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The War of the Bundles has seen armies of indies flock to more different flags than a Game of Thrones LARPing expedition. Right now, Humble Bundle are clearly at the head of the fray, securing a constant drip of reinforcements with their Weekly Sale. This is a battle that's only going to escalate, until someone releases every single game in one Bundle A-Bomb of mutually assured wallet destruction. It'll all end in tears. Mark my words. Until then, we may as well enjoy being collateral damage - especially when it means a pay-what-you-want deal for the entirety of Blendo Games' back catalogue.
You can play free trials of 16 IGF-nominated games right now using cloud-streaming service, OnLive. For the next two weeks you can log in and play 30 minute demos of games like Dear Esther, Dustforce, Frozen Synapse, Space Chem and, as Tom mentioned earlier, the excellent FTL. When GDC kicks off next week all OnLive games formerly nominated for IGF awards will be discounted by 75% There's a list of links to the OnLive demo page for each IGF nominee below. You'll need to sign up for a free OnLive account first to get access.
The finalists of this year's Independent Games Festival have been announced. A wide range of promising indie titles have received nominations including Dear Esther to Frozen Synapse, Spelunky and Gunpoint, made by our own Tom Francis, who is several feet behind me watching looking very happy and watching videos of bees. It's a fantastic line-up across the board. It'll be a very tough task for the judges to pick out victors. Until then, have a look at the list below, and let us know which games you think should take awards.
This month Graham returned from behind enemy lines with an exclusive first look at Company of Heroes 2. He didn't come alone, though. He also rescued thousands of Steam codes for the original Company of Heroes, proudly marching back into the office like that bit in Captain America except with a mild-mannered Scotsman instead of Captain America and Steam codes instead of people. The new game is set on the Russian front of World War 2, hence the impressive-looking Soviet officer on this month's cover. You can read more in Graham's summary, and get all the details in the magazine.
If you haven't been following the drama afflicting the PC gaming community throughout the warmer months, you may not be aware that Steam is well overdue for its annual, wallet-eviscerating Summer Sale. It's that joyous time of year when we forward our paychecks directly to Valve for lots of cheap reasons to not go outside and face the angry, merciless sun. After having heard barely a peep about its absence from Gabe and Co well into July, a Redditor named Dweezy has stumbled in out of the desert proclaiming that the time is nearly upon us.
When indie game designer Brendon Chung isn't making games like Flotilla and Atom Zombie Smasher, he's producing entries in his first-person Citizen Abel series. The last was Gravity Bone, a stylish short story about a spy. It's free, and you should probably play it. The next game in the series is Thirty Flights of Loving, and you should definitely play it. It's another first-person short story, requires no previous knowledge of the series, and it's about a heist. The trailer is above. Without spoiling any of the story, I'm going to convince you why you should pay money for something you'll finish playing in less time than it took me to write this article.
Last night the 12th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards took place in San Francisco. The awards ceremony celebrates the "creativity, artistry and technical genius of the finest developers and games." It was hosted by Epic’s Cliff Bleszinski. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim brought home the bacon with Game of the Year, but Portal 2 brought home three different types of bacon: Game Design, Best Audio and Best Narrative. Fledgling developers Super Giant took recieved two awards for the innovative Bastion: Best Debut and Best Downloadable Game. Battlefield 3 took Best Technology, but not best Visual Arts which was awarded to PS3’s Uncharted 3. Boo! The 14th Annual Independent Games Festival Awards happened before the show. They’re about encouraging innovation and recognisng the best indie devs about. Our Tom was nominated for his excellently designed indie, Gunpoint. He was pipped to the post by one of his favourite game designers, Derek Yu, though so I doubt he’s that upset. Fez took the coveted Seumas McNally Grand Prize. Click through for the list of nominees and winners. Congratulations to everyone involved!
Every month, we present you with a roundup of the best free PC games that have been recently released. What we haven’t done before is sit down and think about all the best free PC games knocking around the internet at the moment, eventually formatting them into a big old list feature. We think it’s about time we sorted that out.