Games, game stuff, game design stuff

I’ve been playing different games and juggling work duties during the whole 2 weeks (or was it 3?) I’ve been out. I initially thought replacing dial-up service with broadband was overkill, since we mostly use the Internet for emails and regular browsing, but it’s turning out to be different. Now bittorrent downloads, RSS feeds, and indie games exposure is easily filling our hard drive up with a LOT of junk – and my head with even more ideas as well.

There are a lot of interactive fiction mini-comps right now, but I took a short break from IF to check out other independent games and see what’s been happening.

My stops included the excellent “Best Of” lists over at Independent Gaming, and the posts over at Gnome’s Lair, and which caters not only to graphical adventures, but also SHMUPS, platformers, and puzzlers. The “Best Of” lists he compiled showcased a lot of new and interesting games, like Knytt Stories, Flywrench, Toribash, and Clean Asia. These games don’t have a lot to offer in terms of graphics, so I knew my siblings would have been ticked off, but it did more than make up for it in gameplay and addictiveness.

What I liked about these games was there’s a lot of exploration and experimenting (for Toribash) going on, and there really isn’t a lot of pressure for the player to advance on to the next level or to the next area. Just try again – no big deal. What I did wish for, however, was that I had my brother’s “twitch” capabilities – his fingers are very adept at console games, something I badly need especially in Flywrench. If you don’t mind retro-ish graphics as long as there’s solid gameplay, check these games out.

I’ve also seen some new games developed by designers such as Jenova Chen (who now has another game called flOw and is working on a PS3 game), and remakes of older games (check out the browser game Thule Trail, the remake of The Oregon Trail). There’s also tons of designer interviews, from people like Dave Gilbert to Jenova Chen to Roberta Williams to Jonathan Blow to Derek Yu.

All thanks to Google Reader – at least that one hasn’t been blocked by the company firewall. 😛

Now if I could just convince the folks abroad to buy me a full copy of Aquaria