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Indie Nation

Indie Nation: 2x0ng photo
Indie Nation: 2x0ng

Breakout and permadeath combine to create 2x0ng


Indie Nation: 2x0ng
May 05
// Patrick Hancock
Classic games like Arkanoid and Breakout are always a blast to play. I think one of my first "mobile games" was one of their clones, before smartphones were the phenomenon they are today, of course. I've j...
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This is what happens when SRPGs and Football combine


Indie Nation: Footbrawl Quest
Feb 03
// Patrick Hancock
It's SuperBowl Sunday, making it the most appropriate time ever to talk about Footbrawl Quest, a free football SRPG with randomly generated maps. So if you don't care whether or not birds are better than gold hunters (they ar...
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Indie Nation: A Fistful of Gun


A Faceful of Joy
Jan 18
// Patrick Hancock
A Fistful of Gun is a combination of a classic beat-'em-up like Turtles in Time and a shoot-'em-up like Jamestown. So naturally, I'm deeming it a sheat-'em-up. No, wait, that sounds terrible. A boot-'em-up? Better, but still not that great... How about a boosh-'em-up? Yeah, I'll go with that one. A Fistful of Gun is the best goddamn boosh-'em-up of all time. 
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Indie Nation: Evoland


My how short we've come!
Dec 08
// Patrick Hancock
Videogames sure have come a long way, haven't they? Well, then again, maybe they haven't. Sure, games now are way more advanced than they were twenty years ago. But what about the untapped potential within the medium? Videoga...
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Indie Nation: Zineth


80% Jet Grind Radio, 20% Pokemon
Nov 03
// Patrick Hancock
Jet Grind Radio is my favorite game of all time. I don't care that people think it no longer holds up -- its place is solidified in my mind as number one. It's a decade old and still has more style and better character design...

Indie Nation: Venus Patrol games

Oct 13 // Patrick Hancock
Gun Godz has a z instead of an s in its name for a reason: it doesn't give a shit. This is a pure, unadulterated, and enjoyable romp in the vein of older first-person shooter games like Doom or Duke Nukem. Each level will ask you to accomplish three goals: kill everyone, get all the items, and perform a speedrun. Doing these objectives will net you Triangles. At least, that's what I'm calling them. As you accrue Triangles, you begin to unlock secret stages, which are easily the best levels in the game. Gun Godz is so unapologetic it hurts. That kind of rush that only comes from using a minigun to mow down an entire room of enemies is something I haven't had the joy of experiencing in a very long time. You know exactly what you're getting while running through the regular stages, which is exactly what makes the secret levels so much more entertaining. The standard levels are simple and effective, but it almost seems as if they're just easing you in to the secret levels. While the standard levels are linear murder-filled romps, the secret levels are essentially puzzles. For example, the first secret level gives you as few bullets as possible for you to clear out the level, so if you mess up even once then you've failed. I don't want to spoil the others, but they are each unique. If you ever read about Gun Godz and the writer fails to mention the music, stage a protest. The music in Gun Godz is…..well here, just listen to the title music: [embed]236275:45343:0[/embed] It's hip-hop, it's electronic, it's freakin' weird. It fits the oddball and hectic theme of the game incredibly well, however and I wouldn't have it any other way. Oh god, I can't stop listening to it! All I can say is thank you, Kozilek, for reminding me that I love a style of music I've never heard before. Capsule is an incredible game. What it manages to pull off with so little is astounding. It's a purely atmospheric game that gets me as tense and nervous as any big-time horror title ever has (aside: I am a scaredy-cat when it comes to this stuff). All Capsule consists of is traveling through space, looking for various space stations to dock at while keeping your Power and Oxygen in check. Each space station also has some message logs that help set the eerie tone and string you along to each new area. Capsule has both a minimalistic look and feel, but that doesn't detract from the game at all; in fact, it works in its favor. The sound design is the true star of Capsule. The sound is done by Robin Arnott, perhaps most famous for his work on Deep Sea, a terrifying audio-only game about escaping "unseen terrors." The sound of hulking metal moving through space combined with the harrowing sound of breathing makes for one of the most intense experiences ever. It acts as a staunch reminder that the sound design in videogames is just as important as any other aspect. Too often do consumers get caught up on the graphic fidelity of the game and too often are the smaller -- but just as important -- details overlooked and ignored. Gun Godz and Capsule are two very different, yet excellent games. 
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The Sound of Music
Venus Patrol is a great idea. An indie-focused website hosted by none other than Brandon Boyer who, among other things, is the chairman of the Independent Game Festival. There's a subscription model for Venus Patrol that nets...

