Brandon Boyer

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Every month, as part of the regular monthly meetings of the Austin, TX independent game community JUEGOS RANCHEROS, we do a very casual & chatty rundown of the ten or so games from the previous month — both local and global, and both indie and occasionally a bit-bigger-budget — for the audience, to give people — especially those curious onlookers from outside the indie community itself — a look at what they may have missed.

In keeping with the tongue-in-tobacco-packed-cheek tone, we call these run-downs A Fistful of Indies, which are be presented here on Venus Patrol for your reference, each fully-annotated, -linked, and off-the-cuff blurbed, in addition to their home on the JUEGOS RANCHEROS site.

Portal 2

Developer: Valve | Platform: Xbox 360, PS3 | Get it: Xbox 360, PS3, Steam

“…this one basically needs no introduction or explanation, so let’s just call it a reminder that if you haven’t played Portal 2 yet, go hit up Steam or Amazon as soon as we get done here.”

One Single Life

Developer: Freshtone Games | Platform: iPhone | Get it: AppStore

“…your goal is to run and jump across a series of rooftops, but the twist here is that while each jump is even more difficult than the last, you only get one chance to screw up — as in, if you misjudge your timing and fall, the entire game is over, like, forever.”

Soul Brother

Developer: Superflat Games | Platform: Web | Get it: Online

“…an exploratory platformer where you take possession of a series of creatures to work your way through its world. If you’ve played VVVVVV, or really any single screen games from the UK in the early 80s, you’ll feel right at home here.”

Frog Minutes

Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture | Platform: iPhone/iPad | Get it: AppStore

“…the polar opposite of Grasshopper’s Killer7 & No More Heroes, it’s a youthful-innocence zen experience where you catch bugs to feed to various frogs that you tease out of hiding.”

Lesbian Spider-Queens of Mars

Developer: Auntie Pixelante | Platform: Web | Get it: Online

“one of the most authentic retro-arcade games I’ve played in some time — it’s from a parallel universe where our earliest arcade hits were about bondage and submission. ”

Inchworm Animation

Developer: Flat Black Films | Platform: DSi | Get it: info, Nintendo site, buy DSi Points

“…an amazingly full-featured art & animation package that’s downloadable on your Nintendo DS, and lets you share your animations online, from the company behind the rotoscoping software that powered films like Waking Life & A Scanner Darkly.”


Developer: Nyarlu Labs | Platform: iPhone/iPad | Get it: AppStore

“…another super authentic retro-arcade game from a parallel universe, that plays a bit like a procedurally generated Pac-Man.”

World of Goo

Developer: 2D Boy | Platform: iPhone/iPad | Get it: AppStore (iPhone-only), AppStore (iPhone/iPad)

“…now on your iPhone as well as your iPad (and Mac and PC and Wii), there’s no longer any excuse not to experience one of our biggest independent successes.”

Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes HD

Developer: Capy | Platform: Xbox 360, PS3 | Get it: Xbox 360, PS3, Nintendo DS

“…the core of a match 3 puzzle game morphed into one of the most brilliant and accessible strategy games you’ve ever played.”

Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP

Developer: Capy | Platform: iPhone/iPad | Get it: AppStore (iPhone-only), AppStore (iPhone/iPad)

“…as brilliant a little audiovisual cinematic adventure game as you’ve played in decades. To say much more would spoil the thrill of discovery, so I’m just going to say that you more or less need it in your life — and it will be kind to you.”