IGF 2013

Explore 7,000 years of family history in 7 Grand Steps

Katie Williams at

7 Grand Steps looks like a beautiful, compelling, hyper-intricate game. Out today, the board-game-like historical tale will have you traversing 7,000 years as easily as dropping coins into a slot.

Starseed Pilgrim plants onto Steam on April 16

Phil Savage at

Starseed Pilgrim, the experimental 2D platformer and nominee for the IGF's Excellence in Design award, is getting a Steam release next week. Speaking to Joystiq, developer Droqen revealed the game would be available from April 16th, as part of Steam's deal to bring all IGF nominees to the platform. It's a game about creating bridges, destroying pathways and "embracing fate"... Or something. Based on the trailer, I'm not entirely sure what's going on.

Hypersexed Hypertext: Porpentine and the Twine text game revolution

Cara Ellison at

Porpentine is a game designer, writer, and curator for freeindiegam.es. She primarily makes Twine games, which are choose your own adventure style games that are accessible, short, and welcoming. You can play them in a browser on your lunchbreak with some headphones on.

But in my mind Porpentine looks like a hot cyberpunk cyborg, eyes aglow, a textual goddess alight with burning fluorescent punctuation. She does not walk anywhere: she glides, riffing in smeared lipstick, sly grin, sylph-like limbs; those she touches have typography bleed up their arms and flash into their bursting hearts. I am Molly from Neuromancer interfacing with her as I listen to percussive pop beats, type questions to her in IM. Gchat is now an early 90s cyberconduit to the Porpentine mainframe. She’s a queer tranarchafeminist, a cyberqueen, a Twine weaver, and so many other things besides. Her tendrils stroke the internet, provoking.

GDC 2013: Your guide to the IGF grand finalists

Tom Senior at

The IGF winners will be announced on Wednesday alongside the GDC awards in San Francisco. The Independent Games Festival has turned out another strong field of nominees, some of which you can play entirely for free right now. Here's your guide to the Seumas McNally Grand Prize at the IGF awards 2013, with interviews and details on the five finalists, Cart Life, FTL, Little Inferno, Hotline Miami and Kentucky Route Zero.

IGF announces shortlist for Best Student Game

Phil Savage at

The 15th Independant Games Festival award shortlist already contains plenty of weird and wonderful indies. Now the IGF's organisers have announced their contenders for the best student game of last year. It's a strong list of quirky, experimental and mostly free games that are well worth trying. More importantly, a quick search shows that we haven't covered the excellent Zineth before. This just won't do!

Kentucky Route Zero Act I released, get your magical realist adventure gaming here

Tom Sykes at

Games Set in Caves are the new Games Not Set in Caves - I'm calling it now. Between Knytt Underground, Double Fine's The Cave, Cavenaut, and probably a million other gloomy splelunking games, the humble hole in the ground has been getting a lot of love of late. We can now add IGF nomineeKentucky Route Zero to the list. It's a beautiful adventure game about a "secret highway in the caves beneath Kentucky", and its first act has just been released for $7.

Independent Games Festival 2013 entries revealed

Craig Pearson at

The Independent Games Festival, the longest running and best-known competition for independent developers, have just announced the list of games up for the 2013 Main Competition. A record-breaking 589 entrants have been selected, with a range of games that boggle the mind in scope and theme. There's something for everyone.

You probably just snarked at the screen and said: "Oh really? Is there a puzzle game based on the relation between regular expressions and finite state machines?" Well no-one likes a grumpy Gus. And yes, there totally is.