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Indie Nation: Inside a Star-filled Sky


Sep 10
// Patrick Hancock
The concept of infinity can be hard to grasp. Other than the Energizer Bunny, space, and Buzz Lightyear, there is not much regular exposure to the concept of something that goes on forever and ever and doesn't stop. Our puny ...
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Indie Nation: To the Moon


Aug 25
// Patrick Hancock
[That's right, Indie Nation is back! Every so often, we'll highlight some of the best independent games available.] I know, I know. There has been next to no coverage of the indie adventure game To the Moon on this site. On b...
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Indie Nation: 78641 - A Targ Adventure


Aug 31
// Anthony Burch
Our "Indie Nation" series highlights worthwhile, independently-produced games. Oh hello I did not see you come in! You have played with the Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden game and enjoyed, yes? Good news! GZ Storm...
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Indie Nation: Ergon/Logos


Aug 29
// Anthony Burch
Our Indie Nation series highlights cool independent games.What is this? An interactive poem? A fast-paced Choose Your Own Adventure? A smarmy existentialist critique of videogames and the status quo? A silly bit of conceptual...

Indie Nation: Immortal Defense

Aug 21 // Anthony Burch
[embed]144668:21658:0[/embed] I first tried ID a long time ago, but gave up after a few minutes of playing because I was evidently an idiot back then and couldn't wrap my head around the absurdly intuitive and simple interface. Maybe the abstract graphics confused me, or something. I dunno. I'm not proud of myself. A couple weeks ago, I got an email from a reader suggesting I check it out -- not necessarily for the gameplay, he said, but because of what he felt was a fantastic story.  So I downloaded the demo. Beat it. Bought the full game. Beat it. It's a damn good game. The story is delivered through text-based dialogue at the beginning of each level (one might be tempted to compare it to Braid, but given that the story acts as a reward for successful level completion the narrative bits feel more like the full-motion cut scenes from the Command and Conquer games), and basically explains that you, the protagonist, have given up your body so that your spirit can fight on the ethereal plane and defend your planet against an alien invasion. The story is unobtrusive, well-written, and pleasantly minimalist. That said, I don't know ID's narrative would be any worse in the form of a short story. The game tells a pretty solid tale  during its first half when the player and protagonist's ideals line up perfectly, but it begins to unravel slightly near the end when the player starts getting wise to the overall plot, at which point the hero's goals (protect his family and home planet at all costs) conflict with the player's (complete the game, have fun, see the rest of the story). Immortal Defense is definitely one of the better narratively linear games I've played, but I can't help but feel like it overreaches in the final few acts. But that's all window dressing. Immortal Defense's gameplay is what really makes it worth the $15 asking price. Yes, I know -- fifteen dollars, practically a goddamn king's ransom where indie games are concerned (despite the fact that sixty dollars retail games Assassin's Creed blah blah blah). For your money, though, you'll get access to one hundred levels of progressively difficult and complex levels, culminating in one of the most epic, wonderfully protracted final battles I've ever seen in a strategy game. The basic premise is as follows: each level consists of some sort of line drawing in space. Enemies start at one point on the line, and trace every countour of it until reaching the design's endpoint, where they presumably enter your home planet and begin killing people. As the immaterial defender of your planet, your job is to set up little attack towers along the line path and take the baddies out before they can traverse the course. It's pretty basic tower defense stuff, except the minimalist level design does a spectacular job of informing the player and focusing his or her attention on what to do. You don't have to worry about the bad guys changing course, or moving somewhere you might not expect: they will travel across the line, and only on the line. You know exactly where they are going, and thus have more power to strategize and plan ahead than you might in, say, PixelJunk Monsters. It's a little too easy to get through most of the game just by placing every single tower you have right next to the enemy spawn point, but there's still enough of a gradual difficulty increase that I never got bored, even when playing for hours at a time. I typically hate the tower defense genre (Plants vs Zombies and Lock's Quest notwithstanding), and was thus truly surprised to see myself power through all one hundred levels of Immortal Defense. Granted, I began to suck near the last act of the game and may have lowered the difficulty a bit (and by "a bit", I may mean "all the way") in order to see the rest of the story, but I still had some serious fun with Immortal Defense. Perhaps you will, too.
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Destructoid's "Indie Nation" series (semi)regularly highlights interesting, independently-developed games. Immortal Defense is a tower defense game for people who abhor tower defense games. Or people who like them. Or people ...

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Indie Nation: Where's An Egg?


