, a unique new puzzle shoot-’em-up for iOS devices with an original game mechanic. Use one finger to move the hero around the screen while constantly firing bullets, avoiding your deadly ammunition to stay alive! Sounds easy, right? Think again; you’ll need quick reflexes and some creative strategy to reach the next fiendishly designed level.”
“DreamBreak sends us to alternative reality Cold War USSR vs USA times and its spy games. The truth is really out there.”
“Three builders have to work together to build a tower. Drei is a game about skill, logic and collaboration. It connects players across the world to help each other in the battle against gravity.”
“They sent a poet. The scientists, historians and statesmen never arrived. Three worlds, each home to a long-dead civilization. You must be the speaker for these ancient peoples.
Write whatever you are moved to by their landscapes. Write to share the joys and sorrows buried in their rubble. Write what you can imagine of their origins, existence and fates. Your word is all that keeps these worlds from being forgotten.”
“Imagine being forced to marry the man that might have killed your parents twenty years ago. This is the main premise of our Visual Novel Enigmarella. Set in 1899 Europe, it is a story about coming of age, murder and mystery all with a steampunk flavor.”
“A distant journey through a menacing and complex brutalist labyrinth.”
“FranknJohn is a twin-stick, roguelike brawler featuring random environments and ridiculous physics-based gameplay. Swing your chained head around and experiment with crazy Skullcaps as you smash through a madhouse filled with danger, mystery and chaos. Confront your maker and attempt to put a stop to your his sadistic experiments.
Locked away in the lab of an old manor lives Dr.Harmin, a scientist driven mad by the loss of his terminally ill son. In an attempt to replace his lost child, he becomes obsessed with the sense of power gained in creating life. Blinded by his obsession, he fails to notice that one of his discarded experiments just happens to be what he has been seeking to create for so long. FranknJohn awakens and escapes his faith in the basement furnace. Battling his way up through a deranged funhouse filled with unspeakable miscreations and deadly traps, he sets off on a path of self-discovery.”
“Freaking Meatbags is a tower defense/RTS game in a sci-fi universe developed for PC. Your task, and you have no choice but to accept it since that’s what you were built for, is to help humans colonize different planets. At night, you have to defend the humans and your base against the wild robots drawn to its energy.
But it’s worse during the day: you have to deal with your humans. They’re undisciplined, stupid, lazy meatbags. Nevertheless, you have to keep them alive? But there’s nothing in your programing that says you can’t modify them a little… Freaking Meatbags is an unique adventure punctuated by sarcatistic humour for players who love tower defense, but are frustrated with linear gameplay.”
“Will you survive America’s #1 reality show for heroes? As a contestant on ‘The Hero Project,’ you’ll battle villains and heroes alike with your newly discovered ‘Infini’ powers. Will you vote to eliminate your rivals or betray your alliance to curry favor with the celebrity judges?
Heroes Rise: The Hero Project is the sequel to last year’s hit, Heroes Rise: The Prodigy, the epic interactive novel by Zachary Sergi, where your choices determine how the story proceeds. The game is entirely text-based, without graphics or sound effects, and driven by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination. Play as male or female, gay or straight; you can even start a ‘showmance’ with the other contestants. What will you sacrifice to become the nation’s next top hero?”
“A short game about obsession.”
“Hey, Shu! is a relaxing, real-time gardening game for mobile. You play as Shu, a rolling, bouncing ball of happiness aiming to bring life back to a barren planet. Your garden grows in real-time, and the experience is meant to be played in very short sessions a few times a day. Hey, Shu! is a game about balance and sustainability rather than accumulation, so as you nurture the soil and spread matured seeds, some care must be taken to ensure the planet is both brought to life and stable.”
“Honourbound is a 2D, side-scrolling beat-’em-up game for PC and console focused on dynamic and visceral God of War-style combat in a feudal Japanese setting.”
“Hungry Hubert is a fast-paced action-platformer where you have to kill all the enemies and eat the level so you won’t starve to death”
“Icycle: On Thin Ice is the platform-puzzler with no enemies, no friends and nobody to love. Dennis, the sole surviving naked cyclist, is back for more love-lorn trauma in the sequel to the 2009 post-apocalyptic platform-puzzler, Icycle. He lost everything on the planet. Now he’s losing the plot.”
“iPollute is a mobile game of the grow puzzle genre, set in a hand-crafted stop-motion world. The player is invited to peaceful green valley, and then offered to try different tools, such as a hammer or a garbage bin, while they watch the effects of these tools pollute the land. The order of picking the tools determines what happens to the valley so that players can try different scenarios for surprising outcomes: several types of colorful ecological apocalypses and one possible rejuvenation of the valley. The game features many comical animations which illustrate the story of the valley.”
