IndieCade Announces Finalists For 2013 Show

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IndieCade is a jury nominated indie games festival that celebrates the best indie games from the year. Nominated games (which have gone through a four-juror selection process) are then eligible to win top awards, including Audience Choice during the Closing Awards. 

The following games have been selected as being the best of the best. 

[code]

An incredibly unique game, [code] is a single player experience where you play as a "@." 

The player goes through the game manipulating codes and gaining clues from the commented out sections to solve puzzles, learn computer science principals, and "eventually call the "NextLevel()" function. 

99 Tiny Games 

Created by Hide&Seek, 99 Tiny Games is a collection of location specific games played in the real world utilizing digital networks. 

The games were featured on large posters around London, "three in each of the 33 boroughs," and were utilized using an app. The games were also featured in the 2013 Brighton Digital Festival. 

Constellation 

The game is an interactive gallery experience, intended to be communal and to invoke the experience of our ancestors looking into the night sky. 

You create stories through constellations through abstract shapes, akin to a connect the dots. The game delves into a form of myth creation, as well as a shared experience. 

Cube & Star: A Love Story 
The game is about a monochrome world that you begin to stain or populate with color. As game designers Doppler Interactive puts it, "Fill your heart with joy, and leave the world a more colorful place than when you entered it." 

You can communicate with other similar squares, and the environment is very much alive and interactive. 

Deadbolt 

A pen and paper game, Deadbolt is a in person game that has been played three times (as far as I can tell) and only at conventions. 

The game is based off of of  "this thing that happens on Twitter sometimes where people play games that involve emotional honesty and connection over the distance of the internet, both through directed private conversations..and in public." Deadbolt is the in-person version of that experience. 

Dog Eat Dog

Subtitled "A game of imperialism and assimilation in the Pacific Islands," Dog Eat Dog is an RPG from Liwanag Press. 

In a group, you create an describe one of the Pacific Islands. Then one member of the team breaks off to assume the roll of the occupying force, from military to tourists. Liam Burke, the games designer, is a half-Filipino living in Hawaii and used his history to inform several decisions about the game. 

Dog Eat Dog is designed with novice and advanced RPG makers alike. 

Edgar Rice Soiree 

An installation game played with 20 hanging Playstation Move controllers. Each player has a color, and need to activate their colored controllers. When you get down to one activated controller, your health slowly drains, so you have to have at least two controllers. 

This incorporates a real world competitive nature to the game, and you can physically move to block other people activating their controller. 

Extrasolar 

A game that intentionally blurs the line between fact and fiction, Extrasolar allows you to control one of the first probes to land on a planet outside of our solar system. Utilizing realistic graphics and images, Extrasolar also builds a story back on Earth and invokes a conspiratorial feel that will slowly grow as you continue to play. 

Ephemerid 

A game about plants, insects and music, Ephemerid is a game about helping a Mayfly discover its destiny. 

Ephemerid was made by Super Chop Games and features an original soundtrack and paper cut details. 

Gone Home

 Unfortunately best known for backing out of PAX Prime after what the developers, the Fullbright Company, perceived as transphobic comments, Gone Home is a snapshot of the nineties through the eyes of a teenage girl and her older sister. 

Played out through the exploration of an empty house, you must discover what happened to the people who lived there. 

Gunpoint 

A 2-D stealth game about "rewiring things and punching people," Gunpoint also features a level editor and a three hour story mission. 

A sidescrolling game with a unique concept, Gunpoint has been called "the most exciting piece of game design in a long, long time." 

Hermit Crab in Space 

You must fight your way through the galaxy in this story about a hermit crab that warped its way to the wrong part of space. Made by Golden Ruby Games, Hermit Crab in Space puts you in an improvised spaceship that is always just shy of falling completely apart. 

A modular shooter, you can find Hermit Crab in Space on Playstation Mobile. 

Kentucky Route Zero

Created by Cardboard Computer, Kentucky Route Zero is a magical realist exploration into the caves of Kentucky. 

Kentucky Route Zero is an episodic point and click adventure featuring a incredibly unique art style and soundtrack. 

Kulak 

From Indiecade; "We often take fairness and equality in games for granted, but Kulak introduces an asymmetric game mechanic that forces players to make difficult decisions about betrayal and self-sacrifice, competition versus cooperation."

In Kulak, you play as either the Baron or a member of the proletariat and much decide whether to band together with your fellow man to end your economic hardship or join with the Baron.  

Luxuria Superbia 

A predominately mobile game from Tale of Tales, Luxuria Superbia is about the playful exploration of pleasure.  Utilizing music and pleasurable themes, Luxuria Superbia invites you to "bring color to the temple of love." 

NIDHOGG 

Messhoff, the creator of NIDHOGG is perhaps best known for his part in creating last years indie smash hit Hotline Miami

NIDHOGG is a fencing game that involves battling back and forth across multiple screens. It's acrobatic, and elusive. 