Aug 07
// Anthony Burch
Our Indie Nation series highlights interesting, independently-made games. I will be the first to admit that Where's an Egg? has some of the least interesting base gameplay you'll ever see highlighted on Indie Nation (and that...
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Indie Nation: Time Gentlemen, Please


Jul 24
// Anthony Burch
Our Indie Nation series highlights interesting videogames from -- wait for it -- independent developers.Amusement, and shame. These are the two emotions that every single classic LucasArts adventure game inspires in me. I lau...
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Indie Nation: Research and Development


Jul 19
// Anthony Burch
Our "Indie Nation" series highlights kickass independent games.Here is everything you need to know about Research and Development:- You can download it here  - Despite being a mod, it is better than the entiret...
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Indie Nation: Handle With Care


Jul 18
// Anthony Burch
Our "Indie Nation" series highlights interesting games from the world of independents.Handle With Care, the sequel to Polaris and second game in Robert Yang's Radiator series, came out yesterday. It's interesti...
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Indie Nation: Mr. Mullet


Jul 15
// Anthony Burch
Indie Nation is an irregularly-scheduled series that highlights good independent games.Mr. Mullet by This Is Pop is probably one of the least funny games on the entire Adult Swim Web site, but it is also undoubtedly one of th...
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Indie Nation: Drug Wars


Jul 10
// Anthony Burch
Indie Nation is about independent games. You could have probably guessed that.To the best of my recollection, I've never played a game quite like Drug Wars. After a remarkably turbulent, accidental release on Steam a couple o...
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Indie Nation: MoneySeize


Jul 07
// Anthony Burch
At irregular intervals, "Indie Nation" highlights interesting games from the independent scene. I'm tempted to call Matt Thorson the king of indie platfomers, which may sound weird considering I've never highlighted...
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Indie Nation: Rosemary


Jul 02
// Anthony Burch
Indie Nation highlights interesting, independently-made games. Which you probably could have guessed.I have a confession to make: I'm not really a fan of the indie adventure game scene. Apart from the odd deconstructionist wo...
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Indie Nation: AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!!


Jun 30
// Anthony Burch
"Indie Nation" highlights interesting games from the independent scene. Series installments are written pretty much whenever we feel like it. I've tried to start this post about a dozen times, forever attempting to write an o...
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Indie Nation: Curse


Jun 26
// Anthony Burch
Every week, Destructoid highlights interesting, innovative, or just plain odd independent games for its "Indie Nation" series.After three weeks of heady, combat-free first-person shooter modifications, what say we d...
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Indie Nation: Polaris


Jun 19
// Anthony Burch
Half-Life 2's Source engine may well be one of the most reliably satisfying pieces of technology in the modern gaming world. It gave us gravity guns, zombie hordes, portal physics -- and now, of all things, a stargazing simul...
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Indie Nation #64: Conscientious Objector


Jun 12
// Anthony Burch
Conscientious Objector is a Doom 3 mod by thechineseroom, the same academic group who created Dear Esther. Despite the fact that Dear Esther couldn't possibly be more stylistically or mechanically different thanObjector, both...
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Indie Nation 63: Dear Esther


May 29
// Anthony Burch
I have to admit -- I heard about Dear Esther from RockPaperShotgun, and their writeup is probably superior to whatever it is I'm about to blather on about regarding this moody Half-Life 2 mod.Dear Esther is an incredibly slow...
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Indie Nation #62: Perri's Games


May 22
// Anthony Burch
You may know Anthony Perri from his position as Resident Person Named Anthony Who Isn't Anthony Burch in the Destructoid community.* But did you also know that he makes artgames, as well? Surprisingly good, minimalist artgame...
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Indie Nation #61: Today I Die


May 15
// Anthony Burch
Every Friday, Destructoid highlights a fun, innovative, or just plain interesting independently-made game for our Indie Nation series. I've been putting off highlighting Daniel Benmergui's work for months, but now that Today ...
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Indie Nation #60: Spewer


May 08
// Jonathan Holmes
Anthony is letting me fill in for him this week on Indie Nation. Now, on to the good news. Spewer is a new puzzle/platformer from the creative team of Eli Piilonen (Stranded) and Edmund McMillen (Super Meat Boy), and it's way...
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Indie Nation #59: Windosill


May 01
// Anthony Burch
If you've ever played a flash-based, pointer controlled adventure game with no inventory puzzles like, say, Samorost (or Myst, if you don't know what Samorost is), Windosill belongs to that as-yet-unnamed game genre. Whatever...
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Indie Nation #58: Igneous


Apr 24
// Anthony Burch
Every Friday, Destructoid highlights a fun, interesting, or just plain weird game produced without funding from a major publisher for our "Indie Nation" series.I understand how boring that screenshot looks, but that...
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Indie Nation #57: Enviro-Bear 2000


Apr 17
// Anthony Burch
Every Friday, Destructoid highlights a fun, meaningful, or just plain interesting independently-made game for our "Indie Nation" series.  Voting is still open for TIGSource.com's Cockpit Competition, but regard...

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