Indie Games Ichiban Features

News: Bastion Joins the Pantheon of All-Time Great Downloadable Games

If you follow indie games at all, you've probably heard of Bastion. During its development, it took home numerous Best in Show prizes from E3 and other game conventions while building up an incredible amount of buzz in the games press. Part of what is intriguing about Bastion is its cool art design, which in the last couple months, peaked my interest more so than the gameplay or the much-ballyhooed narration.

News: Is Your Dream Gaming PC Worth It?

The last week has been a trying one for me. On Sunday, there were four computers in my office, three of which were broken. The fourth was not really a computer, but more of a collection of parts that were cobbled together for the purpose of constructing a PC that would sneer derisively at the mere mention of turning down any game's ambient occlusion settings.

News: Freemium Games Start Their US Invasion on the iOS Front

For more than a decade, free-to-play games with microtransactions (also called In-App Purchase or IAP) by which players can pay real money for in-game content have been the industry standard for online success in Asia. Mainstream American gamers have long resisted these "freemium" games, with World of Warcraft and other subscription based online games reigning supreme, and being seen as more AAA than their free-ish counterparts. Casual games developers have encountered no such problems, and m...

News: Next Professor Layton Game to Include 100-Hour Long Bonus RPG

Games have been getting shorter in length over the last decade. RPGs like The Elder Scrolls series are still tremendously long, but most single-player game experiences have gotten shorter as production values, costs, and manpower requirements to create them have gone up. It seems that elite Japanese developers Level-5 and Brownie Brown have decided to completely disregard that trend for their forthcoming collaborative effort Professor Layton and the Last Specter, which will feature what might...

PAX Prime: A Video Game Convention That's Actually Fun

There are a lot of fantastic video games out there. Indie Games Ichiban's bread and butter is making sure that you steer clear of the bad ones and embrace the good. But really, the biggest goal here is to help everyone have more fun. To that end, today a game is not recommended, but an event. If you like games—not just video games—but tabletop, board and even hopscotch, then PAX Prime is one of the best events you could possibly go to.

News: Totally Rad Shows Gnarly Side of Localization

Localizing a game is a task many do not fully understand. Not only do localizers have to translate the games they work on into a different language, but they have to translate it into a different culture as well. Oftentimes art assets, plot elements, and menu systems are changed to suit regional sensitivities. Japanese media tends to have their common drunkard characters removed or censored in American versions, for example.

News: Did George Plimpton Make a Falconry Game for ColecoVision?

George Plimpton may be one of the most interesting Americans ever. Foremost a sports journalist, he was also a novelist, Fireworks Commissioner for New York City and host of Mouseterpiece Theater. Some of you may also recognize him as one of the men who tackled Robert F. Kennedy's assassin, Sirhan Sirhan. But most of you probably remember him as the pitchman for products like Pop Secret Popcorn and the Intellivision video game console. Actually, his most appreciated work would probably be a s...

News: "Frankie Goes to Hollywood" Says: Welcome to the Pleasuredome!

The debate over whether video games can be considered art or not has intensified in recent years as games like Braid and Flow have taken the digital aesthetic experience to new heights. These new games are great examples, but there are much older ones that present compelling arguments as well. The best is a 1986 ZX Spectrum/Commodore 64/Amstrad CPC game called Frankie Goes To Hollywood.

News: Is the End Coming for Quadriplegic Gaming?

A century ago there wasn't much life available for quadriplegic people. Handicap accessibility was barely even a concept, and lacking medical technology kept any semblance of independence out of reach. Today those unfortunate enough to be paralyzed from the neck down have brighter prospects, but are still unable to participate in many activities. Video games are a great option for those who do not have the use of their legs, but for quadriplegics, the use of a standard controller is not an op...

Super Marrow Brothers: The Story of the Greatest Pun Ever

Playing Super Mario Brothers for the NES is the first thing I can ever remember doing, at age 3 sitting on the carpet at my grandparents' house. It was a special game for an entire generation, including British youths Andrej and Adam Zamoyski. It inspired them to eventually become video game testers and designers themselves; Andrej at Lionhead Studios and Adam at Headstrong Games, and then Zynga Mobile UK (until recently called Wonderland Software, developers of Godfinger for the iPhone).

News: It's Humble Indie Bundle Time! 5 Games for 'Name Your Price'

Since the beginning of last year, every six months or so the fine folks at Wolfire Games have gathered indie developers together to release a combo gaming pack called Humble Indie Bundle. Not only are the included games good, but the way one buys them is what makes Humble Indie Bundle one of the coolest products in games. Even better, Humble Indie Bundle #3 just came out last Tuesday and is available here for two weeks only.

News: Man Immortalizes Dead Fiancée in Virtual World

Death is tough for the living, and those who mourn do all sorts of odd things to cope with it. Some keep mementos, some build towering statues, others create memorial paintings or write sad songs, all of which are healthy in moderation. Honoring the dead has been around for so long, it's part of what makes us human. Recently, the practice of memorializing the dead has spread from the arts, religion, and ceremonial burial to video games.

