The 12th Annual Independent Games Festival is almost upon us, and has a huge selection of submissions to check out. There’s a record 306 entries, covering a huge range of genres. Lewie Procter at SavvyGames has completed part one of a ‘Pretend you are an IGF judge‘ series, which usefully brings together all the publicly available submitted games, so you can check them out yourself.
The sheer volume of games is pretty intimidating, but there’s sure to be tons of great stuff. I’ve already reviewed AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! — A Reckless Disregard for Gravity, which I love and Terry Cavanagh’s excellent Don’t Look Back is also there, alongside his upcoming and highly anticipated VVVVVV (no demo for this yet, sniff!).
While publishing giant Activision’s Modern Warfare 2 will break barriers by allowing you to be a brutal terrorist, these indie developers are proving that you don’t need to shock or ask ridiculous moral non-choices of your players to do something revolutionary with video games or story telling. There’s also a wealth of humor, weirdness and creative enthusiasm that I feel is lacking from many of the season’s big upcoming releases – which unless I’m forgetting something are all sequels. While there is certainly lots of good stuff to play, like Hollywood before it, the games industry seems stuck in a blockbuster-sequel cycle, making it seem difficult for genuinely new games to make their mark.