Thursday, November 05, 2009


The entry list for the annual Independent Games Festival is always great fun to read, because there are always a few games that are, well, a little strange. The full list is here, but since I know you're lazy, here are a few of the zany highlights.

1. 78641
Saluton!! GZ Storm is now proudly to present – 78641 – the classic Esperanto-language adventure game now playing first time in Language English!!!

You are frying pan face in which you have doing the living on several occasion. Do thing!! Have fun!!! You can do it!!! Push the button on the planet moon also carton game also finances simulation. Also and then plus some more!!!

John Walker of Rock, Paper, Shotgun played 78641 and had this to say:
It’s, um, sort of an adventure game, but mostly an exercise in surrealism. And unlike most things that people label “surreal”, this isn’t just “silly” or saying “fish” a lot – it’s a genuinely surreal and often unsettling experience. In the game you play Doug Beachez, a frying pan. Who sells dildos.

If you think this is all insane (and it may well be), remember that these are the same guys who developed Barkley, Shut Up And Jam: Gaiden, which is a cult classic.

2. Capoeira Legends: Path to Freedom - Chapter 1
Developer's description:
Capoeira Legends takes place in the surroundings of the Rio de Janeiro city, by the year of 1828. Some Black people, Indians and white people lived in organized communities called "mocambos", under constant threat from ranchers and politicians who defended slavery. In the urban areas, capoeiras did incredible feats that terrorized the government: the liberation of slaves from ranches, and their transportation, through the jungle, to the safety and freedom offered by those illegal camps. Amongst the main mocambos stablished in the country, the biggest one of them, on the Serra da Estrela, served as an example of rebellion and perseverance in the fight against slavery. The Mocambo da Estrela's leader owes his life to Mestre Vuê, a legendary Capoeirista who, thirty years before, prevented his murder, and who since then, fights for the security of the camping. It is of his responsibility the preparation of the defenders created in the philosophycal and mystical principles of the Capoeiragem, amongst whom a great hero is expected to show up (A Za), he who will protect the Mocambo.

Okay, I admit that "fights for the security of the camping" is quite the malaprop, but that's a hell of a story.

The developers of The Path are back, and just check out this game description:
FATALE is an interactive vignette in realtime 3D inspired by the biblical story of Salome.
Salome was a Judean princess who demanded the decapitation of John the Baptist as a reward for dancing for her stepfather, King Herod. In the late 19th century, Oscar Wilde wrote a stage play in which Salome falls in love with the prophet and demands his head so she could kiss his lips. It is this version of the ancient tale that inspired FATALE.

In my book, anyone who demands decapitation for dancing is worthy of their own game. Maybe two.

4. Heritage
Developer description:
Forced by need and honor, the last surviving family of a seafaring people have journeyed half-way around the world to bring an end to their civil war. Upon landfall they all made a solemn vow to their ancestors - they would turn their backs on the sea until this quest was complete. The spirits of their ancestors were listening… and will be watching.

Heritage is a hybrid strategy/role-playing game where players control a family of heroes over several generations. Players choose the type of people their heroes become, how their society will develop, and what legacies they will leave the next generation - all while exploring a strange new continent.

This doesn't even sound strange, just great. It evokes memories of King of Dragon Pass, a staggeringly wonderful game that was never appreciated. Win win win.

Ironically, going to the game's website indicates that the entry into IGF was actually pulled because they didn't think the game was ready. Hurry up, guys--I'm already standing in line, and there are people gathering behind me.

5. Knight Of The Living Dead
The description is epic:
"I prophesied his arrival, the perfect knight. He who would achieve the holy grail. And so he did, Sir Galahad. But his chivalry and piety and purity is called upon once more, for a grave menace has risen from Camelot's soil: Zombies!"
-Merlin, ten knights later

6. Legie
Another epic description:
Legie is a unique combination of 3D adventure and "classic" dungeon with dark story about innkeeper, beer and the devil in Czech medieval town Jilemnice.

That's right: inkeeper, beer, and the devil. Awesome.

7. Matches & Matrimony
Developer description:
Mr. Darcy or Mr. Wickham? Col. Brandon or Capt. Wentworth? Matches & Matrimony is a game set in the novels of Jane Austen. Entering the Victorian era as a daughter in the famous Bennet family, players can chart their own course for Ms. Bennet, choosing outcomes that Ms. Austen never dreamed of.

That's right--Jane Austen FTW.

8. Underworld Hockey Club
First off, this must be the greatest game name ever, and the description is even better:
Lucifer has decided that the victims in the Underworld have become too tolerant of the beatings and the miserable life in the Underworld. To make them realize how miserable their existences really are, he has ordered one month of the year to be the month of the tournament. In this month, an arena of Obsidian and glass will be built, where victims can enjoy their time in the Underworld before returning to their fates...Win all regular tournaments and challenge Lucifer for the Blood Cup and a ticket out of the Underworld!

That's how I plan to escape the Underworld after my death--by playing hockey. I also plan on learning how to skate first.

There you go. There are 306 entries in total, so there's plenty to keep you busy, and a few great games always emerge at IGF, so take a look and see if you spot anything promising.

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