“Lovely Planet is a first-person shooter gun-ballet set in an abstract world made of cute stuff. Balance between avoiding the onslaught of bullets and taking aim for a better shot at your enemies, learn levels and execute them with perfection to earn rewards.”
“A unique, twisted platformer that challenges your spatial perceptions with clever puzzles and engaging combat. Your gravity reorients to the surface you are standing on. Run along bizarre, freeform surfaces and take platforming to a whole new level. You play as a stick man who tires of being confined to a sheet of paper and journeys into storybooks. You embrace the adventure.”
“Paralect is a 2D platformer that uses gameplay, visuals and narrative to tell a personal story of cultural unrooting. It explores the paradigm shifts caused by culture shock and adaptation and investigates how those transformations affect one’s vision of people, their environment, the place you initially came from and, most importantly, the place you wish to call home.
The game is divided into a sequence of experiences. At first glance, the main world is a typical platformer, presenting the player with environmental obstacles and puzzles. However, the narrative delivery system allows the player to spatially explore the monologue of NPCs and discover clues about how these characters and their worlds work.”
“Particle Mace is an upcoming title for Windows, Mac and iOS that pays homage to classic space shooters, but replaces the typical guns with an unruly physics-based weapon. Players control a tiny ship in an extremely hostile universe and must defend themselves as long as possible from enemy ships and asteroids using a collection of trash particles tethered to the ship. To survive, players must carefully navigate around the many hazards while building up momentum to swing their weapon into foes or other players.
Inspired by twitchy arcade classics old and new, Particle Mace requires quick reflexes to stay alive, rewarding skilled players with high scores worth bragging about and giving new players a reason to hit restart. Graphically, the game uses abstracted visuals to create a striking play field, combined with an entrancing procedural background.”
“Pioneers is a turn-based world exploration adventure game with certain role-playing elements. You lead a party of explorers in search of treasure-rich temples, new and interesting tribes and mythical kingdoms. You start out as lone, but highly curious traveller wishing to see what lies beyond the horizon, promising his father to make him proud. Adventure ensues!”
“Proven Lands is much about exploration, being alone and lost in an unknown sci-fi world without high skills or super powers. Shortly after the crash, you experience a harsh and hostile desert environment, fear, hunger and thirst. Most of the spaceship parts are scattered all over the region. You are not a scientist nor a solider, but a simple working guy with an interesting past.”
“Sim Cell puts you in control of a nanobot tasked with entering a human cell and repairing and protecting it from the inside, using the cell’s own organelles. Control characters at multiple levels of zoom by deploying the ‘Picobot,’ a robot 1/1000th the size of the nanobot and capable of interacting with DNA. The player must guide interactions between these multiple levels of zoom in order to solve puzzles, gaining a deep understanding of cellular biology in the process.”
“Rotary dials are now the front-line of cyber-warfare. Welcome to Hawaii! Manipulate shapes of data using dials, switches, graphs, buttons and levers to find patterns and progress further into ‘enemy’ systems, as per clandestine managerial orders, and then take a break, shoot the shit and break down.”
“Source is a surreal adventure that unfolds in a strange alternate dimension. You control a creature similar to a dragonfly that must prevent the world of Source from falling into eternal darkness by gathering and distributing energy throughout the vast world. In order to achieve this, you must first learn how the world works by observing and coexisting with the various indigenous creatures that inhabit this bizarre world. Playing out as a true metroidvania, you will face many mind bending puzzles and epic moments while constantly putting yourself at risk for the good of the world.”
“Space Run is a real-time spaceship construction strategy game. The player carries out space transport missions. The core gameplay is similar to a tower defense, with an additional management aspect involving keeping your ship in one piece and protecting the cargo. The player earns space credits over the course of the missions and can then recruit new crew members that enable him to build new structures. The player’s growing reputation then unlocks ever-more dangerous missions. The universe of Space Run, full of sparkling lasers and noisy gunfire, is a tip of the hat to the science fiction films of the ’80s.”
“Flop it out with two-to-four players in a retro, epic narwhal battle in space. The heart-piercing action is furious and unrelenting. STARWHAL will change your life.
Inspired by countless couch-gaming gatherings over the decades, we wanted to bring something competitive, creative and immediately fun to the table. Our original prototype was conceived and developed in 48 hours, with focus entirely on these areas. STARWHAL: Just the Tip is a simulation of dreams in an ocean of the mind.”