Other 

Made with a partnership between Quartic Llama and the National Theater of Scotland, Other is an alternate reality sound game. 

You pick up sounds through your phone while traveling through the real city of Dundee, and combines the commonly loved elements of an ARG with an engaging soundscape. 

Perfect Woman 

A strategic dancing game for the Kinect. The game, created by Peter Lu and Lea Schonfelder, incorporates making life decisions as well as dancing. The difficulty of your performance will be based off of the decisions made. 

Pico 

In Pico you play as the title character, trying to track down Father. 

The game incorporates pop-ups and a multi-window experience that is quite innovative, and involves moving multiple windows to solve puzzles. 

Porpentines Twine Compilation 

Porpentine is a queer game creator who predominately utilizes the tool Twine. Her IndieCade submission included a couple of 10-25 minute experimental hypertext games. 

They are as follows: 

  • Howling dogs
  • CYBERQUEEN
  • Cry$tal Warrior Ke$ha
  • Naked Shades
  • ALL I WANT IS FOR ALL OF MY FRIENDS TO BECOME INSANELY POWERFUL
  • Parasite
  • Ultra Business Tycoon III

Quadrilateral Cowboy

Blendo is one of the more distinctive game companies out now, with games like Atom Zombie Smasher and 30 Flights of Loving. Their IndieCade submission is Quadrilateral Cowboy, about navigating security systems in a cyberpunk world. 

As they put it, "Armed with a 56.6k modem and a staggering 256k RAM, it means only one thing: you answer to the highest bidder." 

Reus 

A 2D PC God game, Reus recently gained a great deal of popularity during the Steam Summer Sale. 

In this game by Abbey Games, you play as 4 giants that affect the ecosystems and surface or your world. 

Rogue Legacy

A 2D rogue-"LITE" from Cellar Door Games, Rogue Legacy operates on a innovative concept where every time your character dies you get to replace them with an heir. 

The game features several interesting quirks, including characters that are colorblind or suffer from vertigo, which affects the way you play them. 

Rollers of the Realm 

From developer Phantom Compass, Rollers of the Realm features an innovative take on the RPG, combining it with pinball. 

 

Save The Date

An experimental meta-narrative game from Paper Dino, featuring unconventional storytelling techniques and a just having dinner with friends. 

simian.interface

From developer vested interest, simian.interface is a game that "has no time limits, no way to lose, and no controls besides the mouse." 

The game promises to be fun for all ages, and combines a lot of things traditionally found in tabletop puzzles, but also in other forms of gaming. 

Sokobond

"Crafted with love and science," Alan Hazelden & Harry Lee created a game that combines chemistry and thoughtful puzzles. 

Sokobond is available now on Mac/PC/Linuxs. 

soundodger 

A game about bullets and music from Studio Bean.  "Each level features hand-crafted choreography of bullet patterns that must be dodged in order to perform for the entirety of a song." 

Spaceteam 

If you've ever looked at a room of people all on their cell phones and thought, "hey, they could be playing a game together," than Spaceteam is for you. 

Created by Henry Smith, it's a cooperative party game for 2-4 players where each player needs to be on a mobile or tablet device. 

Spin The Bottle: Bumpie's Party 

A party game for 2-8 people, the game has all participants sit around the Wii  U Gamepad to "spin the bottle" before two players are selected to participate in physical challenges involving the Wiimote. 

starseed pilgrim

A game about exploration and "tending a symphonic garden," Starseed Pilgrim involves learning your surrounding and escaping an encroaching blackness, while building up to create a larger and larger garden. 

Created by Droqen and Ryan Roth, the game is incredibly melodic and calls upon the idea of embracing fate. 

Super T.I.M.E. Force 

With the original concept created in a brief amount of time, Super Time Force is a fascinating game that will "melt hearts and minds." 

An XBLA shooter, it utilizes a unique mechanic of movement through time. When you die, you can go back and try again, but your previous self will still be there. In this way, you can create a great deal of insane action. 

That Dragon, Cancer 

A biographical journey, this game follows the story of Joel as he endures his sons three year battle with cancer. The game takes place inside a Children's Hospital. 

Having seen the game being played at PAX, it's incredibly moving experience. "With poetry, spoken word, light puzzle solving, and immersive sound design with a sparse orchestral score, we aim to create a poem the player can get lost in emotionally." 

Towerfall

The Ouya exclusive (for now), is a couch fighting game for up to four players. With archery based combat, it evokes a retro Super Smash Brothers.

Developed by Matt Makes Games, Towerfall was also featured in the PAX 10 this year at PAX Prime. 

Upgrade Soul

An "immersive digital graphic novel," Uprgrade Soul tells the story of a couple of wealthy science buffs that decide to spend their money creating a cure for their old age. As long as they are the first in line. 

 

Movers and Shakers

A "serious" two person tablet game that intends to create conflict outside of the scope of the tablet it's being played on, Movers and Shakers involves two people controlling the movement of lava through the center of the Earth to get the Earth back on track after a disaster. The game involves real time strategy, individual goals, and a boardgame-like interface. 