News: Will Games Ruin Google+ Like They Ruined Facebook?

Last week, Google+ took a crucial step towards becoming exactly like Facebook. As of now, there are games available for download within the service, most notably Angry Birds, which is already available on at least one of the devices owned by everyone in America today. Some of the other popular games include Bejeweled Blitz and Zynga Poker, and out of all of the available titles, all come from four companies that have come to form the four-headed dragon of U.S. casual gaming: EA, Zynga, PopCap...

News: Life Simulates Video Games in FPS Russia – And Not in a Bad Way

It's one of the greatest fears among parents and politicians the world over—video game violence spilling out into reality. The shooting at Columbine and the more recent tragedy in Utøya, Norway have touched deep nerves in Western consciousness. And that's why there's a giant pink, juggling elephant in the corner of every production meeting and press conference for each shooter game that comes out.

News: Space Fish

Shoot across with stars in the odd and exotic world of Space Fish! Avoid spikes, skeletal fish, and cannon toting sea snails in 42 levels of challenge and intrigue. Come swim in deep space and collect olives while avoiding peril! Complete against other players for the best times in each level!

NORTHWAY Games: Cool Indies by a Restless Company on the Road

Game design is sedentary work. Generally its practitioners do their work with their butts planted securely in front of a computer in an office (be it home or away) as their muscles and verbal skills atrophy. Even game journalists are prone to this condition. Not so with Colin and Sarah Northway (pictured below), the husband and wife team behind NORTHWAY Games. Not only do they make really cool indie games, but they do it with just a laptop while traveling the world meeting indie developers of...

News: Mecha Spider Island

Play as a giraffe/frog hybrid to jump, shoot, and ride you way through 4 zones of action packed platforming fun in Mecha Spider Island! Collect powerups to increase your firepower, find hidden secrets to bonus zones, and make your way to the top of the island to confront the ultimate mechanized arachnoid foe!

News: Friday Not-So-Indie Game Review Roundup: Combat Racing

Deep in their heart of hearts, most Americans dream of having their car festooned with missile launchers and machine guns. Anyone who cuts them off or looks at them funny in traffic could be dispensed with quick and extreme justice, leaving a real-life James Bond and his passengers free to pursue their American dreams faster than everyone else. Racing games and shooting games are among the two most popular types of video games. So why aren't there more games where one can race cars and shoot ...

News: Portal Free to Download for a Limited Time!

Portal is game design milestone. Originally only available bundled in with larger cousins Half-Life 2 and Team Fortress 2 in The Orange Box, its creators, Valve Software, changed what first person gameplay could be. It's been a stand alone product for much of the four years since its release, but never an expensive one, usually available for $5 on Steam (also created by Valve). If that barrier to entry was too high for you, or you just never got around to trying it, there are no more excuses....

Realm of the Mad God: A Free Indie Browser Alternative to World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft has been on top of the world for seven years. No other MMO has come close to challenging its dominance of the genre, and it has generated billions of dollars for Blizzard. They have spent a lot of money adding more and more content, to the extent where the full game with all the expansion packs takes up 65 GB of hard drive space. It is a beautiful game; well balanced, and a milestone in the history of the medium.

News: XBox 360 Remake-O-Rama!

The aging and maturity of video games as a medium has lead to some unfortunate consequences. One of these, perhaps drawn from the film industry, is the spate of remakes that has overtaken the game market over the last few years. It hasn't been as bad as the remakeorama trend in cinema, but developers have recognized the value in releasing the same thing they already made and making more money off it. Below, a roundup of some remakes of classic games released for XBLA recently, some fantastic,...

News: Friday Indie Game Review Roundup: Old-New School

This week's FIGRR is all about games that are old-new (or new-old, if you like) school. Each celebrates a different vital, yet largely taken for granted, aspect of video game history in the decidedly new-school world of indie games. Their titles betray them. Blocks That Matter is all about blocks. Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is all about item shops. Neither are particularly sexy aspects of gaming, but both are ubiquitous elements of great games that can stand on their own.

News: PixelProspector Returns in Style with 75 Free Indie Games in 5 Minutes

After a decent amount of downtime, one of the best indie game sites on the internet has finally relaunched! PixelProspector is a one-man gaming blog and YouTube channel devoted to the weird and beautiful world of indie games. In the first half of 2010, it received a huge boost in popularity from its video 235 Free Indie Games in 10 Minutes, a hypnotic montage of the best indie games the site had to offer at that point. And to celebrate the relaunch of the blog, which now has an improved desig...

News: Omnicron

Test your might against the perilous onslaught of mechanized military weaponry, embryonic aliens, and demonic monsters! Click on blue things to absorb their energy and increase your killing power! Feed your need for fast paced, bullet dodging arcade action with Omnicron!