“Horacio Tempin, Lieutenant Inspector from the Montevideo Police Department, must confront the main suspect of a brutal murder and get the truth out of him. It’s a full-fledged duel of minds between a hard-nosed investigator and real cold-blooded adversary. Help Tempin to interrogate the shrewd and powerful Mario Valenti by cleverly choosing the right questions to get the most revealing answers and crack the case. Tempin is a tale of murder, betrayal and hard choices. There are no simple answers, because there are no simple questions.”
“The Little Prince Returns is a ground-breaking adventure/brain-teaser game based upon the novella of the French aristocrat, writer, poet and pioneering aviator, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. In his quest to find his beloved Rose, the Prince has to traverse numerous visually stunning challenges, which will perplex even the most avid of gamers. On his quest, he will meet numerous variegated characters, including the mysterious Fox, the amiable Pilot and the sheep (beware of the sheep?). Its eyes have that weird look, even though it doesn’t seem to be doing anything. The Prince will have to use elements in his environment to pass through the levels and navigate through worlds where gravity is at the core of the gameplay mechanics. Since the planet that the Prince lived on was torn apart by the evil baobab trees, the notion of gravity became relative, and where ‘up’ is is now completely up to you.”
“This is a game about being a tree. I hope you enjoy being a tree, but also learn to appreciate some of the hardships of tree life as well. Trees are majestic creatures who deserve our respect.”
“The White Cane is a 3D third-person survival memory game with a strong focus on puzzles and dark humor. Players must navigate the game without seeing their environment and must remember where they are and what’s around them to avoid becoming trapped by what lurks in the dark.
Memory is the focus of the White Cane’s challenge. Players are thrown into a world somewhere between reality and psychosis, and only by relying on their own minds can players know where to go, what to do and how to escape. The game challenges players to have a sharp mind and a keen memory, and to be able to understand conceptual spaces that they often cannot actually see.”
“A humorous, comic-inspired action-RPG where you play Tom, a computer programmer with a demon arm and an arsenal of advanced weaponry, fighting against the Armies of Hell. You’ll fight through an office complex, a top secret research lab and finally Hell itself, all the while using a combination of demonic powers and custom built modular weapons to dispatch a variety of foes.”
“TORB: Alpha is a game inspired by epic swashbuckling swordplay. The game focuses on a completely original mechanic that allows fluid and precise control of one’s sword and body. With no built-in animations, players are able to create new moves and strategies in a dynamic physical world.
In co-op mode, up to four players can fight endless waves of progressively harder enemies. Fight through hordes of enemies alone or with your friends to see how far you can survive the infinite battle! The game also features a versus mode, where you can team up or free-for-all battle to find out who is the best swordfighter!”
“In Troubadour, you follow a young woman dealing with social anxiety and learning how to accept the responsibilities of adulthood. On her journey, Lu encounters environments and characters just as unstable as herself that live somewhere between modern digital life and the calming beauty of music. The game may be best described as a music-infused interactive graphic novel as her memories and insecurities unfold in front of you.”
“Escape a massive tsunami, rescue swimmers and avoid debris to become the ultimate wave hero.”
“Turbo Dismount is the official sequel to the wildly popular and immensely successful personal impact simulator, Stair Dismount. It is a kinetic tragedy about Mr. Dismount and the cars who love him. The highlights of this experience are multiple vehicles, an awesome replay system, (some) level editing features, high-speed physics and an indiscriminate sense of style.”
“TyrAnt is an RTS with a focus on communicating ant specialisations and behaviour through intuitive touch-screen controls and simple, yet strategic mechanics.
The game allows players to discover the hidden world of ants. These remarkable creatures may seem alien, but they’re arguably one of the most successful species on Earth. As you take charge of a new and vulnerable colony of Leafcutter ants, you’ll discover the incredible adaptations that have led to their survival and proliferation. Breed different castes depending on the situation; do you need to harvest leaves for your subterranean fungus garden or protect the nest from hostile neighbouring colonies? Make strategic use of pheromone trails to create ant superhighways, uncovering more of your environment and building your nest as you aim to start the majestic ‘nuptial flight.’”
“Voodoo is our first production. Hand-drawn point-and-click game with deaths. Player must help the doll to solve puzzles and riddles to move through the different levels, avoiding deadly dangers.”
“White Night is a third-person adventure game that combines puzzle and survival-horror elements. The game offers to live the nightmare of a man, hurt and trapped in an old family manor where darkness is a constant threat. In order to survive, the player will have to solve puzzles based on the use of light. His safety will depend on the different light sources scattered all around the manor. But if darkness is active and lethal, a mysterious presence will also enlighten the night.”
“Wide Sky is a game about hedgehogs and ropes. Train a little hedgehog to rope across the sky and collect new ropes and powers along the way.”