7 Grand Steps

"An intimate, board-like game, just for you," 7 Grand Steps promises to allow you to experience your own successive generations. 

Melded into this games DNA is a narrative, board-game like structure, and elements of historical simulation games. 

BUDLR 

Intended to be played in a large public space, BUDLR is controlled by text-message. A "four player bomb blasting bonanza," anyone can participate if they text to the phone number associated with their character.  

Color Zen

A puzzle game by Large Animal Games, it is another game that features no points and no penalties for failure. In Color Zen, you are taught a simple mechanic which then morphs into puzzle challenges. 

With a meditative soundtrack and distinctive design, you are meant to simply melt into the Color Zen

Dominique Pamplemousse

Some games defy simple explanation. Dominique Pamplemousse is one of those games. From Deirdra Kiai, it is an innovative interactive, stop-motion musical comedy. It's also a noir. About a woman detective trying to locate a missing pop-star. 

It's a one of a kind game. 

FREEQ

An audio-adventure game set in the future, FREEQ's premise is that your mobile device is an antenna, which allows you tap in and eavesdrop on signals from the future. 

FREEQ operates with a "unique storytelling engine," which allows you experience a wide variety of situations and controls who speaks to whom. With a nod back to classic radio dramas, and an eye towards the distant future, FREEQ 
promises to be a unique experience. 

Gravity Ghost 

Correctly called the indie Super Mario GalaxyGravity Ghost is about a 12-year old ghost girl searching for her lost friend. 

The game is anti-penalty, and features a beautiful watercolor like backdrop, music from the composer of FTL, and a mechanic that will have you exploring for hours. 

Journal

An interactive game set inside a journal about exploring a world through character interaction and dialogue rather than puzzles. The game has you decide the fate of a lone girl character, with her decisions in the past shaping her life in the future. 

Created by Richard Perrin, the game is meditative and grounded. 

Mainichi

An experiment by the artist and designer Mattie Brice, Mainichi is about sharing a personal experience through a game system. 

Mattie Brice is a multi-racial transgender woman, and the game explores a day in her life. It's a study in mechanics and in empathy through action. 

Outer Wilds

An atmospheric space exploration game, Outer Wilds allows you to embark on a comic expedition. 

The game allows you to experience an alien world for 20 minutes. During that time, you get to see the world through a first person perspective as it evolves and grows. After those 20 minutes, however, the sun goes supernova. And the universe ends. 

Pivvot

"A thrilling game of strategic avoidance," you can find Pivvot in the iOS app store as well as on Steam Greenlight. 

A two button game, Pivvot promises to test your reflexes and reaction times. 

Potatoman Seeks the Troof

A PC/Mac/Linux advneture game, Potatoman Seeks the Troof promises to be a surreal experience in short form. 

The 'Troof" is always out of grasp as you help Potatoman search for the riddle across a myriad of environments. 

Project Holodeck 

A embodies VR gaming platform, Project Holodeck seeks to combine the Oculus Rift with "motion tracking hardware" with the goal of creating a "playspace for two players." 

SCALE 

A first person reality manipulation game, SCALE is all about manipulation of size. In a fresh take on size. 

Make a flower large enough to stand on. Forget think in Portals. Think in terms of SCALE. 

 

Sim Cell


An interactive look inside cells, SimCell asks you to play the part of a nanobot, manipulating organelles and cell structures to help save the cell from a virus attack. 

With multiple levels of zoom, SimCell creates a diverse array of options and interactions. 

SoundSelf 

Inspired by an experience taking acid (LSD) at Burning Man, Robin Arnott created a game about the sensual exploration of sound and image. 

The game is designed to sort of lull you into a trance, and is about the "pleasure of playing instead of the rewards of winning." 

Tower No Tumble 

A game that combines tabletop shuffleboard and Jenga, Tower No Tumble is a party game meant to be played with 1-4 people. The game gives you points for jostling the precarious tower, but knock it down and you gain no points. 

The game has three modes, including Cooperative, Competitive and Silly. 

Tenya Wanya Teens 

A game about rocking out, Tenya Wanya Teens is about that "awkward transition from childhood to adulthood." 

The game is a party game with two players with 16 buttons each and a custom LED controller. 

Valdis Story: Abyssal City 

A 2D side scrolling exploration platformer from Endless Fluff, Valdis Story: Abyssal City is game that promises complicated and rewarding combat and customization. 

You can play as one of 4 characters in the war against demons and angels in an attempt to uncover the truth. 

Word Realms 

A combination word-puzzle game with RPG elements, World Realms combines humor and creative play to craft a unique experience. 

Developer Asymmetric says; "Combined with thousands and thousands of lines of written banter, gameplay is challenging and funny in equal proportions." 

Published Sep. 12th 2013

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Former rugby player, social media person, and occasional writer.

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